Mar 23

Houston brokerage closes on land at ‘dominant retail intersection’

Houston-based Baker Katz LLC plans to bring more retail to southeast Houston, a bustling corner of the city that boasts one of the city’s most successful shopping malls.

The brokerage recently closed on roughly two acres at 820 Bay Area Blvd. just down the street from the recently renovated Baybrook Mall. Baker Katz plans to build two buildings totaling 15,000 square feet that’ll house between three and five restaurants, Baker Katz’s Jason Baker told the Houston Business Journal. The firm has signed two letters of intent with restaurants that’ll be new to the southeast Houston area, he said.

Baker wouldn’t disclose the names of the tenants, but he said their operating hours won’t overlap and the two restaurants wouldn’t compete with one another.

“Historically, retail here has performed very, very well (in this area), partly because that mall pulls (residents from) Dickinson, Lamar, League City, Galveston, Texas City – it pulls a long way,” he said.

Streetwise Retail Advisors’s David Wise and Joe Silver represented Baker Katz and Colin Fox of Colin Fox & Associates represented the undisclosed seller in the land deal. The land houses a former Zio’s Italian Kitchen location, which will be razed to make way for the two buildings that are set to break ground by the end of 2017. The new development should be completed in early 2018.

“This is, and will probably always be, the dominant retail intersection in southeast Houston,” said Baker, referring to the intersection of Bay Area Boulevard and Interstate 45 that the land sits on.

Baker Katz’s project will be within walking distance of Baybrook Mall, the state’s third-largest shopping mall. In total, the mall blankets 1.8 million square feet following an expansion that added about 555,000 square feet. The last part of the multimillion-dollar expansion wrapped up in 2016.

Baker Katz is also under contract on a couple of sites in southeast Houston and Pasadena, Baker said, but wouldn’t disclose further details.

Inside the Loop, Baker Katz is working to redevelop a two-story building located at 1919 Washington Ave. that it acquired in late 2016. Baker said the firm is in discussions with a nontraditional tenant for the second floor of the building. The tenant isn’t “retail in nature,” he said, and is more unique than an office tenant.

“I’ve never been so excited to own a property as I am to own this one,” Baker said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a first to Houston (concept), but it’s darn near first to Houston.”

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