Chambers County’s $5B of Refinery Expansions, High Growth Driving Sale of 156 Prime Acres

BAYTOWN, Texas – The Fitzgerald Family Trust has put 156 acres of prime commercial land on the market across the street from the Chambers Town Center, the catalyst for an emerging regional retail destination in west Chambers County where more than $5 billion of refinery expansions are fueling fast-paced growth in all sectors.

NewQuest Properties vice presidents Bob Conwell and Brad Elmore have been awarded the listing for the site, which has 1,600 feet of frontage along TX 146 and 770 feet along Interstate 10, the primary route between Baytown and Beaumont. The Fitzgerald family has owned the land since the Civil War.

“This intersection is the first stop in and the last stop out between the two cities. It’s a 47-mile stretch and not much in between so we’re getting a lot of traffic,” says Conwell, who partners with Elmore on the leasing of the 385,676 SF  Chambers Town Center.

NewQuest developed Chambers Town Center on 77.2 acres that it bought from the trust. The Walmart-anchored component of the project has just marked its one-year anniversary. It was NewQuest’s first post-recession shopping center and Walmart’s first new post-recession store in the Greater Houston market.

As the team ramps up marketing for the vacant land, Chambers Town Center’s next wave of openings is underway. Dallas-based ShowBiz Cinemas LLC has just held the ribbon-cutting on its 10-screen, 1,750-seat theater and 14-lane bowling alley. Six more tenants will be following suit in the coming weeks to be open in time for the holiday shopping season.

In the coming year, Ross Dress for Less will break ground on a 25,000 SF store and NewQuest will add a third multi-tenant building, totaling 21,000 SF, to the project. The first one – 17,825 SF – was 100% preleased during the design stage and the second, totaling 17,686 SF, has just delivered and is fully committed. Only three of the seven pad sites are remaining.

“This center has leased faster than any development I’ve seen in 23 years,” Conwell says. “Typically, restaurants don’t show up until the development is done, but we had Chik Fil A and Whataburger signed before Chambers Town Center ever broke ground.” The project has achieved 99% lease-up in 18 months on the delivered retail space.

The reality is national chains are scrambling for positioning in a predominately industrial area with thousands of high-paying jobs for a blue-collar workforce that lives close to their jobs. Located 20 miles east of Houston, the employment center runs full speed three shifts a day, every day. Reports of long lines of customers at 3 a.m. at fast-food restaurants are not uncommon.

“We’re running out of space on the retail at Chambers Town Center and we still have a tremendous amount of interest in that location,” Elmore says.”This shopping center has turned the intersection of 146 and I-10 into a new destination for Baytown, Chambers County and beyond.”

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