CARROLLTON, Texas – NewQuest Properties is planning to expand the 154,863 SF Carrollton Town Center, where a $7 million redevelopment is attracting the first stores in Texas for several leading Asian brands and planting seeds for a new shopping experience in North Dallas and beyond.
“It’s our first project like this to come out of the gate. We’ve been recruiting a select group of retailers for this new concept,” says Heather Nguyen, a director of third party leasing and development for NewQuest, which bought the shopping center at 2540 Old Denton Rd. in spring 2014. The redevelopment work began in June 2014.
The preleasing success for Carrollton Town Center’s repurposing has prompted the Houston-based developer to acquire 4.7 acres across the street for a second phase. Engineering work has begun for the shopping center’s expansion at the intersection of President George Bush Turnpike and Old Denton Road. More than 119,000 vehicles pass the site each day.
“What sets us apart from existing stores is we are bringing in brands that people are familiar with in their countries – Japan, Thailand, Korea, India, China,” says Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam and came to the U.S. as an infant with her parents. “This concept embraces the Asian culture and is authentic to the core. These brands are well known to first-, second-, third- and fourth-generation Asian-Americans.”
Key to the emerging strategy is securing well-known names stateside and abroad, such as California-based 99 Ranch Market, the Asian-American community’s premier specialty grocer. The gourmet supermarket chain has 37 stores in the U.S., including Plano, Houston and Sugar Land. Carrollton will be the chain’s flagship, featuring its proprietary Bread Farm, a fresh bread and pastry shop. The 47,490 SF grocery will open in December.
Also on the horizon is the opening of Gen Korean BBQ House, which has leased 7,454 SF, for its first restaurant in Texas and only the second outside its home state, where it has 10 locations.
The roster of Texas newcomers includes Kura, a revolving sushi bar totaling 3,111 SF. Its parent, Kura Corp., operates 352 Kura sushi bars in Japan. Carrollton will open in the spring. Also coming on line in 2016 will be a famous Taiwanese bakery.
Hanabi Ramen, which has two locations in the metroplex, currently is building out 2,406 SF. An end-of-the-year opening is planned.
In recent weeks, Dan Sung Sa Korean Bar opened its second venue in Texas, leasing 5,183 SF of entertainment space while New York-based Kung Fu Tea tapped 1,600 SF for its second location in the metroplex.
Last summer, Daiso, which has a strong reputation with discerning Japanese customers, opened an 11,157 SF store, also a Texas first. The chain operates 2,800 stores in Japan and more than 600 in 28 countries.
“Sales have been strong for everyone who’s opened to date. Daiso’s opening was its strongest in the U.S. and second highest in the company,” Nguyen says.
Both phases of Carrollton Town Center also will house community-oriented services, including Verizon, as well as reflexology therapy, a dentist and Asian banks. Phase two will include a two-story, 18,628 SF professional office building and three pad sites, one of which is preleased to First Intercontinental Bank. Carrollton Town Center’s leasing team also includes John Nguyen and Meredith McLeod-Cobb.
“This is not a Chinatown. It is a unique prototype that offers multi-cultural Asian experiences, adventure shopping in an English-speaking environment and fun, vibrant outdoor spaces,” Nguyen says. “We are creating an edgy, niche development that embraces the Asian culture and ‘foodie’ experiences.”