First Stores Open at The Village at Cumberland Park
The stores in The Village at Cumberland Park will begin opening this week. David Wilson, of Dallas-based The Retail Connection, the developer on the 78-acre project, said they will have an “initial opening” ceremony on Friday morning, with a ribbon cutting “just to say we’re here, we’re open.”
The first stores to open their doors will be Vitamin Shoppe on Tuesday and Gordmans and Kirkland’s on Friday. About 12 stores will open through October and more than 20 businesses are expected to be open by Christmas, Wilson said. All of the rain the area has received this summer has left them a little behind in the construction site work, but he is still happy with the progress they have made.
“We’re not quite where we want to be, but in the next couple of weeks, we will get there.”
Because of the rain, they will be scrambling with site work but will have it cleaned up and nice for shoppers when stores begin to open this week, he added. Stores that should open in November include Bed, Bath & Beyond; Cost Plus World Market; AT&T; Carter’s; Osh Kosh B’Gosh; Skechers; Compass Trading Co.; and Massage Envy.
After a few months of a lag in activity, a second wave of stores will begin opening in February and will trickle in throughout next year. Even though they have had rain delays, Wilson expects the center to be complete by the fall of 2015. They will have a grand opening celebration, with a big party, when the development is complete. Wilson said it is a very large project that will give shoppers the opportunity to move around one center offering 700,000 square feet of space, as well as a hotel.
The Retail Connection sold a small parcel of the land included in the 78 acres to Amit Patel, who is building a four-story Hampton Inn & Suites.
Years in the Making
“The event unfolding (Friday) had its origin almost 15 years ago,” Bob Garrett, president of Broadway South Development, which sold the land to The Retail Connection, said in an email. “At the time, Loop 49 was still a concept, the property had no utility services, no zoning nor access points from U.S. (Highway) 69. It was truly raw land.” Garrett said the group adopted a bold plan to develop the property and has maintained that vision without many changes, despite “the deepest recession in modern times.”
“There is no question that our project has pushed the limits for what is possible for a community of this size,” Garrett said. Early projects within the development include Gander Mountain and Academy Sports+Outdoors, (The Village at Cumberland Park is sandwiched between the two), as well as Austin Bank, Commercial National Bank, Christian Brothers Automotive and Discount Tire. Garrett said the completion of Phase I of the center could not have been possible without the cooperation and support of all their partners, the Allen and Marsh families and Wilson and The Retail Connection.
“We look forward to our continued relationship with Retail Connection on future phases that will result in a truly unique and comprehensive shopping destination for folks all over our part of the state.”
How many businesses will occupy the center when it is finished depends on the size of the tenants. “We can easily get close to 100 tenants out there,” Wilson said. The bigger stores are always the first to sign leases for a new development and will be followed by the smaller local businesses and service-type businesses, which wait to make sure the crowds are there, Wilson said.
The project is designed to be constructed as each building is fully leased so as buildings open, they will be pretty full, Wilson said. Shoppers “will get a good feel of the quality and variety of the buildings …,” Wilson said. “That will magnify as we build these smaller buildings.” Wilson said he is pleased with the road work the Texas Department of Transportation has done near the center. They are building a new road surrounding the property and are taking the north and east sides of the property and tying them into the existing Market Square Boulevard, which runs off South Broadway Avenue, Wilson said earlier.
They paid TxDOT to put in stop lights and the fairly significant project of lowering northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 69 to be aligned at the intersection of Market Square and Broadway Avenue, which he said was hazardous. On Thursday, Wilson said the lights had been installed and work should be completed or be close to being finished by Friday.