HOUSTON – The Baybrook Mall will soon contain an additional 550,000 square feet, that’s in addition to the current footprint of 1.2 million square feet. The shopping center’s expansion is seen, by industry professionals, as indicative of Houston’s robust retail market.

“Our market is extremely strong,” Nick Hernandez, managing director of retail sales at Transwestern, tells GlobeSt.com. “There is a severe shortage of quality retail space and a lot of demand for new development right now.”

Baybrook Mall is the second best performing mall in the Houston area, falling just behind the Galleria, according to Hernandez. The dearth of new space has retailers primed to take advantage of any new retail projects and expansions.

The expansion is broken into two areas. One space, 285,000 square feet, will be placed on the north side of the mall, connecting the space between Forever21 and Dillards. The second part will add a 270,000-square-foot power center, which will include big-box retailers as well as restaurants. 

The current mall’s tenants include Dillard’s, H&M (the area’s first), JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Apple, among others. It is fully occupied. Reports say the expansion will add another 30 retailers and 10 new restaurants. Hernandez says he’s heard talks of Whole Foods considering space. 

The expansion project is being completed through a joint venture between General Growth Properties Inc. and the landowner, a Houston-based CDC entity. Construction is slated to begin in May and complete before the 2015 holiday season.