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HOUSTON-The Denver-based Oshman’s Sporting Goods is stepping in as anchor to a shopping center left without a lead when H-E-B moved to a new building right across the street. Oshman has just signed a 32,945-sf lease for a 23-year-old shopping center at Kirkwood Road and Westheimer Street.

The lease pushes occupancy to 80% in the 80,300-sf center, Lyle Cowand, senior leasing agent for Houston-based Transwestern Commercial Services, tells GlobeSt.com. Cowand is hoping the Oshman’s commitment will help to lease an adjacent 8,640-sf vacant spot.

The shopping center was purchased by Denver, CO-based Southwestern Investment Group about a year ago, says Karen Kizer, Transwestern’s senior property manager. The plan is to update the exterior and add new signs so the center’s facade is compatible with the Oshman’s look. She couldn’t be specific about the project costs for the center, also home to Half Price Books and Spec’s Liquor. The last major renovation was 1995.

Kizer says construction is underway on Oshman’s spot. The store is set to open Nov. 15.

Cowand represented the property owners in the lease. Houston’s Boyd Page handled talks for Oshman’s. The retailer has three other stores in Houston as well as two in the outlying towns of Humble and Conroe.

Cowand says the Westchase neighborhood has made dramatic changes in the last 18 months. The shopping center previously was surrounded by large blocks of raw land zoned commercial. Today, it’s a retail hub with the 83,000-sf H-E-B, PF Chang’s China Bistro and big box nods from Wal-Mart, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Kohl’s.

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