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SPRING, TX-Two local developers have made plans for three retail projects in far north Houston, thanks to the completion of a road extension and entitlements for another 16,000 single-family lots. Roughly 35 acres will be planted with neighborhood retail space.

The West Rayford Road extension between Kuykendahl and Gosling roads has opened the development door. Sumkim Development of the Woodlands has started construction on Saddlebrook Plaza, a 28,000-sf retail center being built on three acres at Spurlin Way and Kuykendahl Road.

The J. Beard Real Estate Co. LP, also in the Woodlands, has two more marketing assignments just a quarter mile south of Saddlebrook Plaza. Everson Developments LLC, another Woodlands developer, has acquired a 23-acre tract at the northeast corner of West Rayford and Kuykendahl roads. The still-unnamed shopping center will have 135,000 sf and seven pad sites. Its groundbreaking hasn’t been set.

Meanwhile, the intersection’s southeast corner, also under development by Everson, will sprout a CVS Pharmacy and Jack in the Box. Adjacent to the two projects are eight additional acres and three or four pad sites. Jeff Beard, president of the namesake firm, says negotiations are under way with end users, which will be neighborhood service businesses, for the most part. Pad sites for both projects are available for $12 per sf to $22 per sf. Beard tells GlobeSt.com that Jack-in-the-Box is scheduled to break ground later this month while CVS’ construction will launch in early 2008.

Beard says that the significant amount of planned residential construction–to the tune of 16,000 lots–combined with the West Rayford Road extension is responsible for the sudden flurry of interest in retail development for the area. “Retail follows housing,” he says. “Right now, those planned houses are between two retail developments so these are going up to serve the population.” He points out that CVS, for example, has sites both north and south of its new location. “They felt this area was strong enough to support another store in between,” Beard says.

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