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HOUSTON-Studio Movie Grill and restaurants Brio Tuscan Grille and Yard House have reserved 55,471 sf in the $500-million CityCentre development. As the mixed-use project moves toward its opening, anchors and major restaurateurs have been signed, allowing leasing efforts to now focus on traditional retailers in the hard and soft goods lines.

Studio Movie Grill, which is taking 37,940 sf, is pushing to open by year end on a second floor of the 1.1-million-sf project at 800 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. Tuscan Grille and Yard House, both planning to open between spring and summer, have taken 9,000 sf and 8,531 sf, respectively. The leases average 10 years.

Retail asks are in the low $40 per sf, net, with tenant-improvement allowances averaging $50 per sf for the 539,319-sf retail component. “Many of the retailers are spending $175 to $200 per sf and some of the restaurants are spending as much as $300 per sf,” says Jonathan Brinsden, executive vice president and COO for the Houston-based developer, Midway Cos.

Brinsden tells GlobeSt.com that CityCentre is more than 50% committed on the retail side, with most of the big users and restaurants in place. “Beyond the office, there were three critical components to this: Lifetime Fitness, the hotel and movie theater,” he says. “Those three components really shaped the project.” Following that, he says the team focused on restaurant leasing, with “almost every restaurant we’ve done either new to Houston or new to Texas.”

Now it’s time to focus on filling up the rest of the space. “We’re getting down to more traditional retail leasing on this level,” he says. “We’ll focus on soft goods, fashion and hard goods.” One just-signed tenant is Anthropologie, which took 11,500 sf. Its opening is slated for late 2009.

Meanwhile, CityCentre’s 475,000 sf of office space in two buildings is more than 90% leased. Brinsden says the master plan calls for a third 200,000 sf office building with 30,000 sf of retail, but no groundbreaking date has been set.

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