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Ten-X Research released its latest U.S. Retail Market Outlook, identifying Houston as among the top five ‘Buy’ markets for retail real estate assets. Powered by thriving population growth that more than tripled the U.S. rate, the metro’s retail jobs jumped 5.1% over the last year—the healthiest growth of the current cycle.

The construction pipeline is at 2.7 million sq. ft. with 1.1 million sq. ft. available for lease. The largest project underway is Paragon Outlets, set to occupy 300,000 sq. ft. in Rosenberg. Upon completion, it will be the only outlet mall in the Southwest Houston region. Delivery is scheduled for October 2017. Another project in the works is Grand Parkway Marketplace II in Spring, 75% pre-leased, due to deliver in May 2018. Phase II has three anchor boxes, two of which have been leased by Hobby Lobby and Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Dirt Cheap, a discount chain, has inked deals to open its first three stores in the Houston market in 2017. The leases include a 24,000-sq.-ft. location in Pasadena; a 27,927-sq.-ft. shop in Spring; and a 25,483-sq.-ft. storefront in Alvin.

Recent announcements of local store closings include outdoor recreation and sporting good chain Gander Mountain closing 32 stores—including three in Houston—and Payless ShoeSource closing 800 stores, 25 of which are in the Houston area.

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