Vista Equities Group and Amstar Group have broken ground on the $50 million LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch mixed-use project.
The 240,000-square-foot center, located at Cinco Ranch Boulevard and the Grand Parkway in Katy, will include retail and office space in addition to restaurants and outdoor community facilities.
LaCenterra is planned as a multi-building project, including a clock-tower and a "town hall"-style facility at its entrance.
Retailers such as Merle Norman, Cold Stone Creamery, Talbots and The Wine Next Door have already signed on to open stores at the new center.
Meanwhile, White House Black Market, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Jos. A. Bank, Berryhill Baja Grill and Ann Taylor Loft are in negotiations to open stores at LaCenterra.
"I believe people are excited about LaCenterra because it will benefit a wide range of users, providing much-needed retail, office and public spaces for the fast-growing neighborhoods of west Houston," says Woody Mann, president of Houston-based Vista Equities Group, the developer of the project.
Construction on phase two of the project, which will include 140,000 square feet of retail space topped with residential lofts, is expected to begin in March 2007.
LaCenterra is part of Denver-based Amstar's $1.5 billion private equity investment program.
"We believe in the Houston market and LaCenterra provides us the opportunity to expand our portfolio of holdings in the metropolitan area to include retail, which is a targeted asset class for Amstar," says Gabe Finke, CEO of Amstar.