Restaurants, grocer sprouting up in Sugar Land retail expansion

Original Article

Vista Equities Group has broken ground on a second phase of University Commons, a new retail and lifestyle center at the entry to Sugar Lands Telfair community off U.S. 59. Sprouts Farmers Market will anchor the 108,000-

Sprouts Farmers Market will open early next year as an anchor tenant in an expansion of University Commons at the entry to Sugar Land’s Telfair community.

Houston-based Vista Properties will bring an additional 109,000 square feet of retail space with Phase 2 of University Commons. The project, at University Boulevard and Telfair Avenue, just north of U.S. 59, will house 25 to 30 tenants and have five or six outdoor patios, shaded areas and wide walkways.

“All the buildings face each other,” said Patty Bender, a partner at Vista Properties. “It will make the center have a really nice walkability context to it.”

O’Brien Architects designed the center in a way that encourages people to linger, rather than making quick trips, Bender said. Houston-based Arch-Con Construction is handling construction.

The center is 60 percent preleased, with Ulta, Luna Grill, U’Maki and Tropical Smoothie among the tenants. The Sprouts Farmers Market, totaling 30,000 square feet, will have an outdoor patio for showcasing produce and will open Jan. 16.

Phase 1, at the southeast corner of University Boulevard and Telfair, contains 150,000 square feet and is 97 percent leased. Anchor tenants are Burlington, Michaels, CVS and The Tile Shop.

University Commons is larger than most of Vista Properties’ neighborhood developments, which frequently range from six to 10 tenants and contain 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, Bender said.

The company’s biggest project, LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch in the Katy area, was sold last year.