Major New Retail Center to Be Developed in San Antonio

May 4--Traffic on Culebra Road will be even busier in 2008 after a large retail center opens at Loop 1604 and Texas 151, bringing with it as many as 100 stores.

Explosive housing growth in that area prompted Irving-based Archon Group, a commercial real estate company, to buy 121 acres on the Northwest Side bordered by Loop 1604, Texas 151 and Culebra, the company said Wednesday.

The project, called Alamo Ranch Marketplace, will have 900,000 square feet of new retail space, said Archon Development Manager Lance Taylor. Construction will begin late next year, with completion estimated for March 2008.

Archon bought the property on behalf of Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Ltd. Partnership from a land investment partnership for an undisclosed price. MDN Architects of San Antonio will be the project architect.

Taylor said it's too soon to name tenants, but the interest level from retailers has exceeded the company's expectations.

The project, Taylor said, will have room for three large anchors, 10 smaller anchors and 16 free-standing stores, with the remaining space filled with inline shops.

"The tenant lineup will be similar to what you see at the Forum, Bandera Pointe and Huebner Oaks," he said. "There won't be any grocery stores, with the combination of H-E-B and Wal-Mart (already) taking care of that intersection." Archon expects its main customer base will come from the nearby Alamo Ranch subdivision once it's completed.

West Bexar County has been a hot spot for retailers. Loop 1604 and Culebra is now home to several banks, restaurants, a Hobby Lobby and a Home Depot. And toward Texas 151 and Loop 410, a retail center anchored by Target, Lowe's and PetSmart opened recently.

Archon Group is active in a number of cities developing new retail projects and redeveloping older facilities.

This is the company's first large retail development here. However, it once owned South Park Mall, where it added a 120,000-square-foot Foley's in 1999 and later sold the property. It also bought and sold Albertsons supermarkets here.

Archon is a subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group. Its Texas projects include redevelopment of the Prestonwood Mall site into Prestonwood Town Center in Dallas and an unnamed project at Main Street and the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco.

[San Antonio Express-News (KRT) -- 05/05/06]