What’s coming and going with area development
There’s a lot going on around The Leader area which, despite a lag in the oil and gas market, is still drawing retailers and restaurateurs to make a go of it in neighborhoods booming with an increasingly prosperous populace. Here’s a partial round up of who is coming, and in some cases, going in the area.
People were excited at the announcement last August that Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers signed a contract to open shop at Braun’s forthcoming development at 1919 North Shepherd. At the time Braun, also responsible for Ella Plaza and Harold’s in the Heights, said that there will be space for a few more retailers. Now comes word of a new tenant.
Moody Ice, a shaved ice shop with an entrepreneur spirit, will be opening at the site this summer. According to the proprietor, “the possibilities are endless with these fresh ingredients and an assorted cultural influences.”
With KA Sushi now open at the Revive Development site that also houses Fat Cat Creamery, Hugs and Donuts and the combination Bernadine’s/Hunky Dory doing business nearby, North Shepherd is hopping. Still to come is Dallas’ Cane Russo who earlier said they’d be open by the end of the year at 1835 N Shepherd Dr. but is still in the build out process.
One question mark – the former Texas Cafeteria at 2400 North Shepherd Drive. Calls to the leasing agent went unreturned and the site plan from Edge Realty shows no tenants as of yet.
Studewood and 19th Street
It’s a wrap for the three vendors at 833 Studewood St. – Oolala in the Heights, Heights Candy Bar and Tulips and Tutus have all announced they will close their doors.
The decision started with Oolala owner Judy Pfardresher, who has been at the location for 13 years but decided she wanted to retire. Her last day open will be Valentine’s Day.
“I’m not going to do anything except spend time with family and friends,” said Pfardresher. “I’ve missed so much with family.”
Pfardresher’s daughter-in-law Tanita Gumney, who opened Heights Candy Bar almost two years ago is following suit. Gumney said that the decision was “bittersweet” but that she had a fun ride. Now, she moves in a different direction as she plans to pursue her naturopathic credentials.
Gumney hopes to close a lot sooner than Pfardresher – she’s having a garage sale of sorts this Saturday and will take any extra candy to a local food pantry or give it to teachers at nearby Hogg Middle School to use as student incentives.
Judy Myers at the children’s boutique Tulips and Tutus sub-leased from Pfardresher. Previous to 2008, she was on 19th Street across from Bliss. Myers said that she’s not sure if she will continue in the retail business and is exploring all options.
“There’s a lot of online shopping now,” Myers said. “You have to take that into account.”
Myers will also close on February 14 and she and Pfardresher are offering discounts on merchandise. It’s not just the merchandise that needs a home. Furniture, fixtures, displays – Pfardresher even has a refrigerator – it’s all got to go. A leasing sign will be up soon on the building.
On 19th Street, 18 Hands Gallery is closing up shop. Greg Lewis with Lewis Property Company, who leases the space, says that they told him jokingly that they were down to six hands. The ceramic artists who originally came together through work in non-profit arts organizations want to focus more on their craft and exit the retail business. A new tenant is signed but there are no details at present.
Lewis, who also leases the 19th Street Marketplace building, including Bliss and Casa Ramirez, said that the spot that formerly housed Langford Market is still up for grabs.
Recently The Leader reported on the purchase of more than 26,000 square feet of space at and behind 2723 Yale St. by the Imperio Company. Neil Martin with Imperio Martin said he plans to “start fresh” at the space and is planning a retail development.
Jamie Weaver with Edge Realty is the leasing agent at nearby Yale St & East 22nd St. The entire block fronting Yale St. between 22nd St. and 23rd St. was purchased by Braun Enterprises, who plans to build a new retail/restaurant center from one end to the other. Bernie’s Burger Bus made a splash when they recently announced plans to move into the new building.
According to Weaver, there are no other signed tenants yet. He also said another restaurant is not out of the question but it would have to be smaller in scope.
“We’re talking to retail and restaurants,” he said.
Across the street from the Yale Street Grill, the former Dorsey’s Beauty Academy will undergo a transformation under new owner Rocky Stevens who plans to open a retail center this summer. A leasing sign is up on the building from Collum Commercial, LLC.