Checkout lane: Another grocery store chain has put League City on its shopping list and this one’s new to the Texas market. Germany-based Lidl last week submitted plans to the city for a 35,000-square-foot grocery store at state Highway 96 and Tuscan Lakes Boulevard.
Lidl — pronounced leedle — operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe and bills itself as a low-cost grocer. Business Insider called Lidl a cross between a Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s. The chain offers deep discounts on groceries, household appliances, clothes and more.
Wal-Mart’s small Neighborhood Market, which freshly opened at 2625 W. Main St., could feel the greatest pressure of all, as Lidl stores will be of similar size, are extremely price competitive and offer a convenient store experience, Mike Paglia, director of retail insights for Kantar Retail, told Business Insider last year.
One of Lidl’s biggest rivals is another German-based grocer Aldi, which operates stores in Kemah and Webster among other Houston-area markets, but recently slowed its roll in its search for a Galveston site.
The Lidl store layout is similar to Aldi, where products are sold in cases that customers grab from, according to trade industry reports. And Lidl is smaller than other supermarkets — offering 2,000 items compared to other places that might have 30,000 items.
League City officials had no other details other than they had received plans for the store. Stay tuned.
Hammer time: Retail and rooftops go hand in hand and that’s evident in fast-growing League City. Crews have begun work on residential development that will yield more than 500 houses on a 206-acre parcel west of state Highway 146 and north of FM 646.
Canada-based Empire Continental Land is behind the development, known as Lakes of Quail Point. Amenities will include community lakes, parks, trails and a recreation center with a pool and splash pad. Prices are expected to begin in the mid-$200,000s.
Empire is one of Canada’s largest developers and homebuilders and is bullish on the Houston market.
Empire also is developing Dellrose, a 600-acre master-planned community in northwest Houston near state Highway 290 and the Grand Parkway. Other Empire U.S. developments include Katy Trails in Katy, Sommerall Park in Houston, Hidden Lakes in League City and Lakeside in Georgetown.
Shedding light: A 35-acre island in League City is once again on the market. ARA Newmark Houston has listed Beacon Island, a development near South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center on the south side of Clear Lake, the Houston Business Journal reports.
Several developers over the years have planned luxury communities on the island, originally developed by South Shore Harbour Development, an affiliate of American National Insurance Co.
In March 2011, Isola Ventura closed on the acquisition of Beacon Island with plans to revive a major luxury development at the site.
The Verandah Cos. and Crow Holdings, in a joint venture, bought the parcel in December 2006 and changed the name from Lighthouse Island to Beacon Island.
Their plans were ambitious, calling for a luxury development that includes high-end homes, mid-rise condominiums, town houses and patio homes.
But headwinds from the mortgage meltdown and economic downturn proved to be too much, and First Bank of Missouri took possession of the property in the summer of 2010.
Since Isola Venture, led by Murphy Yates, president of League City-based Harbour Classic Builders, acquired the property, four houses have been built and one is under construction. The property is zoned for 37 waterfront homes, 32 patio homes, 95 town houses, 301 mid-rise condo units and 385 high-rise condo units.
Beverage buzz: There’s a new liquor store on the island’s East End that comes with a shot of interesting back story. Jacob George has opened the liquor store at the site of his Ocean Food Store, 611 University Blvd., which has long been a convenience store without a gas station. George had for some time considered opening a liquor store on the East End, but a sense of friendship and loyalty kept him from doing so.
For decades, the go-to store for adult beverages on the island’s East End was The Strand No. 2, 711 University Blvd. The liquor store, owned by Frank Cantieri, who everyone affectionately referred to as “Mr. Frank,” closed with the death of the owner earlier this year.
George was longtime friend of Cantieri and had always refrained from opening a liquor store on University Boulevard as long as The Strand No. 2 was in business.
“As long as he was here, I was not going to open one on the same street,” George said.
Island-based West Island Professional Center, 6511 Stewart Road, has four new tenants:
• Salt scrub maker Sun Coast Salts has opened an office at the center. The company makes and sells salt scrubs, sugar scrubs, hand and body wash, body butter and more. The products are available at hotels, gift shops and restaurants, including many outlets in Galveston;
• Sheffield Separator Co. Gas and Liquid Separators, founded in 1999, has opened the center. Sheffield, previously in Texas City, counts petrochemical companies among its clients;
• American Guard Services, which provides recruitment, training, and security for such clients as the Port of Galveston and the ferry landing;
• Attorney Scott A. Mixon of The Mixon Law Firm also has signed a lease at the center. The firm’s practice areas include business formation and governance, contracts, real estate, construction and development.
Kay and Benny Davis own and manage West Island Professional Center, which has developed some suites to include shared reception areas and meeting rooms to accommodate smaller businesses and tenants.
Seeing double: Texas City’s art scene just got more interesting. The Galveston Art League in late October held a ribbon-cutting of its 6th Street Art Gallery, 611 6th Street in Texas City. The grand opening was in August and marks a second location for the Art League.
Galveston Art League was founded in 1914 and has operated in Galveston for 102 years. Opening the extension gallery in Texas City is an opportunity for artists to have increased exposure for their artistic endeavors, officials said.
The Rev. Robin Reeves from St. George’s Episcopal Church in Texas City blessed the building during the ceremony.
In the pink: It’s time for the ceremonial scissors. Pink Pearl Antiques, 714 25th St., will mark its recent opening today with a 4:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Jason Guzman and Francisco Salazar Jr. own the shop, which specializes in antiques, collectibles, vintage items and home décor. Pink Pearl Antiques will serve refreshments at the event, which is open to the public.