HOUSTON – Voted the nation’s most craveable brand, Freebirds has leased a prized spot in NewQuest Properties’ Stableside in Fort Bend County. Doors are expected to swing open in the spring.

The acclaimed restaurateur will occupy 2,526 sf at the gateway to Stableside’s community green space. It is the last available spot with dual access to the patio and parking lot.

“It was a fast-moving deal. Freebirds came to us with a ready-to-go letter of intent. We had been holding that spot for a tenant of this caliber,” says Grace La, an associate with Houston-based NewQuest. She partners with Austin Alvis, president of the brokerage firm, on the leasing of Stableside.

NewQuest’s 34.4-acre Stableside is situated at the epicenter of the master-planned communities of Cinco Ranch, Silver Ranch and Monterrey at Willow Bend. The trade area’s population tops 115,000 and the average annual household income is nearly $182,000.

Stableside’s strong demographics are an attraction for the top-tier dining options that we’ve secured for phase II’s lifestyle center,” La says.

Freebirds is joining a lineup with Crust Pizza Co., Jax Grill, Union Kitchen, Island Fin Poke, Block House Coffee & Kitchen, Sonoma Wine & Cheese and Nekter Juice Bar. The amenity-driven lifestyle component also includes Play Street Museum for children, clothier Petite Re Modern Child, Katy’s Farmers Market and live music weekly on the green space.

“Freebirds rounds out the tenant mix we’ve curated and will bring a different offering to the project,” La says. “As word gets out, we’re already getting a lot of positive feedback from the community.”

Freebirds earlier this year disclosed plans to double in size in Texas within five years. The 65-unit chain started in California in 1987 and relocated its headquarters in 2016 to Austin. It’s on track to become the Lone Star State’s second-largest burrito chain. Greg Stanislawski of Retail Strategy Real Estate Group represented Freebirds, which has won the top “craveable” ranking from Nations Restaurant News for two consecutive years.

“Freebirds has embraced Texas as its new home,” La says. “Stableside is one of the first sites to be chosen for the chain’s expansion.”

Stableside is a two-phase development at the intersection of Gaston Road and Falcon Landing Boulevard on Katy’s west side. Phase I features 270,000 sf of neighborhood-necessity retail anchored by a 102,473-sf Kroger. Phase II is 35,000 sf of lifestyle space with a tony restaurant row. A 90,000-sf VillaSport Athletic Club & Spa anchors the entire project.

In an innovative leasing strategy, NewQuest has reserved 601 sf as pop-up space. Short-term leases will be available to local artists and boutique shop owners on a rotating basis.

“We wanted to bring another urban lifestyle element to our suburban centers,” La explains.

NewQuest is zeroing in on 100% occupancy in Stableside. Its two remaining pad sites are under negotiation. Phase II has 1,050 sf of available space and phase II has a vacant 3,400-sf end cap.

Stableside checks a lot of the boxes for tenant site selections,” La says. “It’s all about the demographics – young, growing families with discretionary incomes.”

For more leasing information, click here.