1890 Ranch Making Big Plans Despite Slow Economy

Macy Hurwitz |

In a time when empty storefronts are not uncommon, the flurry of activity at the 1890 Ranch development in Cedar Park is a visual reminder that not all retailers are hibernating through the economic downturn.

Senior Retail Associate Will Majors with Endeavor Real Estate Group — the developer responsible for 1890 Ranch — said some of the factors that have drawn tenants to the development is the convenience of the location and the projected growth in the surrounding area.

“The main thing is just the large amount of growth,” Majors said. “And, it’s not only rooftops, but it’s the growth in the school district as well.”

1890 Ranch has attracted both national and local businesses to sign leases and open up shop recently. Sun Auto, Approved Money Center and Dollar Tree have all recently opened their doors, along with the third location of the Austin-based yoga studio Pure Bikram Yoga.

Jeff Chen owns Pure Bikram Yoga with his wife, and they were interested in opening a studio in Cedar Park after talking to one of their instructors.

He and his wife were looking at where they would open up their next studio after opening a studio in downtown Austin, and though they looked at Circle C and Lakeway, Chen said they knew immediately that Cedar Park was the right move.

“We just knew it was right the moment we went up there,” Chen said. He added, “We just made a couple trips up there and said, ‘let’s do it.’”

He said part of the reason they chose to locate the studio in the 1890 Ranch development was because of the mix of clients, and they were also impressed with the amount of foot traffic the development encourages.

“Many of our new students in Cedar Park are brand new, never have done yoga before, and never have heard of bikram yoga before, so a lot of people just walk in and ask for info,” Chen said.

National jewelry retailer James Avery signed a lease and plans to open up a store April 13 2011.

Howell Ridout, vice president of branding and development for James Avery, said the company chose to open a new store in 1890 Ranch because there was a good tenant mix, good access and visibility, opportunities for signage in three different sides of the development and ample parking.

“There’s plenty of accessible parking to support our busier seasons and create a convenient and positive experience for customers,” Ridout said.

There are several other businesses in various stages of build out or development at 1890 Ranch. Three restaurants will augment the dining options in the development.

National American food chain Logan’s Roadhouse is nearing completion, and Rosa’s Café Tortilla Factory will soon offer Mexican fare.

Austin-based burger purveyor Mighty Fine Burgers and Shakes has signed a lease, but Majors said Endeavor is still waiting on approvals to begin actively working on that project. The Colorado-based natural grocery chain Natural Grocers will be located in the spot next to the newly opened Dollar Tree, in the old Circuit City building.

Huntington Learning Center, which offers tutoring for children struggling with core classes and study skills, will be opening within the shopping center.

Majors said Endeavor’s newest tenant for 1890 Ranch will be Clear Choice Eye Care, an optometrist practice that just signed a lease in the past couple of weeks.

He said in the future, Endeavor will seek out niche businesses to round out the center’s diverse list of tenants.

“For instance, one of the few things we don’t have is a sit-down Italian restaurant or a barbecue restaurant. I think it’s a matter of figuring out the few things we don’t have an trying to go target that,” Majors said.