The largest commercial development project in the city’s history is set to bring two national retailers - Ulta Beauty and Hobby Lobby - to Stephenville next year.

The $23 million project named Washington Commons will include 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on a 17-acre parcel of land next to Walmart.

“Once completed, this project will significantly impact the leakage of Stephenville expenditures to outside communities, while providing new brands and concepts to the local shopping landscape,” said Jeff Sandford, executive director of the Stephenville Economic Development Authority. “We have carefully vetted this development group and feel confident that this is another step in enhancing the quality of life for our citizens.”

SEDA and its board of directors have worked with the developer, STX Washington Partners, for more than a year to finalize the deal.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to develop a new retail hub in Stephenville which we think will be a great amenity to the city and its citizens,” said Mike Robbe, developer with STX Washington Partners. “With over 32 years of real estate development experience, our firm has outstanding relationships with many national retailers and intends to bring a diverse mix of first class retail operators to the development.”

Groundbreaking is expected to begin in late March.

City officials gathered at SEDA’s headquarters on Wednesday to officially announce the project.

“This announcement is another positive step for Stephenville and the beginning of a new period of economic growth which will benefit all citizens,” said Stephenville city councilman Gerald Cook.

BIG NAME RETAILERS

Ulta Beauty has been called the “premier beauty destination” for cosmetics, fragrances and skin and hair care products in the U.S.

Founded in 1990, Ulta Beauty has 1,200 stores across the nation.

The Stephenville location will include 10,000 square feet of retail space inside Washington Commons.

The retailer sells a limitless assortment of high-end and moderately-priced products by brands like Tarte, Estee Lauder, Jimmy Choo, John Frieda, KYLIE COSMETICS, Lilly Lashes, MAC, Smashbox as well as its own Ulta Beauty collection.

Those who enjoy shopping for home decor will be thrilled when Hobby Lobby opens its doors to more than 50,000 square feet of retail space.

Founded in Oklahoma City in 1972, Hobby Lobby now has more than 800 stores across the country selling everything from an array of home decor to craft and sewing supplies.

“With the continuing growth of the city and the university, as well as the prospect of attracting customers from the surrounding communities, this location presents a tremendous opportunity for these retailers to serve a strong customer base,” Robbe said. “The project would not have been possible without the continuing efforts of the SEDA and the city of Stephenville, each of whom has worked hard to make this a true partnership.

“We look forward to getting to work on the project and seeing these tenants open in the summer of 2021.”

SEDA is expected to announce additional retailers coming to Washington Commons in the coming weeks as more deals become finalized.