Work begins on Washington Commons
Construction has begun on the site of Washington Commons, a new retail development on Washington Street, according to a social media post from Stephenville City Councilman Ricky Thurman.
Washington Commons includes more than 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on a 17-acre parcel of land next to Walmart. Several national retailers have announced plans to have stores in the shopping center, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022, according to previous reports.
National retailers Ulta Beauty and Hobby Lobby had previously announced they will locate in the new development, and just last week, T.J.Maxx announced it will also be part of the shopping center, according to a social media post from Thurman.
"I believe it says a lot about our resiliency as a community and our commitment to pursuing smart development in the city of Stephenville that this project was not lost in the midst of a nationwide pandemic," Thurman added.
The Stephenville Economic Development Authority and its board of directors worked with developer STX Washington Partners for more than a year to finalize the deal before it was announced earlier in 2021.
“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, in a SEDA news release at the time of the announcement. “We have carefully vetted this development group and feel confident that this is another step in enhancing the quality of life for our citizens.”
Incentives provided through a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone helped ensure the project could be built and projected property tax and sales tax revenue from this development is what "allowed the Stephenville City Council to approve funding for the reconstruction of Harbin Drive without an increase to residents' tax bills," Thurman added. "This project will also provide Stephenville ISD with an additional $200,000 to $250,000 per year in funding."
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 in Washington Commons, according to the SEDA news release.
Hobby Lobby plans to open 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.
T.J. Maxx is a department store chain that sells at prices generally lower than other retail stores. It has more than 1,000 stores in the United States and sells men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes, toys, bath and beauty, accessories, and home products ranging from furniture to kitchen utensils.
The Stephenville Economic Development Authority previously stated it will announce additional retailers coming to Washington Commons as more deals become finalized.