Chick-fil-A, AutoZone take first spots in new Portland shopping center

Development group McLeod Sears will be building a shopping complex soon on the site of the old Kmart. The first two businesses that are planning to open are Chic-fil-A and AutoZone which will begin construction soon. The illustration shows what one section of the planned shopping center will look like later this year. 

Portland’s old Kmart building, which has stood for decades, 1400 Wildcat Dr., is no more. Where the landmark once stood is now rubble, paving way to future growth in the PortLAND of Possibilities.

Development group McLeod Sears is redeveloping the site with Chick-fil-A and AutoZone having scooped up the first two of the four available spaces.

The project will include a 25,200 square foot shopping center with Chick-fil-A starting on its layout soon with two lanes all the way around the 5,170 square foot building, which is set on a 1.37-acre pad site. AutoZone will dig into its project later this year which will include a 7,370 square foot store on a 0.74-acre ground-leased tract. 

“The site is cleared, and we’re ready to go,” Michael McLeod-Cobb, who is a partner in the Houston-based commercial real estate firm, said. “It’s full speed ahead on the remaining pad sites and the shop space.”

Throughout the pandemic, the McLeod Sears brokerage team has been courting neighborhood services, popular eateries and specialty retailers for the shop space.

“We’re planning to bring retail and restaurants found in larger cities to Portland,” McLeod-Cobb said.

The past four months have been spent knocking down the shuttered 82,939 square foot Kmart, scraping the land and setting in place needed infrastructure so vertical construction could begin. Z Constructors of Dallas is McLeod Sears’ general contractor.

“Since the closing of the Kmart in 2018, we have worked to redevelop the site,” Portland City Manager Randy Wright said. “Losing the store as both the shopping resource and a retail sales tax generated has not been easy so I am very pleased to partner with McLeod Sears.

“The new Chick-Fil-A and other retailers that will fill that space will give our citizens new places to enjoy and have a positive effect on our sales tax revenues.”

“We are very pleased to see this project become a reality and look forward to other opportunities to partner with McLeod Sears in the future”

McLeod-Cobb said it was Portland itself that caught his eye when sizing up shuttered Kmarts to buy throughout the state in 2017. He said Portland attracts more than eight million visitors per year – a combination of tourists to the Gulf Coast’s sandy beaches and the availability of high-paying petrochemical jobs in the area.

He added that topping the region’s list of economic drivers is the Port of Corpus Christi, the third largest in the nation in terms of total tonnage revenue which was also a factor.

“Unlike many markets in Texas, low natural gas prices help and doesn’t hinder the industry in this area,” McLeod-Cobb said. “It’s a coastal community with a thriving year-round economy in a recreationally rich area.

 “The more we learned about Portland, the more we fell in love with the city.

“We’ve worked with numerous cities throughout Texas, and we’re incredibly impressed with the vision and leadership of the city of Portland. Without that support, this project would not be happening.”

•pgonzales@mysoutex.com•

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