Velvet Taco continues its rapid Southeast expansion

The restaurant chain is moving into Kimco’s future Shops at Baybrook

Illustration of Kimco Realty Corporation's Conor Flynn and a Velvet Taco storefront (Getty, Kimco, Velvet Taco)
Illustration of Kimco Realty Corporation's Conor Flynn and a Velvet Taco storefront (Getty, Kimco, Velvet Taco)

A Long Island real estate investment trust has picked up the latest tract in ​​Houston’s fast growing Clear Lake area.

Kimco Realty Corporation of Jericho, NY is set to develop another shopping center off Interstate 45 and secured a 2,500-square-foot lease with its premier tenant, Velvet Taco.

The Shops at Baybrook will be the Dallas-based restaurant’s first Clear Lake location, according to the Houston Business Journal.

Back in September, the taco joint revealed that it was committed to opening more than 40 locations nationwide by the end of 2022, which is more than double its size at the start of 2021.

The chain is targeting Texas, Oklahoma and the Carolinas for its expansion strategy.

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The Shops at Baybrook, which is right in front of Kimco’s Baybrook Gateway shopping center, is expected to look like most strip malls in the automobile-dependent Houston metro.

Collier’s brochure indicates the development will include a pair of one-story retail buildings that are similar in size, and will offer parking along the Gulf Freeway and Bay Area Boulevard. There’s also an available 1-acre pad site and a freestanding building, which is under lease negotiations with Shake Shack.

Other possible tenants reportedly in lease negotiations include a Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, Via 313 Pizzeria and Southern California fried chicken restaurant The Crack Shack, according to the brochure. Tenants that have signed letters of intent include a Glosslab nail salon and meat delivery service Wild Fork Foods.

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— Maddy Sperling