By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Construction is in the final stages at Palo Verde at Steiner on 8-acres at Steiner Ranch Boulevard and N. Quinlan Park Road. The first phase is a two-story, 34,000-square-foot retail building where some of the first tenants are expected to open within several months.
“We are finishing up the building and site work, which should be buttoned all up by the end of the month,” said Cosmo Palmieri, Four Points resident and developer and minority owner of Palo Verde.
Another local resident, J Kelly Gray, is the majority owner. They’ve owned the site for more than a dozen years and started to design it some three years ago.
Palo Verde has signed leases for three tenants so far — Austin Dental Co., Vaqueros Cafe & Cantina, and a nail salon spa, Palmieri said.
The pandemic has affected the project.
“It was a little scary through the shutdown of the world but I think now timing is probably working in our favor,” Palmieri said. “Life will be back to normal soon. Hopefully this summer, we’ll be back to normal.”
“We had a few construction delays that put us 90 to 120 days behind with COVID,” he added.
There was very little activity for tenants early on during the pandemic. “But there’s been tons of activity in the last 60 days… now as we’re close to being done and with more optimism with the vaccine and the numbers (of COVID cases) starting to taper.”
“We’re talking to several others who are close to pulling the trigger to making a decision,” Palmieri said.
Potential tenants showing interest in Palo Verde include: a wine tasting group for a top floor, corner location with a balcony; a family law firm; a coffee shop; a boutique gym; other medical users; and a barber shop. They also hope to attract a co-worker space with executive suites and a shared conference room.
A boutique grocery store with a prominent name around Austin is showing interest as well. “It’d be cool if we get them,” Palmieri said.
There won’t be any other full-service restaurants like Vaqueros since there is not enough parking to accommodate others, he said, but there may be a higher end sandwich shop.
Vaqueros is the anchor tenant at Palo Verde and this will be its second location, 1801 S. Capital of Texas HWY is its original site. The owners of Vaqueros also own the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.
“Vaqueros is (now) more than twice the size than it originally planned with over 5,300-square-feet and over 1,000-square-feet of covered patio space, lawn area, outdoor dining,” Palmieri said.
Dentist Bonner Morren is opening Austin Dental Co. (see story in this edition) and KB&T LLC has leased 2,700-square-feet for a nail salon spa. Both leases were signed more than a year ago.
“We’re being strategic about what users go there. We want users that benefit the community. We want the community to use the center and make sure it’s a success,” Palmieri said.
The Palo Verde owners hope to create a family friendly space where people want to hang out and enjoy the common areas with benches, tables and water features. “We think we’ll win some architectural awards for its design,” he said.
“It’s a really nice, warm environment. It has a really inviting, cool ambience with outdoor spaces,” said Palmieri, who says that differentiates it from other retail centers in Steiner Ranch and the area.
The site also has a 10,000-square-foot pad and a 3,500-square-foot pad for a future drive through.
Palmieri, who lived in River Place a long time and now lives off of City Park Road, has worked on other local projects including the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse 12 years ago.
With that project they saw a “huge need. It’s been an unbelievable success and a great project. And this is going to be another,” Palmieri said. “We live in the area and will be using it.”