Houston-Based Ybarra Investments Completes Sale of 115-Acre Conroe Waterfront Center

TAD Conroe Ventures LLC has sold a key tract in the 115-acre Conroe Waterfront Center to Ybarra Investments Inc. to develop a Gringo’s restaurant in a top-ranked city that’s gained national acclaim for record growth.

The 7,500-sf restaurant will be developed on a 2.14-acre development-ready pad site, one of the few available tracts with Interstate 45 frontage in Conroe. The city’s stellar growth has catapulted it into the limelight this year as one of Rocket Mortgage’s Top 15 fastest-growing cities and SmartAssets’ leading boomtown in Texas and a third-place spot at the national level in a tie with city in Idaho.

“We had five or six restaurateurs actively pursuing this site in Conroe Waterfront Center,” says Neal Thomson, vice president of NewQuest Properties. He and colleague Brad LyBrand, senior vice president, are marketing the project for the Houston-based developer.

Ybarra Investments is planning to break ground in Q2 2022, anticipating the opening of its 16th Gringo’s at year’s end or early 2023. The restaurateur owns a second Tex-Mex brand, Jimmy Changas, which has four locations in Greater Houston.

“Steve Ybarra jumped at the opportunity when he saw there were so few sites available with Interstate 45 frontage in the Conroe market. He’d been seeking a presence in North Houston for some time,” says Jon Jamison, vice president of NewQuest Properties, who represented the buyer.

The master-planned development is tucked between I-45 and the banks of the 20,000-acre Lake Conroe, the city’s foremost recreational amenity. Gringo’s will be adjacent to the recently opened Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

“Gringo’s is a perfect mix with Cheddar’s. We are trying to diversify the types of restaurants that are there,” Thomson explains.

In addition to Cheddar’s, Conroe Waterfront Center is home to 300 high-end apartments, which are in various stages of delivery. A second multifamily project is poised to break ground. The remaining 35 acres are being marketed for additional residential, retail and hospitality uses. The land neighbors Conroe Marketplace, a 289,322-sf power center featuring six anchors and only 4,000 sf of vacant inline space.

“Sales of existing retail and restaurants back up the need for expanding brands to be in this market,” Thomson says. “Activity’s been stronger this year than ever because development is pushing north from the Woodlands.”

Underwriting Conroe’s strong growth is its proximity to ExxonMobil’s 385-acre corporate campus, the 2,000-acre Grand Central Park, which is master-planned for 2,600 residential units, and Howard Hughes Corp.’s 2,000-acre housing vision.

“Conroe clearly is situated in the path of progress. The density is there now,” Thomson says, “and it’s only going to get denser.”

In addition, NewQuest Properties has announced the recent transactions for south Texas:


Conroe 45 Drennen LLC has acquired 2.14 acres at the intersection of Interstate 45 and Drennen Road, Conroe, from TAD Conroe Ventures LLC. Brad LyBrand and Neal Thomson of NewQuest Properties represented the seller. Jon Jamison and Hugh Ruggles of NewQuest Properties represented the buyer.

BHVA Real Estate Holdings LLC has acquired two acres at the intersection of West Riley and Almeda School roads, Houston, from Thao Hoang. Brad LyBrand of NewQuest Properties represented the seller. Matt Rogers of Oxford Partners – Houston LLC represented the buyer.

Periyar Dharma LLC has acquired 1.51 acres at the intersection of West Sam Houston Parkway S and Beechnut Street, Houston, from Credtx LLC. Austen Baldridge and Andrew Alvis of NewQuest Properties represented the seller. Elizabeth Clampitt and Simi Jaggi of JLL represented the buyer.


Anodyne Pain & Wellness has leased 2,774 sf of retail space in Shoppes at Grand Crossing, located at the intersection of Interstate 10 and the Grand Parkway/TX 99, Houston, from ALLE TX 1099 LLC. Nick Ramsey and Kevin Sims of NewQuest Properties represented the landlord. Brian Ashby of CBRE represented the tenant.