Over the past year, construction crews have built the steel skeletons of what will soon become a new Vista Market grocery store and shopping center that are transforming a vacant lot on the Eastside.
Miguel Pina, president of Vista Market, an El Paso-based grocery chain, and brothers Armando and Oscar Pina plan to test a new store concept that has a smaller footprint at the new development.
They also aim to make the center, located on a busy corner at George Dieter and Montwood, walkable with shopping and restaurant space.
“If this works, then there’s plenty of opportunities,” Miguel Pina said. “I think the retail sector is changing, and we have to change with the trend. That’s what we are doing here.”
For now, the development is called The Market Square and is a little more than 20,000-square-feet. It is expected to open by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.
When completed, the new Vista Market will be the eighth location in El Paso since the chain was founded in the early 1990s. The grocery store is known for its produce from local farmers and for its popularity among Hispanic shoppers.
Plans show the market will be a little more than 10,000 square feet, which is a little less than a third the size of the Zaragoza location. Pina said they plan to have fresh produce or a meat market with a tortilleria for fresh tortillas.
Pina said he is not worried about competition from the nearby Albertsons and Target. The densely populated neighborhood, he said, will support another grocery.
Pina didn’t disclose any of the center’s future tenants but said restaurateurs and retailers are ready to move into the space once it’s finished.
“It’s a good location,” he said.
Pina gave El Paso Inc. a tour of the development last Thursday. Construction crews were adding details to the center’s main entrance and taking measurements of the buildings.
“It’ll be something different,” Pina said.
Shopping centers and new houses have sprouted up all over the Eastside and far Eastside as investors look to serve the growing number of families in the fast-growing area.
Adam Frank, president of El Paso retail developer River Oaks Properties, said he sees 1,000 new lots developed every year on the Eastside. The company has built dozens of projects in the area and is wrapping up a new shopping center on Zaragoza.
“It’s taken us a while but the retail is finally catching up to all that new (housing) growth,” Frank told El Paso Inc. in a July interview.
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Aaron Montes at email@example.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105, or (915) 777-4154.