NewQuest Games Out Expansion Plan in NE Austin As Chuy’s Breaks Ground in Townwest Commons

Texas icon Chuy’s has just broken ground in NewQuest Properties’ Townwest Commons, jumpstarting the developer’s vision to pump up the retail/restaurant offerings in the fastest-growing suburb in Austin’s northeastern tier.

Chuy’s is developing NewQuest’s last pad site along TX 79 in the 250,000-sf Townwest Commons, a 100%-leased neighborhood-essential center in Hutto. The 5,412-sf restaurant is slated to open in Q1.

“Chuy’s will be the first new full-service restaurant in Hutto in some time. It’s an exciting launch for our plan to expand Townwest Commons,” says Josh Friedlander, leasing director and development partner for the Houston-based commercial real estate firm.

By 2026, NewQuest anticipates the delivery of another 100,000 sf of retail and restaurants in the 35-acre Townwest Commons, strategically situated at the gateway to the city’s strongest residential growth. Preleasing is underway on the next expansion wave, which will be anchored by EVO Entertainment.

“There’s been strong interest in our future space. The area really is ready for more full-service and fast-casual restaurants,” says Friedlander, who partners with David Meyers, managing director of leasing and development partner, to lease the project.

The 53,500-sf EVO Entertainment will be situated directly across an interior road from Chuy’s 1.53-acre development site. The block also will house a 22,540-sf junior anchor and 15,000 sf, give or take, for three to-be-selected restaurants.

Townwest Commons, located at TX 79 and CR 119, sits at the epicenter of more than $1 billion of development within a two-mile radius. Less than nine miles away is Samsung’s under-construction $17 billion factory in Taylor.

Placer.ai most recently pegged Townwest Commons’ foot traffic at 2.3 million visits in the past year. Within a five-mile radius, population has spiked 40% since 2020, creating a trade area with 128,000 residents who earn, on average, $157,000 per year.

“Townwest Commons rarely has a vacancy. The last one was a year ago and there were five retailers in line for that one space,” Friedlander says.

Word leaked out last fall about Chuy’s entering the Hutto market. The legendary Texas chain started in 1982 in an abandoned barbecue restaurant in Austin and has grown to 102 in 16 states stretching as far north as the Ohio Valley.

“It’s taken a while to get to the groundbreaking,” Friedlander says, “but we finally got there.”

NewQuest Properties, founded in 2001, is a privately owned, full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in development, land brokerage, leasing, tenant representation, investment sales and property management services. Headquartered in Houston, NewQuest owns a portfolio encompassing more than 100 retail and mixed-use projects exceeding $2.3 billion in value and provides leasing services for more than 12 million square feet of commercial space in Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia and throughout the U.S.