See what’s going on in Zachary’s Americana development

Americana in Zachary. (Collin Richie)

The massive traditional neighborhood development Americana in Zachary got its start more than a decade ago.

That expansion shows no signs of slowing.

Just last month, Level Homes purchased 63 lots in Americana in two transactions worth roughly $4.6 million. Developer Charles Landry tells Daily Report Americana has more than 600 residential lots left to develop. But additional initiatives are underway to add another restaurant, and grocery store.

Americana is a $500 million, 413-acre TND with over 800 lots anchored by a 26,000-square-foot YMCA that opened in the fall of 2013. Developer John Engquist invested in the property in 2007. 

“As is always the case with developments like this, you need a number of rooftops to create a demand for commercial development,” Landry says. “We’ve really hit the tipping point for that.”

The group annexed property across the street north of Mount Pleasant Boulevard. Landry says they are going through the entitlement process to get 92 more lots and four commercial tracts approved for development.

As of last week, Americana comprises more than 250 homes and 60 apartments, representing a total investment of over $300 million.

“There’s quite a bit of activity and we’re enthusiastic about coming to a conclusion on many of these efforts that we’re considering right now,” he says. “The residential piece is strong. That has spawned more activity on the commercial side.”

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, Agave Blue Tequila & Tacos and Lit Pizza are major restaurant tenants in Americana. Kidz Karousel, an early childhood development center whose founder, Tessa Holloway, was one of Business Report’s 2024 Influential Women in Business honorees, is also a major tenant. 

The development hopes to add another restaurant soon with one tenant under a purchase agreement, Landry says. Americana is also finalizing a purchase agreement for a grocery store.

The pandemic has changed the way developments handle transactions with potential commercial tenants.

“Part of what we’re going through is kind of the result of COVID,” Landry explains. “Before, if a restaurant came to you and said I’d like to buy or lease a piece of your development, you’d be highly enthusiastic. We’re highly careful because many businesses, particularly restaurants, went out of business.”

Through a partnership with BREC, Americana completed a nearly three-mile trail that loops around Mount Pleasant into the development.

Landry says Americana’s timeline for future residential development depends on interest rates. At current rates, it could take between 10 and 15 years to finish Americana. Should they dip to levels before the pandemic, however, completion could be achieved in 10 to 12 years.

“In an environment where a lot of developers who started with traditional neighborhood developments have abandoned them, we have not,” Landry says. “They’re very expensive because you have to put so many amenities in the front end. John has stayed the course, and now you see a lot more opportunities coming because he did so.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since original publication.