Coming to Bay City

Cottrell Investments breaks ground on East Bay Plaza


Spurred on by the growth being seen throughout Matagorda County, David Cottrell Investments, Inc. has begun construction on East Bay Plaza, a new shopping center that will be located at 6500 7th Street across from Schulman’s Amusement center.

“I like to work with small towns in Texas,” Cottrell said. “I was interested in the industry growth here in Bay City and I liked what I saw in Schulman’s Center. I have always liked to place my centers near entertainment centers such as that one. 

“I very much like Bay City and the county here and I have heard a lot of good things about this area,” Cottrell said. “With all the expansion of the refineries in the area, so I drove out and I liked the town a lot.”

Cottrell is hoping to have East Bay Plaza up and running by the Fall 2019, more specifically by September or October of this year. 

When Cottrell paid an early visit to Bay City, he fell in love with the city and what it had to offer. So much that when Cottrell was visiting Bay City, he noticed a center that was for sale. Cottrell purchased the Verizon Building.

“It was a way for me to enter this market and see what it was like,” Cottrell said. “I had an open space there for lease and was able to get a tenant in that space within four months of purchasing the building.”

Cottrell credited the work of Jessica Russell, executive director with the Bay City Community Development Corporation with helping Cottrell find a piece of land that worked for his center.

“Jessica was great to work with,” Cottrell said. “She was very helpful in this process and she educated me on this city. It is one thing to see if from the surface, but it’s another to dig in and she provided me with a lot of information on the area that was very helpful in the decision to locate here.”

Russell said the BCCDC is excited with the announcement of the East Bay Plaza.

“The Bay City Community Development Corporation (BCCDC) is excited that Mr. Cottrell recognizes Bay City’s growth potential and has decided to build here,” Russell said. “We welcome the retail and restaurant tenants he has secured and cannot wait to show them what Bay City has to offer. With our expanding industry and retail sectors, new school buildings, and diverse community Bay City is poised for positive growth.”

At that point, Cottrell decided the area was a good location to build a center and lease it out for new businesses to locate to the Bay City area.

Cottrell purchased the two plus acre property last year and then began working with an architect to design the center and broke ground on the property Wednesday, April 3. The design being used for the East Bay Plaza was designed especially for this site alone.

“I like to look at the terrain and fit a design that fits that market,” Cottrell said. 

With the plaza just beginning construction, Cottrell said more than half of the building has already been leased out for businesses including a Wild West BBQ restaurant, a fitness center, a coffee shop, a day spa and Cricket Wireless.

“We like to recruit tenants that compliment each other in our centers,” Cottrell said. “One will compliment the other but they don’t compete with each other. We look for deficiencies in a market and try to fill them. You have a great BBQ restaurant in this market but you only have one so they need some competition. 

Cottrell said he is thrilled to break ground on the East Bay Plaza and what it will have to offer the Bay City community.

“We are excited about being a part of this community,” Cottrell said. “This area is experiencing a big shift in jobs now with these refineries bringing in new employees all the time.”

Cottrell said the East Bay Plaza might be just the first of many projects he gets on the ground in Matagorda County.

“Normally in any county that I go to, after the first project is finished, I normally will do three or four more projects,” Cottrell said. “One normally begets another and I don’t plan on it but it just happens that way.”

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