If Freeport officials want to sell prospective business owners on opening shop in the city, they can send them to Cason and James McDonald. They are believers in the community’s promise.

The couple behind Barcadia downtown is finishing up renovations to open their next venture, a convenience store at 903 W. Second St. The building between On the River and Port Café has housed a series of convenience stores in the past, but the McDonalds saw the need for one that is more of a small grocery, they said.

That’s why they invested in the new Stop N Shop.

“We noticed a need in the community for a convenience store that offers more than just cigarettes and alcohol,” they said via email. “Our store will offer tons of items for everyday uses, such as ice, alcohol, snacks, drinks, canned goods, grocery items, vapes, candy and much more. We will also carry a small selection of bait and tackle products.”

Having lived not far from there as recently as a few years ago, that part of Freeport has been a bit of a food desert. A convenience store that will spare residents a trip to a big grocery store or Dollar General will be really … well, convenient.

They started remodeling the store about a year ago, they said, and after putting in all new shelving, started stocking merchandise on it Tuesday. The outside also has a new look.

“We began remodeling in the summer of 2022 and completely redid the entire interior as well as a custom mural on the outside of the building that shows a little bit of Freeport’s history,” they said.

With the McDonalds involved, it’s a good bet the store won’t be there and gone as some similar businesses have been.

“We are thrilled to open another business in Freeport and look forward to opening in the next couple of weeks,” they said.


Soon is a relative term. That makes a “Coming Soon” sign a fluid target; it could mean a matter of days, weeks or months with a lot of variables at play for when soon actually arrives.

In the case of Manvel Town Center, soon is coming up on a decade.

The major retail project along Highway 6 on the west side of Highway 288 has been creeping toward reality since we first mentioned it in our annual “Look Ahead” story that published Jan. 1, 2014. The prospect of a grocery store anchoring the 273-acre retail development has had Manvel residents antsy to see some progress, with the weathering of the “Watch Our Progress” sign the only major change they had seen in quite a while.

Now when people drive by, they can see walls going up.

Commercial building has been affected by a lot of things since the Weitzman Group first presented its plans for Manvel Town Center. Negotiations with grocery chains took some time before H-E-B signed on in mid-2020. Infrastructure had to be run to the site. Materials were in short supply amid the Southeast Texas building boom, then the pandemic arrived.

After breaking ground in June 2021, the site saw another lag before foundations started being poured. Manvel signed off on final plans in January and serious work began. Now the sound of construction equipment can drown out the people saying the project would never happen.

When finished, Manvel-area residents won’t have to drive to Angleton, Alvin, Pearland or Sugar Land to get their groceries. They also will have an array of other storefronts that will keep tax dollars in the city.

Manvel Town Center is designed to accommodate up to 1 million square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurant space, making it one of the largest open-area retail developments in the Houston metro area, Weitzman said.

Throughout the decade of stops and starts, Weitzman never lost faith in making the development happen or that it will be a success, Senior Vice President JoBeth Prochaska said during a luncheon last fall.

“If you look at the tremendous growth that happened in Brazoria County, there is inevitably a retail shortage here,” she said. “You go look at the housing growth, you go look at what has been done, you look at volumes in Pearland, volumes in Lake Jackson and Clute, you just see that there’s a real need for more retail. We’re very optimistic.”

Michael Morris is managing editor of The Facts. If you have a question about a possible business moving in or out, or an existing business expanding or changing things up, email michael.morris@thefacts.com.

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