STAFFORD, Texas (KTRK) -- As construction continues on the Grid in Stafford, so does anticipation for the opening of the retail and entertainment center, on the site of the old Texas Instruments campus.
While most people are licking their chops over the coming of In-N-Out Burger, the California burger chain isn't the only big-name business to sign up for the new complex, located off the Southwest Freeway between Kirkwood and W. Airport.
Whiskey Cake Café, Drive Shack, a movie theater and brewery are also in the blueprints for the 192-acre development.
The Grid is expected to make Stafford an entertainment destination.
The city of Stafford gave the developer $18 million in tax abatements and infrastructure reimbursements.
Longtime mayor of Stafford, Leonard Scarcella, said it's the first time the city has given a penny to a business.
Scarcella voted against it, but the rest of the council approved the measure.
"The decision has been made, the ink is dried, so there's no going back. There was an old movie, Errol Flynn said, 'Well boys, the grave testifies to that, there's no turning back.'"
This location was once home to the city's biggest employer, but Texas Instruments closed down its production facility in 2011 and the space has been empty ever since.
Opening in 2021, The Grid will include apartments, hotels and shops.
"They claim it's going to transform Stafford and I'm also hopeful of that. We know that with 2,400 units of apartments, we're going to have 5,000 people coming into our city," said Scarcella.
For Stafford residents, the opening can't come soon enough.
"I work less than a mile that way and it's a desert. So, this is definitely a welcome addition," said Rick Delavega.
The project will include a rooftop patio, sidewalk cafes and pop-up shops.
According to the Grid's website, the apartments could open as early as the spring of 2019.