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Lightbridge Academy Coming to Shops at Katy Reserve

(KATY) - New Jersey-based Lightbridge Academy has selected the Shops at Katy Reserve in Fort Bend County as a launchpad for its Texas expansion, signing a 10-year lease.

Shops at Katy Reserve

Lightbridge Academy’s first franchisee in Texas has leased 9,282 square feet. It is the first of three locations to be locked in by franchisees Samit Darne, who has owned and operated multiple franchise businesses, including Marble Slab Creamery, Graze Craze and Petland, and Bhautik Patel and Premal Dhebariva, both experienced operators of Lightbridge Academy centers in New Jersey.

“We had two competing proposals, so the franchisees had to move quickly and show they were interested in the space long-term,” says Lara Lee LaMendola, broker associate with locally based NewQuest Properties.

Lightbridge Academy has more than 140 early education and child-care centers open, under construction or in development in the U.S., primarily in the Northeast. Houston is deemed a prime growth market, with 30 to 35 centers on its radar screen. In addition to Katy, the chain is targeting Cypress, The Woodlands, Atascocita and Pearland.

The 99 percent-leased Shops at Katy Reserve is located at the crossroads of FM 1463 and Spring Green Boulevard. The previous tenant in the space was a daycare provider who opened in 2020 and was upended by the pandemic.

“It’s essentially brand-new space that was practically turnkey,” LaMendola said. “Having a daycare in the Shops at Katy Reserve helps the community.”

Lightbridge Academy has been named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for seven years running and is marking its second year on Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies.


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