That summer clearance sale that’s been going on at the Bookstop in the Alabama Theater Shopping Center on South Shepherd is uh, final. The store will be closing for good on September 15th. The new Barnes & Noble in the River Oaks Shopping Center on West Gray will be opening the next day (a bit sooner than was announced earlier), but no unsold books from the Bookstop location will be making the trip north.
So what happens to the Alabama Theater after then?
A new tenant has not been found, said Brooke Harvey, leasing director for Weingarten Realty Investors, which owns the River Oaks and Alabama Shepherd shopping centers where both of the old marquee theaters are located.
Until then, he can’t speculate about how the cavernous, art deco interior, which retains its balcony and terraced first floor, might be used going forward.
“We love the building. We’re just leasing it as is,” Harvey said.
“We have no plans to make any changes. You just won’t be buying books in there.”
That sign advertising up to 13,000 sq. ft. of space available for lease in the shopping center has been up for about a year now. Of course, if you just got rid of all those annoying staircases inside the old theater and jammed a new mezzanine in there, you might be able to come close to doubling that figure. Or you could just chop the thing up into a bunch of smaller spaces. And how about a build-out allowance?
Meanwhile, Weingarten apparently is busy enough already selling off a good chunk of its other Houston-area properties and trying to find tenants for the rest of its newly constructed River Oaks Shopping Center space. Harvey tells the Chronicle‘s Robin Foster that the company has no current plans to scrape and rebuild any more of the River Oaks center.
- Bookstop to close, reopen at West Gray [Houston Chronicle]
- Steeplechase Shopping Center Changes Hands [CoStar Group]
- When Will the Alabama Bookstop Stop? [Swamplot]
- Weingarten Warehouse Sale [Swamplot]
- River Oaks Shopping Center coverage [Swamplot]
Photos: Swamplot inbox