APARTMENTS AND RETAIL FOR WESTHEIMER AND MONTROSE CORNER? NOT UNTIL HALF PRICE BOOKS AND SPEC’S SCOOT The owner of the once-Art Deco but now slathered-with-stucco shopping center at the southwest corner of Westheimer and Montrose says it’s willing to wait 7 to 10 years for the center’s leases to run out before building something new on the site. Unless, of course, they can negotiate an early exit (or time-out while construction takes place) for the Half Price Books, Spec’s, Papa Johns, 3-6-9 China Bistro and Jack in the Box currently on the site. If they can’t buy out the tenants, PM Realty’s Wade Bolin tells Shaina Zucker, they’ll start leasing out the still-vacant spaces in the former Tower Community Center, which the company calls the Westmont Shopping Center. “PM Realty Group did not share early design plans,” Zucker adds, “but several sources confirmed the mixed-use structure could include residential with retail on the ground floor.” [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Photo: PM Realty
For the sake of urban quality and development in Montrose, do not let this window of opportunity go by. This “shopping center” won’t be missed.
To me, this seems to be a side effect of the Fed’s “cheap money” policies. The developer purchased this property, but his loan expenses are so low he’d rather hold onto this dump for “7 to 10 years” instead of buying out the tenants and building a new project he can cash out on in 24-32 months. Looks like to PM Realty, the time value of money is essentially zero.
7-10 years? Fantastic.
Translation: current tenants have murderously cheap rents and would not leave for a million bucks. Buyer is trying to play hard ball by threatening to let the property sit until the leases are up unless tenants take a crappy buyout offer.
Prediction: Buyer will eventually pay what it takes to get tenants out once they realize that no one will want to pay market rate to be in that old dog of a strip mall.
Very nice and convenient liquor store and bookstore. The latter are fairly precious these days, but I guess most folks would rather see unaffordable apartments/condos, ‘cool’ and unaffordable restaurants and shops, and enhanced traffic.
Yes, two quality stores surrounded by concrete wasteland.
Would be great if they could just tear it down then build up their high end apartments and have first floor retail with the Specs and Half Price Books! (wishful thinking)
The center is ugly as heck, but I sure like the tenants.
This incredible location is completely wasted on the current tenants. Really people? You are bemoaning the loss of a used book store, a liquor outlet store and sub-par restaurants?
If PM Realty waits another 10 years to redevelop this site, Houston’s boom may be over. I’d be embarrassed to own this property in it’s current condition. Apartments aren’t great – I’d prefer to see a great high rise hotel or premium retail space – but anything is better than what’s there.
To Wade Bolin of PM Realty : good luck with leasing out any of the LONG vacant spaces in the center.The spaces are EMPTY for a reason- most other businesses DO NOT want to be there,dude. Be prepared to pay a wad of dough to buy tenants out of their VALID leases ….@Montrose Neighbor: the economics probably wouldn’t support a ” great high rise hotel or a premium retail space ” at that location. In a more upscale area: Highland Village / West Avenue / Galleria /Post Oak /Uptown areas – YES. The Bohemian Montrose -probably not… But we’ll see what happens…
It’s all just part of the negotiation, folks. Both sides have a certain amount of leverage. The tenants knows the owner wants them out. The landlord knows he can wait them out, at a cost. Money. Egos. It’s all part of the fun.
Whenever it gets built, I hope PM Realty pulls out all the stops. The new development will be a major piece of Monrose for the next 50 years.
“Really people? You are bemoaning the loss of a used book store?”
Yes. Very much. How many other bookstores are there in Montrose, after all?
Here come the complainers. They all love everything that needs to be torn down. These investors have said they are committed to keeping their project appropriate for Montrose. Embrace this; they could do whatever they want to do. This is an eyesore and is unworthy of a city as great as Houston. Move on half price books. I for one am looking forward to a new development in that area and am hopeful that it will ultimately reduce crime in the area. I’m Also hopeful that someone will buy up the old gay bars and tear them down. It would be great to see a “gay” area in Houston that doesn’t look like an armpit’s fart.
I still think Ashby should relocate here. If the trial takes 7 years (including inevitable appeals), then we’re right on schedule.
How long are we Houstonians going to stand by and let bookstores push us around? How long will we continue to let “reading” and “literacy” stand in the way of progress? People who read books are just a bunch of complainers and whiners!
Sure, tear down a p.o.s. strip mall and build quality apartments with high end retail across the street from… a crappy gas station, a Burger King, and an even more sketchy furniture store.