Available Soon: More Front Row Seats for the West End Walmart

Liking the views you’ve seen of the new Walmart coming to the former Trinity Industries steel fabrication property at Yale and Koehler in the West End? Well, one of them could be yours! A few more of those front-row townhouses lining the property’s southern edge will soon be available, reports 11 News reporter Shern-Min Chow.

“Sitting on the couch to the fence line is roughly 55 feet,” brags Anne Marie Leahey, who says she’ll be selling her 1,167-sq.-ft. townhome on Center Plaza Dr. soon. Chow sounds impressed:

Her home is beautiful. The inside is stunning. As she pulled the bay window curtains back, it was clear the view outside would also be eye-catching. Her home looks out directly onto the site of the new Walmart.

Leahey, a Bonner Street Homeowners Association board member, was already thinking about moving before she heard of the new development, but has since decided to relinquish her home now instead of waiting. That’ll give some more dedicated Walmart fan a chance to enjoy the complete construction process from close range. She tells Chow she regularly gets calls from neighbors asking her if they should move, too.


Representatives of Walmart, who visited Leahey in her home, have promised to line the fence she’ll look out on with trees. But the new 151,000-sq.-ft. big box store won’t block the regular view of the trains that pass between the fence line and Leahey’s living room daily.

Photo of dining area, 3818 Center Plaza Dr., with view to Walmart site: HAR

25 Comment

  • Run for your lives!!!!!!!!!

  • Not to mention the lighting. I was in the desert in Arizona. Beautiful spot, way off in the distance (and seriously, it was far) over a mountain, you could see the glow of a walmart parking lot.

  • I ran to the light but it was just a Walmart. Then I got mugged.

  • Trammell Crow built apartments next to the Target on S. Main, they did alright. Marty Fein built apartments in between a freeway and a Target on Sawyer, and they were also well-received by the market. Townhomes and condos were built next to the Target on San Felipe just inside of 610; the world did not end.

    I honestly don’t see what all the hubub is about.

  • Oh no’s….. My house overlooks a parking lot!?!? You wanted urban; well it’s all yours now. Up there with the people who built next to the railroad tracks and now want to complain about the noise. Ahem, whiners…

  • What is funny is that these people think by selling now they won’t have to fight the ‘Wal Mart’ question. Anyone with 1/2 a brain (I understand there are many out there with far less than that) will be aware of the Wal Mart being built. I hope none of these people that bought at a great price next to the empty lot need to sell anytime soon. They might as well accept the fact that they are going to be landlords soon, because renting the places is about their only choice.

  • She has a train track right next to her that is only going to get busier in the future, and she’s worried about the Walmart hurting the possibility of selling this place?

  • What’s is funny is that many of the people that are talking about moving because a walmart is being build, had originally bought a home overlooking a steel manufacturing plant. Apparently a Walmart and parking lot is way worse to look at.

  • Townhouse?
    Looks more like a garage with apartment/gameroom above to me. Look on the bright side, her renters will save on utilities as the lights will never be used.

  • One word: blockbusting. Sort of like a hobby for some in Houston. “The ____ are coming…”

    Individuals can do it. Realtors cannot. Well, realtors can. But they get in big trouble if they get caught.

    This time it’s “The Wal-Mart is coming…”

    Like gypsies some are. Forever moving. Because someone else is moving in.

    So move to Southampton amongst your own kind.

  • My old house backed onto a taxi company. When the weather was mild and I went to bed with the window open in my upstairs bedroom, I’d wake up to the gentle sound of the dispatcher: “Benny! I got a pickup for you!”

    Which was mostly just entertaining, unlike THE GREAT BIG TRAIN THAT MAKES MORE NOISE THAN A WALMART.

    People are weird.

  • Is the picture above the story supposed to show the house about which Shern-Min Chow said “Her home is beautiful.”???? Because I’m just not seeing it. It looks like any other hastily-thrown-up (take that any way you want) craptastic townshack that’s going to melt in the first torrential downpour. Or is that just the garage and the garage apartment above it, and there’s a real house somewhere else not pictured?

  • @Googlemaster: No, but it’s in the same complex, on the same street, and has a similar view. Leahey’s home doesn’t appear to be listed for sale yet.

  • Did the homeowner happen to mention to Channel 11 that she bought her home in 2005 for a price lower than other townhomes in her complex because the “eye catching” view from her window was an operating steel mill? Instead of complaining, you would think she would be glad that the walmart has offered to add landscaping and use a more restrictive lighting plan than the city requires to minimize the impact on her and her neighbors. And, didn’t they spend millions to tear down the old steel mill and remove hazardous waste from the site?

  • Wish I lived in walking distance to my futue job, but I may have to ride my bike. I’m so glad that this is going in and we can have true diversity in our neighborhood..we need the jobs people. Compared to a bar with a noisy crowd all night throwing beer cans, this is starting to sounds like your rich uncle leaving you a million dollars and you just fussing that it wasn’t more. I know it is trendy to fuss about walmart, but over all they are better than average in the way they operate. Not perfect, but hardly the evil empire that some want to say.

  • Ok, bear with me. Doesn’t the Heights start north of I-10? How it is that they have so much influence on developement outside their neighborhood? I’m not being facetious, I’m honestly asking. I’m no expert on traffic patterns and such, but was there this much objection when the Target on Sawyer was going in and how has it negatively impacted the Heights?

  • I actually don’t mind the Wal-mart coming and look forward to shopping there. I’ll save a lot of money buying my kids things there and I don’t care where it was made if it keeps more money in my pocket.

    BUT! I do worry about this type of thing happening there. I know, I know, it can happen anywhere, but per the studies that I’ve read, it seems to happen more at Wal-Marts. To Wal-Mart – have more visible security and all will be well.


    How can those people complain about the view/light issue considering what they were looking at all this time? Unreal. Go move to the burbs.

  • Margaret,

    Honestly, if this was across 610 from the Heights, or across 45 from the Heights, most Heights residents wouldn’t even be aware of it, since they (we) rarely venture north of 610 or East of 45. But since they (we) drive past this site on a pretty regular basis on the way to parts of town that Heights residents actually go to, it’s a big deal.
    After all, we’ll have to drive right past this place on the way to the new Whole Foods. :)

  • A big box may actually help the area. There’s a whole lot of blight through that part of town. In the end, developers (not urban planners, architects or politicians) are what make the built environment happen, especially in Houston.

  • move or rent? well, right now ‘nothing’ is selling…

  • I like the Christmas tree.

  • What a cruel fate that has fallen on Ms. Leahey. What was once a beautiful view of a steel fabrication plant (when not blocked by rail cars with double stacked shipping containers) will be ruined by Wal-mart. Oh the inhumanity! Curses on Wal-mart.

  • Not exactly a better homes and garden qualifier. If anything, I would think a Walmart would up the selling price for what looks like an upscale garage apartment.

  • Hopefully she realized that there was a large vacant lot next to her before she signed the contract. Normally an industrial site would be a good reason to pay a lower price…and let’s hope she did. IMO never buy next to something vacant and assume that it will always be vacant or that it will be developed as you might wish. Now if the steel yard was there would she be a happy camper…nope, but she would not have purchased the home. I don’t know how people think anymore.

  • I hope they make a wal-mart on every corner in the HEIGHTS…I wonder what the yuppies will do then..(sarcasm)Oh no? another Wal-mart? More Brown People? Will this development make the Heights even uglier than it already is??? Whatever shall we do??