Construction Set To Begin on the Luxury Jewel Box, the Galleria’s Chi-Chi Pad Site


As of December 1, Galleria tenants and workers who park in the Blue Garage fronting Westheimer (labeled “Construction Zone” in the above site plan) will have to find another place to stash their rides. Explains an official “communiqué from the management office” of Unilev, operators of Galleria Tower II: “This relocation is to due to impending construction by Simon Properties of a free-standing retail structure that will be erected on the surface lot directly above the Blue Garage.” That structure will be going on the 14,000-sq.-ft. pad site in front of the portals to the Cheesecake Factory; it’ll be known colloquially as the “luxury jewel box.” Simon Properties intends the building to house up to 3 high-end retailers.

A user going by the name of JJ18 posted these renderings of the proposed structure to HAIF back in March:



Whereas most mall parking lot pad sites play host to the likes of Chili’s or Olive Garden — and even the Galleria’s lot is famously adorned with a (separately owned) Zone D’Erotica — that is not the future Simon envisions for the LJB.


Crafting the jewel box is expected to take 8 months. according to the Unilev communiqué. A separate notice from garage operator AmeriPark indicates that “parking ambassadors” deployed onsite for the first 10 days will convey exiled motorists to replacement parking structures. The LJB is part of a much larger Galleria revamp project announced last year.


Site plan: AmeriPark. Renderings: HAIF user JJ18.


21 Comment

  • just in case you needed another reason to avoid the Galleria during the month of December

  • Well, I won’t be visiting it, but it will be pretty. Better than Zone d’Erotica to welcome visitors to our city.

    How about we throw up some power lines in front of it?!

  • Simon just doesn’t get it. From the desecration of Johnson’s Marshall Field’s wall, to the cheap glitz of Galleria IV (What the fuck is that absurd water shower fountain. The ultimate tacky cheap “feature”). Now this “Jewell Box” aka mini strip center, so we can bleed every dime out of Hines masterpiece of retail. People who go to the Galleria DON’T want to go outside to shop, it should have somehow been connected to the Galleria not some shitty little box. Kudos of the Jewell Box Bullshit, but if it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

  • Not impressed at all by what is basically a single story strip center. They should have turned those parking lots into multi story high rises or even midrises with office or residential with ground floor retail connected to the galleria. I just don’t see how single story retail in the middle of a parking lot can be the highest and best use for this prime property.

  • This will not save Simon from The River Oaks District taking away the top end of their market. Agree with Shannon on how Simon is ruining the Galleria’s architecture and upping the tackiness level.

  • Maybe they’ll open the Bork store there and not where Saks now stands?

  • This Jewell Box needs to be more Tiffany less Kay’s. Just a colossal disappointment and total and complete misread of the Galleria shopper. A mistake Simon has been making since they acquired this retail icon from Hines. I’m sure Mr. Hines must wince when he enters Simons bastardization of his creation, if he ever goes at all.

  • personally I think the Galleria screwed up by having mid level tenants the front of the Galleria (ia: Forever 21 or Kono Grill) -these type of establishments give a lower end feel or suburban mall feel

  • also, from the swamplot pics above it show Cartier in the ‘jewel box’ but from an earlier article from May it shows Cartier in the new ‘River Oaks District’ center along w Tom Ford, Hermes and Dior – anyone know what’s really going to happen? Any updates on the fake river oaks disc center?

  • Yes, the galleria is doing awful. This guys is an idiot.

  • Have never understood the allure of The Galleria even in its Hines glory days. Three completely different phases with no design congruency or rhyme or reason. Galleria III even 25 years ago looked like the ugly stepchild.
    it could never compete with Northpark Mall in Dallas for it’s integrated design aesthetic and incorporation of art in the public spaces. At least Hines learned from its mistakes when designing the Dallas Galleria. As for Simon and those godawful hanging billboards and kiosk alleys, you might as well be in some tacky suburban mall that would consider Dillard’s it top tier anchor. This jewel box just adds to the incongruous tackiness that Galleria has become.

  • We all know the Galleria is one of if not the most profitable mall in the country, no one debts that’s fact. Simon bought an iconic mall, the very symbol of the upscale retail shopping center so even their poor stewardship of this retail behemoth isn’t going to effect its iconic brand. Still, we can lament the state of the mall currently. It’s like putting Lynn Wyatt in a track suit from Wal Mart, she’s still Lynn Wyatt, but we all know she should be in Doir.

  • I’ve always thought the Zone D’Erotica placement was one of the most charming things about Houston.

    Welcome to Houston: you own it, you use it, however you want. Other cities would be finding a way to declare the parcel blighted at Simon’s behest, but in Houston that would be rightly considered outrageous.

  • I don’t think most of you get it. It’s the beginning of what will eventually be a mass exodus of luxury retails to separate themselves from the hoard of peasants shopping at the Buckle, Journey’s, and Macy’s.

    They have to compete with RIver Oaks District now, and don’t be shocked when you see more surface lots disappear to move other ultra luxury stores out of the mall and into their own bubble.

  • Yes, nothing can compare with the design perfection of Nasher’s Northpark. The perfect mall, no doubt. Thankfully the Nasher’s never sold it.

  • Oooooo – let me slip into my Manolo Blahniks and tuck my matched teacup Chihuahuas into my Birkin bag for a lovely stroll amongst the movers and shakers!

  • Shannon – Everyone knows that Lynn Wyatt is a Chanel woman. Sure, she might go with Dior once or twice, but she’ll be thinking about Chanel the whole time.

  • More “high end” retail cluster phucking from Simon. They have so screwed up what potentially could have been a way more visually appealing revamp. But,alas, Simon took the safe route. Simon is catering to different retail customers: hence the retail mix.. I for one , rarely go the Galleria- mainly due to the traffic.The panels in canopy over the Ice Skating Rink NEED to be replaced with TRIPLE paned Low E Industrial strength canopy panels. I stopped at the Starbucks on the 3rd level overlooking the ice: it was quite warm under the umbrellas. That was in August- not acceptable ,Simon Property Group…

  • Lol, touché

  • “People who go to the Galleria DON’T want to go outside to shop”

    Considering the fact that there’s a parking garage underneath it, I doubt anyone who doesn’t want to will have to venture outside.

  • Guys let’s face the facts…..the galleria no longer caters to Houston’s upper crust. Going their, especially on weekends is like going to a third world country train station. It’s very very….uh, shall we say ghetto? Is is typically packed with middle or lower middle class packs of people with their off spring in tow. And, of course the level of shops / stores has gone down hill…and fast (forever 21 ? Really?) . People of class and distinction will avoid it like the plague when River Oaks District opens and stay inside the loop. Who wants to get mugged at the trashy Galleria.