Everyone’s Got a Space in the Parking Lot for the Shoppes at Memorial Heights

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, HoustonVisiting a business in the stucco-deco Shoppes at Memorial Heights and can’t figure out where to park? Don’t worry, management of the Studemont St. shopping center just south of Washington Ave has figured it all out for you. Just drive around until you see an empty space that happens to have the name of the store you’re going to spray-paint stenciled onto the parking surface. And maybe move your car before you even think about wandering into any adjacent shops, because otherwise that might cause some problems, okay?

Still confused? Recent visitor PoppyPetalled has provided a helpful diagram showing how the best principles of parking-lot planning have been applied to laying out the individual spaces assigned Happy Belly Studios, Sam’s Cafe, Beer Market Co., Absolve Wine Lounge, Sushi Tora, Urban Cleaners, Hair Desire, and other establishments at 920 Studewood St.:


Parking Spaces at Shoppes at Memorial Heights Shopping Center, 920 Studemont St., Memorial Heights, Houston

“It was not fun driving and sticking my head out the window to ensure that I parked in the correct spot,” she writes Swamplot. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a private lot with such specific parking for every single spot. (And it’s totally annoying.)”

Photos and diagram: PoppyPetalled

Look for the Spray Paint Stencils

25 Comment

  • (1) Bulldoze that entire parking lot
    (2) Bulldoze west half of Walgreen’s parking lot
    (3) install right-turn lane onto Washington eastbound
    (4) ???
    (5) Profit

  • Pretty ridiculous. No one should patronize any of these businesses until they come to their senses.

  • @Jason C.: If they did that much bulldozing it will surely fill in with a mid-rise, multi-use property instead of an extra lane.

  • Dumb business move. Each of these businesses have their peak hours that are usually different from others. Except for a handful of spaces in front of the store, the rest of the parking lot should be for all businesses there.

  • The shopping center on Montrose that has Canopy does the same thing. Specific spots for each business.

  • How silly. I wonder if they even designated which store(s) the handicapped spots are for?

  • That is simply not going to work. And if a customer parks in the wrong store’s space, then what? Will they have it towed? Talk about a nightmare!

  • My wife frequently goes to the nail salon while I go into Beer Market (or Texadelphia before that) to have a couple of beers while I wait. Where do I park? Can I straddle two spots?

  • Don’t blame the businesses guys… this is the landlord’s doing, not the business owners. This shopping center was pretty much dead until Beer Market came in (replaced Texadelphia). Now that they have brought foot traffic into the center again, the other businesses are pissed because their customers suddenly have to walk to get to the front door. Unfortunately even though it’s not most of the business owner’s faults, it will likely negatively affect everyone in the center if they start enforcing it and towing cars.

  • Seriously? I wonder what they thought this would accomplish. Is there a parking lot monitor out there making sure you go into the right store? Posted signs threatening a tow if you’re improperly parked?

  • i suppose this insanity must have arisen from numerous compaints and such. but I would urge that center to move with caution. they may not have any studies backing it up, but designated parking lots like this will surely be proven to be a de-motivating factor for their customers. i for one avoid these types of centers like the plague.
    oddly enough though, i don’t come across any such issues as this in the montrose area, but can think of numerous strip center’s along washington that i wouldn’t even dare patronize out of such headaches. one would think the montrose is a much denser area too, so i guess the washington & shepherd/durham corridor is just overly commercialized due to a spillover effect from lack of retail in the heights. just glad i’m south of the bayou., but i guess that comes at it’s own price too.

  • they can’t tow anyone. in order to tow a car, there needs to be signage. spray painting some words on the ground doesn’t meet the government requirements.

    Sign Color, Layout, and Lettering Height Requirements
    Signs restricting parking must contain a bright red international towing symbol at least 4 in. in
    height, located on the uppermost portion of the sign or on a separate sign placed immediately
    above the sign as well as:
    The words “Towing and Booting Enforced” or the information describing who may park
    in the parking facility and prohibiting all others, immediately below the international
    towing symbol;
    lettering at least 2 in. in height;
    the words “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner’s or Operator’s
    a statement of the days and hours of towing or booting enforcement;
    a telephone number that is answered 24 hours a day;
    if required by ordinance, or if the parking facility owner chooses, the name and address
    of the storage facility.
    (Sec. 2308.302, Texas Occupations Code)

    Individual Parking Restrictions in Restricted Area
    If signs are properly posted, a parking facility owner may impose specific parking restrictions by
    installing or painting a weather-resistant sign or notice:
    on a curb, pole, post, wall, or barrier in front of a vehicle parked in the space;
    with top of the sign or notice not higher than 7 ft. above ground;
    including information showing that the space is reserved for a particular unit number,
    person, or type of person;
    with letters at least 2 in. high of a contrasting color so they can be read day or night.
    (Sec. 2308.305, Texas Occupations Code)

  • Whether this can be done depends on what the individual leases say about the topic. It would be a bit unusual for each lease to be given dedicated, specific parking places, but it is not impossible. Just kinda stupid.

  • @zodiac – from what I can gather, they can still tow you (whether or not it is legal is another matter). I actually sued a property owner for an illegal tow (not in this shopping center), and it took about 3-4 years to resolve. I won. I got legal fees and my expenses reimbursed, but suffice it to say, it was not an experience I’d like to go through again. (I was towed in Montrose, and they took my car out to Westheimer and Highway 6 wtffffff.)
    I do wonder how enforceable this policy is. Maybe it’s a threat, but it makes me wary about testing it out. I parked in the designated business spot when I went to pick up some food because I didn’t want to deal with the possibility of a tow.

  • Is this even legal?

  • @ Progg: Two thumbs up! WAY UP!

  • @Kevin, No, you can’t. That is the last thing one should do.
    Do the stores have lot attendants who check out the comings and goings of drivers?
    Sounds like just a bit of social engineering.
    At the woodland’s Market Street there are parking meters but you do not actually have to pay; The hope is you’ve been sufficiently conditioned to believe that you do have to pay to park or risk a ticket. There is no ticketing power…

  • STX: what would be illegal about it? Far as a I know the government hasn’t taken over every aspect of private property just yet. If you buy land, build stores and a parking lot, your allowed to assign spots to shops as you see fit.
    I think it’s silly, and wouldn’t likely chose to shop there (not that I’d go there anyway) but for whatever reason the landlord/owner thought that this was a good option for his property. If he’s wrong, the market will let him know.

  • As mentioned by htownproud, the small strip by Canopy does it (even after they take 1/2 the parking lot for valet, which is annoying). I sometimes get my hair cut there and it drives me nuts to make sure I’m in the right spot, especially after hours when a particular store has already closed for the day.

  • @coconutbutter
    I do wonder what would have happened if you had called the police and reported your car stolen? I would assume that being towed illegally, would be considered theft?

  • There are signs on posts along University that try to do this and I thought someone here pointed out that COH is the only one that can designate fixed/restricted parking, not a store owner. But I may be remembering that incorrectly.

  • This occurred because tow truck operators are vultures. Before the signage, they would sit in the lot to see where people parked and where they were going after they parked. Usually people were towed from the walgreens parking lot which was the case for a client of mine. Car was towed to BFE and very expensive. Property owners/landlords and not the businesses are responsible for allowing these vultures to come in to “do business”.
    I’m happy that Beer Market is there and happy for the new traffic. They now have valet and it works. It still gets busy but people don’t just take up all the spots.

  • None of this would be a problem if there was light rail everywhere and everyone was on foot! Take note light rail foes!!!!

  • @toasty – Missed your previous question! When your car is towed, the information is sent to HPD, too. You can call them to figure out where your car is located or look it up (at least now) online: http://findmytowedcar.com/tvrmscitizen/mainpage.aspx
    I’m not a lawyer, but from what I can gather, it looks like the city is involved on a superficial level, and the towing itself is a private matter – kind of like if you get in an accident in a private lot.