Gerland’s Trades Hands; Stella Link Sellers Bros. Stops Selling; Leaving the Astrodome Time Capsule Be


Photo of 1400 Hermann Dr.: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool


27 Comment

  • On the Seller’s Bros closing: Folks in that area already pining for an HEB, despite there already being two nearby. Others have noted that the elevation is an issue (prone to flooding), and some are wondering what kind of activity would best complement the nearby massage parlor and game arcade.

  • What’s going on with the Levit family? Why are they suddenly divesting themselves of all grocery-related holdings? First Grocer’s Supply in November, then Fiesta earlier this week, and now Gerland’s.

  • See this is exactly why non discrimination protections are needed, either local or statewide. You own a business or sell a service, you serve everyone, you don’t cherry pick based on your bigoted “religious” beliefs. Otherwise, close shop and get out of the business. Can’t believe this kind of discrimination is still tolerated around here. “Straight friendly”? Really? Like WTF?

  • Re: TxDOT solicits bid

    So the takeaway from this is that taxpayer-funded, multilane toll roads cutting through “pristine farmland” is progressive, forward-thinking, pragmatic, and good, but privately-funded, double tracked high speed rail through adjacent “pristine farmland” is inherently bad.

  • Re: “Downtown Boosters Boost Downtown”

    It’s absolutely fabulous that Houston has hit that enviable critical mass, that allows it to maintain, grow, and thrive, in spite of whatever oil does. Bravo Houston for extraordinary resilience.

    As for as for Downtown retail: as I’ve expressed to the mayor and her team time and again…tear down the old Sakowitz building and replace it with a flagship Bloomingdale’s with an adjoining Ritz-Carlton Hotel/Residences on that lot (30+ stories/5 Penthouses). Bring back/relocate a new Macy’s, and add a Nordstrom and street level shops (J. Crew, H&M, UniQlo, Zara, Nike, Tiffany’s, etc)…all along the Dallas Street Retail Corridor. As for grocery stores, clearly a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are needed Downtown. Hey Houston: just do it.

  • A business owner should be able to cater to anyone he wants and deny service to anyone he pleases, that’s the whole concept of private business. Now, it may come at a price of ridicule, protest, and loss of business, but if he’s willing to pay that price so be it.

    Having a non gay friendly business in Montrose will simply put you out of business, having non gay friendly business in Tomball would be a non-issue.

  • @ Commonsense

    Tell that to a black person trying to travel through Texas 50 years ago.

  • @ Honest Truth: Yes, I am sure that the City government has given very strong consideration toward your proposal that they nationalize (municipalize?) downtown properties and issue binding decrees that certain retailers and hoteliers must invest and operate there in order to service affluent “comrades” whom would otherwise not be inclined to patronize such establishments on a basis that would be economic for such establishments. Yes…that would just turn out swell, wouldn’t it?

  • @Heightsresident, being black is a trait that is protected by law, being gay is not (for the most part). Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone based on any trait that is not legally protected, i.e. based on the clothing you wear (dress code), based on your disruptive behavior, if you work for a competitor, they can refuse neo-nazis, prostitutes, and just because they don’t like the look of your face, a million other reasons, what makes gays special?

    Having said that, in today’s political climate it’s an ill advised policy but having the right to do it and NOT doing it is a lot better than having no right to do it at all.

  • @ TheNiche

    Yes they have…thanks for asking. And yes, it will.

  • Re: Sellers Bros at Stella Link and South Braeswood

    This strip center has been declining for a while but it is ripe for rising like a Phoenix once a redevelopment plan is executed. The Crossfit box is holding its own given its limited scope. There is a Spec’s a few doors down from Sellers Bros, which brings in traffic.

    A full-size HEB could reap lots of profits from the affluent area surrounding it as well as from the adjacent modest apartment complexes. Kroger has a store at Main/Kirby and S Post Oak and they are both doing fine so slotting this HEB in between would also probably rake in the cash.

    As for the Randalls bookends at S Post Oak and Holcombe: Well, Randalls is a fresh hot mess so no one can really help them.

  • @commonsense I too really miss the days of segregation

  • Too bad about Seller’s brothers. Really dumpy grocery store, but often sold up to 20 limes/$1 or 10 lemons/$1 ….hard to beat

  • Honest Truth – Uniqlo in Houston – hell, yes! Even N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago is getting one.

  • Wow, I think it’s pretty crappy to ban gay people from your house (if only just for business reasons), but IT IS THEIR DAMN HOUSE!
    I also think it’s dumb for AirBNB to ban that homeowner from their site (see above), but then again ITS THEIR DAMN SITE.
    Honest Truth: Unless the mayor is on the board of all those stores, I’m not sure how you expect the city to build a hotel and open shops. They’re job is simply to create as friendly as a business climate as they can so that free enterprise CHOOSES to move downtown.
    MrE: I don’t think what common sense said has anything to do with segregation. For one, how do you ban someone based on their sexual orientation anyway? How do you even know (forget about the ‘why would you even care’ question). Even those evil cake and pizza shops serve gay people every day I’m sure, without issue.
    I’ve always felt if I were black, especially an older black person that lived through some pretty tough shit, I’d be pretty pissed off by people comparing what gays are going though now (can’t get a cake made, for your wedding, at 1 of every 100000 bakeries) vs. what I went though.

  • the Specs next to Sellers Brothers really needs to be enlarged!!! As for groceries–a Spouts would fit nicely but yes the strip center does flood and plagued by drainage and pipe issues.

  • What blacks went through in this country was absolutely terrible, and its not a fair comparison to make between the two (see below). But when someone makes a statement like “It’s my business I can serve who I want for whatever reason” it IMMEDIATELY brings up segregation, because that’s EXACTLY what segregation was. As for “who had it worse”, aka the oppression Olympics, I think that’s an impossible game to play, and worse I think it’s a dangerous game to play, because it implies that if you weren’t the most oppressed then you should just be happy with the freedoms you have and stop asking to be treated equally.
    And really, if you were an older black person who lived through segregation you would be pissed at seeing the same argument of legalized discrimination coming back online in your lifetime.

  • @Cody: It is their damn house that they rented out. Refusing to rent to someone because they were born gay, or black, or whatever, is just evil. The public is not served by granting people the ability to discriminate in that way.
    How do I know gay people are born gay? Because I was born straight. I never decided to become straight. I’ve always been attracted to women. Gay people tell me it’s the same for them, and I have to believe them.

  • Cody, you need some consciousness raising, a history lesson, or both if you think that being denied a wedding cake is all that gays have suffered, or that cakes is what they’re fighting for. To make this quick and user-friendly, go to Wikipedia and look up the term gay-bashing, and then go to homophobia in the USA. Just in case you have the idea that this is something that only happens elsewhere look up the murder of Paul Broussard, also on Wikipedia.

  • Re: AirBNB fiasco:
    Ok ok. I’ll confess. I did something similar back when I owned a rent house. It was vacant, and my first potential tenant was a nonprofit that wanted to run a Personal Care Home out of my house. I turned them down on the grounds that it was a residence, and should be used as such (Personal Care Homes are businesses in my view). Truth be told I have not heard good things about Personal Care Homes. They are not locally regulated. The TDSHS is supposed to regulate them, but he extent to which they enforce their own regulations is questionable. They’re tough on houses and can be disruptive for neighborhoods.
    So, I turned the group away as a tenant. The whole thing made me feel dirty – like I was a bad person – but I had to protect my house, and I just couldn’t let a potentially disruptive tenant live next to the people who had been my neighbors. I’m sure the group found another house and neighborhood to locate in. But it wasn’t mine.
    Now I personally never would have a problem with a gay tenant. But we each have our own preferences. I’m very happy not to own a rent house any more, and not to have to deal with that sort of tough decision.

  • Why do you feed the troll? Ignore the troll.

  • This area is a weird one. We used to live around the corner from there in Woodside, and I would pass by this brick strip mall about half a block away from Sellers Brothers that was completely empty for about 6 or 7 years after it was built. There were actual weeds growing inside the corner unit, where the dentist’s office is.

    Whoever built this, maybe 2006, ignored the fact that about half of the stores in the strip mall half a block south had sat empty for years.

    But I guess they did OK after all. Harris County’s insane tax laws say that the land and structure are worth just $164,296. A 13.5k square foot lot is worth 160,000. They say his dirt is only worth $11.25/sqft

    Meanwhile, the 8,000 square foot lot under our old house 800 feet away is worth $35/sq foot ?!?


  • Memebag: not arguing that people are not born gay or straight. Not arguing that not renting to someone just because they’re gay is bad (“evil” might be strong). I’ve had a VRBO property (still do. Just live in it now) and I wouldn’t care at all if gay people stayed here. I have friends, family, and coworkers that are gay. I find myself pretty progressive on LGBT issues. I didn’t think I had to preference all of that but yikes.
    That doesn’t mean I don’t think people should give up whatever crazy views they might hold when renting their own home. But man, making even an comment like that into today’s society brings freverent charges of homophobia. That alone should show how far we’ve come on the issue.

  • @Cody: No one can make someone else give up their crazy views. Views aren’t the problem. Behavior is. Why should people be allowed to discriminate against gay people when renting rooms? I don’t see any good reason to protect that kind of discrimination.
    (Notice that I’m not calling you homophobic. I’m also not saying no one can discriminate. There are some kinds of discrimination we all tolerate because we’ve decided they serve the public interest. For instance, only Jewish people can be buried in a Jewish cemetery, and someone gets to decide who is Jewish and who isn’t. I just can’t see a good case for tolerating this kind of discrimination.)

  • “But when someone makes a statement like “It’s my business I can serve who I want for whatever reason” it IMMEDIATELY brings up segregation, because that’s EXACTLY what segregation was.”

    Incorrect. Segregation was a legal institution that was backed by the threat of lethal force, regardless of which side of the issue you were on.

  • This debate reminds me of the South Park episode that introduced Mr. Slave and Lemmiwinks as characters where the boys were sent to Tolerance Camp. Are people or societies justified in being intolerant of intolerance? I don’t really have a good answer about that. Its a bit of a paradox, and its easy for somebody that values pluralism to argue from either perspective.

    As policy goes and not political philosophy, I would propose addressing the issue by beefing up anti-trust regulations and putting protections in place where there exist monopolies or cartels that cannot be broken up. (This is something that should be done anyway for other reasons.) So for instance, a utility should not be able to discriminate against anybody for basically any reason whatsoever and any unlawful acts that they witness or that affect them should be referred to law enforcement and government has a monopoly on the use of force and should be careful to be even-handed; but a cake shop in a city with many cake shops as well as individuals that are qualified and able to bake cakes using readily accessible sets of ingredients should be free to serve whomever they please.

    Housing policy may require a more nuanced approach than cake shops in some instances, especially in small towns or rural areas.

    But…I’ll point out that this particular case with AirBNB demonstrates that the onus for the problems is entirely on the landlord. She didn’t clearly state her discriminatory intent and she violated the AirBNB terms of service. It should’ve never happened, with or without any sort of special legislation. If she had advertised appropriately or abided by the terms of service then the gay couple would’ve simply made other arrangements. It should’ve been a whole lot more like the cake shop scenario than the utility scenario.

  • @TheNiche: “Are people or societies justified in being intolerant of intolerance?”
    Mathematically, tolerating intolerance is not a stable strategy. All rules about tolerance have to have an escape condition that excludes intolerance (but not themselves). Otherwise intolerant strategies exploit tolerant strategies and replace them.
    As far as bakeries go, my opinion is that if you don’t want to bake cakes for certain kinds of people then you shouldn’t be in the bakery business.