This might be the last recorded view of the slightly peaked facade of the former Loehmann’s Clothing storefront, on the land owned by Houston Baptist University’s for-profit Beechnut Street development company at the southwest corner of 59 and Fondren Rd. A reader noted the green construction fencing late last month around part of the shopping center building that once housed $1.09 CD, Fondren Doctors Medical, and Libreria Cristiana on its narrow frontage-road-facing north end; the shot above looks southwest past the edge of the free-standing Mattress Firm on the center’s corner (right), next to the Shell station and the Burger King.
The strip was issued a demolition permit on the 26th, and by yesterday afternoon, much of the structure was being scraped up by an excavator and its handlers:
Building plans from February of last year show the structure only partially demolished, however, and a handful of businesses in the remaining piece of the strip had a few cars parked out front yesterday afternoon, including Ofelia’s Hair Design. The backward-L-shaped structure labeled “EXIST. COMMERCIAL” in the bottom left of the zoomed-in siteplan below appears to be the remains of the building currently getting worked over:
The Mattress Firm (upper right) looks safe for now, and 3 new retail storefronts (2 of which, labeled Prop. Commercial C1 and C2, can be seen in the upper left of the zoom-in above) are proposed for the frontage road-facing edge of the property land.
Here’s an idea of what the new buildings could look like, as drawn by architecture firm PGAL:
The master plan currently up on HBU’s website (shown below, with the corner of Fondren and 59 at the top) depicts a similar building in place along the 59 frontage road (left), and most of the rest of the shopping center thoroughly rearranged:
The original plans for the corner, shown in a 2013 380 agreement between the Sharpstown TIRZ and HBU’s private company, called for a 4,000 seat arena (labeled 1 below) to be constructed in the south corner of the shopping center along Belin St:
The 2013 plans also called for a hotel, office space, a mixed-use parking garage with “student oriented retail”, and the relocation of Burger King from Fondren to the edge of the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center to the west of Belin.
Next door, the ghostly letters of the Nothing Over $1.00 Store and Fallas Paredes signs still haunt the south strip of the shopping center:
- HBU to make new 30-acre development [Houston Chronicle]
Photos: James Fields (top photo), Swamplot inbox (second and third photo), PGAL (site plans and renderings)
Rice U. has its own high-end retail, so why not HBU? UH needs to get with the program.
Would be nice to have a Academy store. Have to drive to Sugar land, or Hilcroft and Westheimer, or 59 and Buffalo Spdy.
Found this site looking into the lot. The Loehmanns is now finally gone instead of being abandoned.