Mall of the Mainland Death Throes; Houston’s Williamsburg and Bushwick

shopping mall construction

Photo of construction of The Treehouse at Bunker Hill Rd. and Gaylor Dr.: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


8 Comment

  • Loved MoM in its heyday when one could shop at Macy’s and Dilliard’s without fighting the madding crowd. We used to drive down from Friendswood to do Christmas shopping there because Baybrook was a zoo during the holidays. Did it fail because it wasn’t visible from 45? I know I talked to a few of the tenants back a few years ago who told me that the roof had never been properly fixed after suffering wind damage from several storms. RIP MoM.

  • Mall of the Mainland was always in an odd location in relation to the Gulf Freeway, by the time you thought about shopping you were past it. It was always dead, in contrast to Baybrook that was always packed. Just another blow to Galveston/Texas City Area, the only part of the region that’s going in the wrong direction. When I hear people say they want to mint to Galveston I’m like, why?–they have no real business there, no mall, no really anything. Great place for a second home, but to live there permanently–no thank you.

  • I would imagine the decline of MoM has more to do with the relatively modest demographics of the nearby population (especially as compared to Baybrook) than visibility from the freeway, though that doesn’t help either.

    Most Houston-area malls serving a very middle-income or working-class demographic are either dead or having a pretty tough go of it. Walmart / Target and other strip mall retailers, plus online shopping, have taken a major bite out of the sales of typical tenants in these types of malls. More upscale tenants have been opting for lifestyle centers or putting in outlet-style versions in developments like the nearby Premium Outlets.

    The shake-out of the mall world is resulting in their numbers in major metros shrinking back to a select population of “fortress malls” that serve a large affluent surrounding demographic. Baybrook, The Galleria, Memorial City, and The Woodlands are the top examples in our region. Willowbrook, Deerbrook, and First Colony are the next tier, and more vulnerable (especially the first two). I expect all other malls to be potential candidates for redevelopment or closure – though maybe Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson could survive due to a sort of captive local market (this seems to happen in more isolated small metros).

  • Local Planner, I’m surprised you put Memorial City in your list of malls ” that serve a large affluent surrounding demographic.” I’m not saying thay Memorial City doesn’t get plenty of middle-class Memorial shoppers, but I can guarantee you it gets lots of working class Spring Branch shoppers as well. Plus its big stores (Target, Sears, JC Penney, Dillard’s and Macy’s) aren’t exactly aimed at the same demographic as Nordstrom, Sak’s or Neiman Marcus. This is not to say that upper-middle class folks from Piney Point don’t shop at Memorial City, and I suspect that MetroNational would like Memorial City to evolve into a more upscale mall. But at present, it’s a mall that serves its working class customers very well.

  • When did Memorial become middle class?!

  • In regards to the audit on HCAD, I would just like to say nooooooo really the corporations are getting tax breaks and the homeowners are the only ones seeing increases in the property taxes. Its taken them this long to realize HCAD folds as soon as the corporate attorney shows up to dispute the property tax.

  • Memorial City does serve both a middle class and affluent population – note what the anchor stores are. But then, most successful malls are that way. The point is, malls can’t survive anymore on the middle class alone in a major metro area. The in-line tenants need big spenders to help them pay the extra-high rents which make mall economics work. Due to competition from strip mall retailers, the mall tenants rarely can make it up in volume from middle class consumers.

  • It’s a wee bit too early to announce the end if the mall as we know it. No way!! does Willowbrook or First Colony close! nor Deerbtook. MofM had a bad location and it could not compete with Baybrook, it’s that simple, don’t read so much into one poorly located mall that frankly should have never been built in the first place. Oh and Memorial City definitely aspires to be an affluent mall, get real, Metro National isn’t trying to attract people from Spring Branch!!!, they want the affluent rich Memorial crowd. Memorial City is not a middle class mall, it’s not the Galleria but it’s not San Jacinto Mall either.