Mayor Parker Announces the Death Sentence for Downtown Macy’s Building

Yesterday morning, Macy’s announced that it would be closing its store Downtown at 1110 Main this spring. But what’s going to happen to the building? Mayor Parker, who knows a thing or two about demolition, said yesterday afternoon that Kenneth Franzheim’s former Foley’s is coming down: “Macy’s is losing the lease, and the owner of that piece of property wants to build something else,” she told KUHF News. The owner in this case would be 1110 Main Partners, an entity connected to Hilcorp Ventures, whose president, Doug Kelly, told the Houston Chronicle yesterday that the company has “no specific plans to announce” about the site. Well, announcing plans is one thing:


Three years ago, 1110 Main Partners bought up the 65,000-sq-.ft. Macy’s building and its 31,000 sq.-ft. parking garage on Lamar, which shares a block with the 31,000-sq.-ft. Americana Building at 811 Dallas (shown above). 1110 Main Partners bought that in 2003. So that’s 128,000 sq. ft. — two entire city blocks, bound by Main, Travis, Dallas, and Lamar — of Downtown property. And over the past few years retail tenants in the Americana have been closing up shop, too.

Photos: Jim Parsons (Foley’s), Boxer Property (Americana)

21 Comment

  • Great. They’ll tear down the Foley’s, the parking garage, and the Americana Bldg and then will have another black hole in the middle of downtown for years as we all wait for a trophy tower that may or may not come. Two steps forward, fifty-three steps back.

  • Funny that the photo has Foley’s on the building, not cough Macy’s.

  • I don’t have Hilcorp-colored glasses on by any means, but if Jeff Hildebrand has something to do with the project, I doubt it will remain a black hole for long. Here’s hoping.

  • The layers of this story point to so many Houston problems, but let’s focus on the composition of that task force (the one formed to close the barn door after the horses bolted): Ed Wulfe, Marvy Finger, Bob Eury, yawn. Would there be any harm in including bus riders, messengers, or any other folks who might actually think of downtown differently from the development community?

  • That old Foley’s block is one handsome monolithic-modern building (there must be a real architectural category.)
    I love it.

  • I’m a native Houstonian, and I will always have very fond memories of Foley’s, to me it will always be the department store. I remember when Mr Meyer himself came to dinner at our house, my mother was so happy, but that building was never that great and by the early eighties it was horrible. It was never anything like the big Joske’s in San Antonio, and Federated ruined it long before May Co. destroyed Foley’s. I always put that store in the same category as the horrible Sears on Main after it was turned into a fortress, sure the downtown Foley’s was never as bleak as that, but it was from the same ilk, and by the seventies it wasn’t even the nicest Foley’s. May Company has killed a lot of more important buildings than this one.

  • Another piece of my history in Houston gone. I must have reached that certain age: I’m sad to see so many Houston landmarks obliterated. All.the.time.

    Time marches on.

  • This building is an eyesore.

    Demolish it.

  • movocelot – Brutalism, perhaps?

  • Hines is sitting on a vacant lot that used to be a McDonald’s. Brookfield has three different spots for a tower near the Allen Center. Skanska has plans to tear down the Houston Club Bldg. for a tower. There’s the rumored tower on the Southern vacant lot along Market Square. And now there’s this massive parcel being created. The majority of these will not make it out of the ground any time soon and the most expensive pie-in-the-sky proposal seems to be this one. Color me doubtful.

  • Will the last business leaving downtown please turn out the lights

  • While I certainly hate to see downtown Houston not have a full service department store, I am VERY HAPPY that another Kenneth Franzheim designed building is being torn down. It’s the second one this year!! His designs were sterile and not becoming of a modern city on the move. His legacy is slowly being snuffed out.

  • Haha Benny “Will the last business leaving downtown please turn out the lights”
    Seems politicians alone cannot create a vibrant city,
    developers alone cannot lure one into being and
    businesses alone cannot sustain one.
    Rather it’s a messy, unpredictable organic process involving all the people all the time. Isn’t that great?
    At Seabird, maybe! Though I’ve always thought Brutalism required formed concrete. ?

  • I’m no expert, but I don’t think that ugly upside down cardboard box of a building is brutalism- it ain’t that damn ugly.
    Shame about the Houston Club building going down for a freaking office building. Why not build something on the empty lots across the street? I mean, wth?
    Yesterday was my first visit to the old Foley’s (I’m not from here) and I see what so many people complain about and stereotype about those who frequent the area during non-working hours. If only more people actually lived there and were out on the streets, you know, like in midtown.
    Here’s hoping the abandoned towers are sold and torn down, the Pierce Elevated is torn down forever, and more residential buildings are built downtown.

  • Affordable apartments or condo’s for some downtown population to support future downtown business. Macy’s is not closing cause it’s an ugly building, there is not much community downtown outside of the 8-5p business community it’s not a shopping destination.

  • Franzheim’s Foley’s building is a very specialized structure designed for a time when people came downtown to shop. Now, people living downtown have to travel to the suburbs to a handful of Macy’s to shop. That is, of course,the shrinking number of people who don’t make most purchases on the internet. Sure you have to try on clothes, but Foley’s wasn’t 7 stories of ready-to-wear.

    It would be cool if Macy’s could reinvigorate the Pavillions by opening a store in that downtown mall. And Foley’s site became a John Hancock-like tower of half office space and the top half residential apartments.

  • The Punchdrunk group should lease it out and stage a Houston version of “Sleep No More.”

  • Downtown housing?? Do you mean section 8 housing?

  • Golden Rule: I am sure I read that the Americana building and the old parking garage were being renovated for a single tenant. It’s going to be an interesting reno if true!

  • 1946 Houston was downtown, today its enormous radius with its own various shopping destinations, somehow having your own space and not living on top of each other like New York and Chicago, with your own car changed the dynamics of what a city could be.

  • Man I hate this city sometimes…….