The site plan for the Shoppes at Uptown Crossing shopping center planned for a 3.5-acre lot at the southeast corner of Westpark and S. Rice Ave across from Sam’s Club has undergone a big change since Swamplot last featured it in April. A giant Walmart Supercenter is now shown in the southeast corner of the L-shaped parcel, facing S. Rice Ave. but shielded from the street by a sprinkling of fast-foody pad sites — including spots earmarked for an El Pollo Loco, a Chick Fil A, a Jack-in-the-Box, and a Starbucks. The requisite huge parking lot stands between the Walmart and its chain-store add-ons.
The new 32,000-sq.-ft. building for the soon-to-be-relocated Micro Center is going north of the Walmart, pushed close to Westpark, taking its entrance from S. Rice Ave. directly across the street from Sam’s Club. Shown tucked just south of Micro Center is a new TownePlace Suites hotel.
The site at 5205 S. Rice Ave. has been vacant since the Wald Relocation Services facility was torn down there half a dozen years ago. Micro Center sold its current West Loop location to Amegy Bank earlier this year.
- Previously on Swamplot: Here’s the Spot on S. Rice and Westpark Where Micro Center Will Be Moving; Micro Center Will Move South, Give Up West Loop Site for Amegy Bank HQ; More Info on Amegy Bank’s Plans To Spike Houston’s Micro Center with an Office Tower; Did Micro Center Just Sell Its Houston Location to Amegy Bank?
Great, just what that area needs. I like how you can see the other Walmart in the second picture.
Why is chickfila going to be built there when there is one already in the best buy lot
So sad ….. that lot had real potential too.
Yawn, this is so lame.
I’m so happy that they included a hotel in the plans. Perhaps I’ll vacation there….no need to leave the compound. Err thing I need is within walking distance.
Needs more acres of parking.
So when is everyone going to start gnashing their teeth and hysterically proclaiming that this Wal-Mart will destroy the fabric of Bellaire and Larchmont?
Walmart Ahorra más. Vive mejor
Somehow, I’m not surprised. When the Sam’s Club on Rice was in the planning stages years ago, there was a rumor that Walmart had an interest in the vacant property across from it and would eventually build there.
What an utter waste of prime real estate. Shameful we don’t have stricter land use restrictions and zoning for high density areas of town. SMH.
Ouch this bites… I liked the previous site plan better. What happened to the cut through street that was desperately needed to connect s. Rice to the west loop feeder? This is right next to the transit center that is supposed to be built there to connect to the uptown line. This is the worst possible nightmare for those Bellaire residents immediately south.
I wish the parking lot was smaller…but I won’t be surprised if it gets packed with cars after it’s built. It reminds me of an old South Park episode where local residents complained about it and then were all secretly found shopping there.
I thought Wal-Mart was downsizing? Guess not. Houston you have no vision.
@No just no: The Chik-fil-a in the Best Buy parking lot will eventually be demolished when the 59/610 interchange gets widened/realigned
So, we have a new record for Walmart density. Only 3.7 miles separate this walmart from the one at 610/S. Post Oak. That slashed the previous record of 4.7 miles between Yale St. Walmart and Silber Walmart.
Looks like after some years of steady progress pushing the Gulfton ghetto further west and south, it’s about to take a giant leap back east again! Those apartments across s. Rice will be the next lantern village. :(
Ooooooooo a new Starbuck’s!!!!! I’m so excited I might just wet my……..oh.
There is one on Dunvale and Westheimer and another 610 and West Bellfort Both about the same distance away the area does not need another. Bellaire fought and kept the soccer stadium away they will fight again and keep this walmart away
Is it too early to call the area “Sugar Landville”?
I wonder if they might just close the West Bellfort Wal Mart once this is built. An employee there once told me that location had the highest rates of shoplifting in the Houston district.
Very unfortunate. I was hoping they would put something in that would raise property values. Walmart will need a good plan to keep all their shopping carts out of the Gulfton apartments.
It is a shame the suburbs are pushing inwards like this. While the piece of land is obviously not prime enough for any kind density, and there is a TON of land still left in the loop that could be easily developed, and maybe in the next 15-20 years this site could possibly become something greater.
It’s easy to be blinded with all the glitzy towers and mixed use projects going up right now, but Houston is still far from becoming an urban jungle with skyscraper canyons in every direction. We have a long way to go.
Great another shirty Wal-Mart. Low wages, ugly, cheap buildings, dirty, messy stores. They aught to at least make the cheap ass Walton’s build a descent looking store, I’ve seen communities force them to build a nice store. The Walton’s face the worst Karma because they’re the worst ilk of human. They get Midas rich but refuse to pay a livable wage, carry health care, or build a descent store. It’s cut corners, maximize profits, make us a few more billion we’ll never spend. It’s sickening.
Awesome! Combining two things I hate dearly at one location. Thanks Galleria.
With half of working people in the US making $27,500 or less,
the new retail economy is all about dollar stores and WalMart Supercenters, and smaller WalMarts too, and tons of people making more money go to those places too.
The trendy places we discuss here are much more unstable and subject to failure than those places like WalMarts that serve the Giant Guatemala that constitutes about half of Houston and isn’t going away but rather will continue to expand and survive the periodic oil boom and bust events.
Shannon, get off your high horse. The Walton family is a perfectly good family. Having worked for corporate Walmart in the past, they do live by their motto and there are a lot of good people that work for the company. Its corporate HQ is very Spartan and does not have the glitz or glam that other large corporations do. Could it pay employees more? Yes. Does the company help a lot of low income people, though? Yes.
This Walmart will sit on the edge of a spaghetti bowl of freeways that is about to go through MORE spaghetti-ifcation, on the periphery of one of Houston’s worst neighborhoods (Gulfton) and the more distant periphery of Bellaire, which isn’t exactly an urban environment. I may not like it, but how can you be surprised or insulted? Sure, as the crow flies, it may be less than a mile from the Galleria, but in reality it may as well be the dark side of the moon.
And so on. Of course, only Woolworth approached the scale of Walmart. But given all the problems Walmart has had recently and the break neck pace of its expansion, it is an open question whether all of these stores will be open ten years from now.
Old School, if the Heights Walmart closes, per my request from the city, the good news for Ainbinder is:
There is no fund balance in the 380 Fund and there is no additional amount owed as the entire obligation has been fulfilled.
@ Old School, my point was just that the sector of the economy serving the expanding underclass is the real long term boom. I have no idea whether WalMart will thrive, survive or dive ultimately but places like it will be the ones among the opportunistic occupiers of any decaying overgrowth from the oil boom years that we’re currently living in.
Fernando makes a good point. Wal-Mart does provide a lot of employment for people with little to no skills and a lot of people on the lower end of the economic scale shop there by necessity. Do you really expect to find college graduates or Lynn Wyatt wannabes being greeters or cashiers or stock clerks? Their staff pretty much mirrors their core customer. And for those more fortunate to have more disposable income, options are plentiful as to where to shop. By all means if the store is the antithesis of your core values or social standing, don’t go there. If their mantra is to offer the lowest price, then how can you reasonably expect them to get Lake Flato to design their buildings or have allees of 25 year old trees planted in their parking lots? And before you start that rant about cheap Chinese junk, go check Macy’s or Neiman’s and look at the country of origin on the labels.
@old school – in 10 years the only stores left will be Walmart.
I just have to say that Walmart does sell items made in the U.S.A. as I’ve bought towels and plastic storage items made right here.
And as JT says, many other more trendy stores carry cheap Chinese junk. I’ve bought it at Target as well as Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby.
Does anyone here buy or collect the pricey Hallmark Christmas ornaments? Check out the country of origin as you fork over the $15-$25 bucks for one of those.
Unless the city improved south rice from westpark to gulfton, the whole area south of the walmart will be a hot mess. As it stands now, most of the outside lanes of south rice are torn up and too narrow to allow an influx of new traffic, add in the lack of a center turn lane and it will be even messier.
If I were the city of bellaire, I would just close south rice at the city limits to keep out the traffic.
Getting to S Rice from Bellaire or the Galleria area is obvious enough, but it’s a royal pain to get to from any freeway. Once it’s built, it will be interesting to see the traffic patterns as people try to figure out what exit to take off 59, and then how to get back to the freeway. Almost makes it worth the additional drive to the Target at Meyerland or Wal-Mart at S Post Oak (another one you have to know in advance how to get to).
so you guys continue to complain on and on about new walmarts being developed without so much as a word about our economic model that all but guarantees walmart dominance in modern society. it’s like you’re all so old and lazy now you you by-pass the blatant hypocrisy and go straight to complaining, classy folks. once they get their banking and medical provider capabilities more established we’re all in for a wide awakening and i for one can’t wait.
it’s freeway frontage property off a bad stretch of westpark. this was never ever going to be anything high-density or high-margin. office properties wouldn’t even dare setup in this location because of the surrounding area and it’s horrible freeway access to the most dangerous and under-built freeway intersection in the entire state. there’s a perfectly valid reason why this site is only now being planned and built out after the recent oil and gas boom is already leveling off. we should all be happy at least because we all know full well that nothing is going to be built off the rest of this stretch of westpark from S. Rice all the way to BW8 for another decade at least.
If we’re being honest, the heights walmart made the area around it much nicer. Hopefully the same will happen here.
I don’t know if we’ll shop there, Fernando. A lot of the retailers have double standards between their urban stores and their suburban stores, with the suburban stores being cleaner, more friendly, and having better selection. We sometimes shop at the Sugar Land Walmart. We won’t set foot in the Westheimer Walmart, and I suspect this new store will be a lot like that one.
Joel makes a good point. Walmart provides jobs for thousands of people who have low or no skills and live on the edge. You can’t begrudge them for that.
Looks bad for the people who have bought the houses being built right behind this development. Well, at least they can furnish their houses cheaply, because they aren’t getting their money back when they resell in a few years.
The Walton’s are richer than Midas, the company is among the most profitable in the world; they could pay a livable wage. They could also build better stores. Target isn’t even in the same league as WalMart profit wise but they build descent stores at least. Kudos to WalMart for giving Sally Mae her second job and paying her 7.50; let’s throw them a parade for employing this poor soul so she can buy Spagettio’s for her 3 kids she’s working to support. This store will be ghetto in a week and people like ZAWS will never set foot in it.
Target builds “descent stores at least”. Yeah, you got that right, inadvertently.
Shannon–What would you consider to be a fair livable wage for a place like Wal-Mart? What do you pay your housekeeper?
Was there once a large outdoor music venue at this locale?
This is why Afton Oaks folks poo-pooed the choo-choo…imagine all of the unwashed underbelly who would be riding the Univ Line over to this WalMart.
For once I’m agreeing with Shannon….
I clean my house and do the landscaping so I don’t pay a yard person nor housekeeper. If I were a Walton, I would mandate a starting wage of 12 dollars an hour and give all full time employees group health care.
CLK – why would a fair livable wage be different working at Walmart than anywhere else? Is it because if you work at Walmart, you also get food stamps?
@ryanR. I didn’t mean anything by it–Walmart, Fruit picker, convenience store clerk……..@ Shannon . No fan of Walmart here but they do have health insurance for full timers. Employees pay about 65% of cost although with the sheer numbers of employees, their rates may be less than average.. Not really sure. Part timers less than 28 hours can’t get it. As for the stores being trashed, go to Marshall’s or TJ Maxx or a Dollar Store sometime on a weekend. Basically you get what you pay for. The average consumer there causes the mess and could obviously care less about the conditions. It matters to me so I shop elsewhere. All that being said, starting wages should be around 10 and up to 12 for full timers depending on skill set.
Shannon, I’m sure you already know this, but it should not be up to companies to determine what a “livable wage” is. what you’re trying to discuss is an obvious political issue for our entire economy and is not just a walmart issue. there’s many workers throughout society that get paid no more than what walmart employees get, if not less. are you really saying that only large pofitable companies should pay “livable wages” and that all under-performing, badly managed, or non-profitable companies should be excused to pay non-livable wages or whatever they see fit?
walmart works in a low-margin category and any subtle changes to their business model can have huge impacts on their ability to compete against retailers playing by the same rule book or with international competitors. employee wages play a much more direct role in their profit margins than the likes of many of the oil companies around town with similar market caps to walmart since they employee vastly more people. are you also going to turn around and argue that these oil companies should be handing uncle sam a healthy bonus check every year out of their own goodwill all because they get to employee many fewer employees, albeit with very generous benefits, yet take part in high-margin industries? i would hope not as this will impact the livelihood of these companies against their own competitors or international competition.
what you’re proposing is economic distortion that could cause massive unsustainability of some of the most efficient and well managed companies in the entire world. if you have problems with what a company is allowed to pay employees, then you have a problem with our countries minimum wage level and economic model, not that of a single business.
CLK, I agree the minimum wage should be higher. Another issue with Walmart and other retail stores is scheduling. Many stores will not accommodate employee’s schedules so they can do things like take another part-time job, go to school or realistically arrange child care. Many retail stores require employees to be “on call” or have them show up for shifts only to be told to go home.
@Ryan R not wanting to get in some big debate about retail but part time employees in retail exist in theory to support the full time staff’s schedules and the general sales traffic patterns. To have to schedule around every
class, doctor’s visit, birthday party etc….would be a logistical nightmare for a large retailer. Actually it is a pain in the behind for a small one.
I don’t think this is the place to discuss WalMart’s business and employee policies.
The conversation is about the impact that this new WalMart will have on this area, particularly some of the new Townhouse complexes. I don’t want to put all big box stores in the same category, but this Walmart probably going to be the major shopping center for a large area of Gulfton. I don’t have a problem with anyone from that area, but business is business, and it certainly doesn’t make the area look like the ‘South Galleria’ that some real estate agents are trying to push.
More importantly, this is not a great area in terms of roads, and this WalMart is going to place a halt on any further efforts to try to make this area more affluent.
@Joel. I took Business 101 at UT, and I’m not buying your comment at all. It’s laughable that WalMart couldn’t compete if they paid a higher wage. It’s like restaurants like Olive Garden saying if they paid more then 2.25 an hour for wait staff they couldn’t make it. That absurd arguement has been around forever and that same Olive Garden couldn’t care less if it’s waiters are stiffed by a customer or it’s slow and they make 25 dollars for the night. I worked as a waiter at Houston’s in Austin when I was at UT, I know how this all works. WalMart can pay better wages….period.
Walmart has no reason to increase wages. They aren’t having any trouble staffing their stores.
Government could increase minimum wage across the board, but the additional cost would be passed along to consumers and increasing inflation. I think a few years of double digit inflation would help the US right now.
Walmart itself has said one of the reasons for their decline in performance in recent years has been cuts to food stamps. Their own employees are big recipients of food stamps. It’s not a huge leap of logic to think that Walmart raising wages might actually help their own sales and actually increase their performance.
As far as scheduling goes, yes, it is in the store’s best interest to do just in time staffing. Not sure that full-time employees are exempt from this type of scheduling though. Maybe a few higher up full time employees get the luxury of knowing when they are going to work in advance.
One of the comments always made about people complaining about Walmart jobs is “shut up and get a better job”. If Walmart isn’t willing to schedule around classes, how are you going to get an education to get a better job? And it’s not so much Walmart scheduling around doctor appointments, it’s being able to know your schedule so you can schedule your doctor appointment around your work schedule. Or if you work at Walmart do you just automatically give up your right to go to the doctor or for heaven’s sake even the right to plan a freaking birthday party?
Ryan R is a genius and has correctly summarized the reasons I will never give one cent to Walmart. That said, I am pretty pumped about el pollo loco. Yum.
Then I would suggest working for a higher end retailer . Smaller stores don’t really do just in time staffing and would gladly welcome someone with some snap. Try a Z Gallerie or some type of store that doesn’t have 100+ employees. (No dept. stores, mass merchants, etc….)The pay is better and God knows the environment is.
I emailed the two contact names on the website for the site asking if they had completed any traffic studies or if there was a plan to expand south rice, especially since according to the map the only way to enter or exit the center would be south rice… still waiting for a response..
the problem is: south rice is not really able to be expanded. you can’t take part of the property east side of s. rice as that is city of Bellaire up to Glenmont Street. the left side is confounded by an HISD elementary school (that is another issue as in the evening traffic south before the school comes to a halt as cars are parked in a queue on s. rice trying to pick up their kid in after school care around 5 to 6) as well as most of the businesses on the west side of s. rice are built pretty close to the street already.
they are boxed in for street improvement. the idea of a walmart is a huge mistake. the road is not built to handle that much traffic. i can’t figure out how they are going to get semi trucks into that area. you can’t run semis along glenmont to s. rice to go north. that road is falling apart (i drive it every day).
i don’t think bellaire will let walmart run trucks through their streets particularly if it starts impacting the citizens of bellaire. all they have to do is start ticketing any walmart truck for any infraction to discourage them.
it just seems like the issues of traffic around that lot haven’t been thought through very well since the only road is s. rice.
There’s already a walmart at Dunvale at Westheimer not far from that location, this is totally unecessary
The expansion mainly needs to be done from westpark to the southern edge of the property to at least accommodate a turn lane, or perhaps even a traffic light, can you imagine how difficult making a left in and out of that center is going to be… without turn lanes or a light… the traffic would be back up for a mile because 1 person decided to make a left….especially during rush hour.. now further south where even the metro buses avoid the right lane…it needs to simply be rebuilt if they are unable to widen it so that there are actually 2 usable lanes on each side.
David, the City should require a Traffic Impact Analysis. Most likely, you won’t be able to see it until it’s been approved.
Was hoping for a movie theater. Agree we are saturated with the retail options that are being added. No consideration at all for the horuffuc traffic problems that this will cause. Number one wreck area already taxing police and emergency response is jus a block away at 610 and59. Worst designed freeway exchange in America.
Not a huge WalMart fan, but I agree with ShadyHeightster…hopefully this new Super WalMart will close down the horrible, ghetto, nasty Walmart on S. Post Oak. Maybe they’ll tear it down and put a big new HEB in? Westbury residents can only wish!!!
Lol….funny… almost a year after….and I’m here to inform you the Walmart sign is up….see you there…lol…
Oh the horror. And some of YOU will be secretly shopping at one or more these fine retail establishments!!! Ins disguise of course,so your self-avowed hipster friends won’t call you out !!!