Those dark green awnings and the sign shown below are now the only exterior traces of Barnes & Noble’s multi-decade presence in the east-facing building in the Westheimer Crossing shopping center just west of Voss Rd. It’s the only business ever to inhabit the 38,700-sq.-ft. standalone structure since it went up along with the rest of the retail complex in the mid-90s.
Unlike the rest of the shopping center — now home to Academy Sports + Outdoors, Michaels, REI, Designer Shoe Warehouse, Petco, Thai Spice and a smattering of roadside fast food and retail buildings — the former bookstore is owned separately by National Retail Properties, a real estate investment trust that puts money into shopping centers across the U.S.
Photos: Rex Solomon
ALDI IS MAKING ITS MOVE AT THE CROWDED CROSSROADS OF WESTHEIMER AND S. GESSNER
Aldi punched its ticket for entry into the Tanglewilde Center yesterday by filing a building permit to convert the closed 21,300-sq.-ft. Batie’s Ace Hardware at 9525 Westhimer into a supermarket. It’ll be the third grocery store within a 2,000-ft. radius of the intersection of Westheimer and S. Gessner Rd. Randall’s sits at the northeast corner, and Kroger is just west of the crossroads. The hardware store being converted closed down late last year. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox
The mark of Aldi now appears at 9525 Westheimer, smack in the middle of the strip where Batie’s Ace Hardware is going out of business. Liquidation sales began there on Tuesday — reports a Swamplot reader — with the goal of creating an 18,900-sq.-ft. hole in the portion of the building pictured at top, adjacent to Party City.
Currently about half a dozen Aldis are open inside the Beltway, with additional reinforcements scheduled to arrive soon.
Photo: Swamplot inbox. Map: Brixmor
Westheimer Near Gessner
Something new is on the table for the building at the corner of Westheimer and Stoney Brook Dr.: Prime Social, a card and board game venue with an onsite restaurant. The not yet full house is advertising chess, backgammon, cribbage, and a number of poker variants — with 2 daily tournaments (up to “$5,000 GUARANTEED”). Also, “professional armed security” will be present on the premises, according to the house website, in case anything gets out of hand.
Churrasca Brazilian Steakhouse closed down in the 11,448-sq.-ft. building, pictured above, last year. The restaurant took over from sushi joint and nightclub Fish & the Knife, which shuttered in its newly-built space at 7801 Westheimer in 2014, 9 months after opening.
Raising the Stakes
A 2-page letter posted to the front door of the Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill in the Westside Plaza shopping center at 8383 Westheimer on Friday explains that the landlord has terminated the lease on the property and is demanding the tenant pay close to $71,000 in back rent. Fadi Dimassi opened the first Fadi’s at this location in 1996; with this closing Fadi’s is now down to 8 locations, including 3 franchised spots in Dallas.
According to the letter, the lease term officially expired at the end of January. Since that time, Texadelphia has moved into the spot next door, replacing the Potbelly Sandwich shop shown in the photo above.
A Swamplot tipster notes the restaurant was open for business on Saturday but locked out on Sunday, with all tables, chairs, and restaurant property still inside. In an interview with the Houston Press in 2015, Dimassi noted that the $18,000-a-month rent his company was paying for the Dunvale location had spurred his interest in purchasing real estate for subsequent locations.
Photo: Miguel Paez
Done with Dunvale
Heads up, California-ization vigilantes: A diligent transaction sifter over at HAIF noted last night that In-N-Out Burgers recently bought 8373 Westheimer Rd. (currently home to a branch of public employment center Workforce Solutions in the parking lot of the nearby Walmart Supercenter on Dunvale Rd.). The 1997 standalone building is right around the corner from the AMC Studio 30, and sits in something of a Whataburger gap — not one of the 5 nearest Whataburger locations is closer than 1.7 miles by car. The space had been put on the market a few times in the last few years with no takers; the sale to In-N-Out went through in late May, per county records.
Noises have been made before about In-N-Out possibly moving to (or near) Houston, but CBRE VP Jazz Hamilton told the Chronicle’s Katherine Feser only this past February that he expected the chain’s first location to open by the end of the year — adding that Houston will “see [more locations] come in quietly . . . All of a sudden, they’ll start building all at once.”
Photo of 8737 Westheimer Rd.: LoopNet
Out and In on Westheimer