Waiting for the Renaissance: What Could $32 Million Buy at Greenspoint Mall?

The Triyar Cannon Group has been threatening to give shopworn Greenspoint Mall a $32 million makeover since 2006. Most of what appears to be planned shows up in this knock-’em-down video: a new outdoor plaza at the mall’s east entrance, and a connected 22-story office building off Greenspoint Dr., designed by Ziegler Cooper. Just last week, demolition began on the vacant JCPenney building, site of a proposed Premiere Cinema multiplex that’s supposed to share a new parking garage with the tower. Not in the plans, but already happened anyway: the closing of Sears.

When will the rest of this happen?


We haven’t heard any recent announcements from Triyar or from the Greenspoint TIRZ, which is slated to fund some of the improvements. But Triyar, controlled by the Yari family, has had a lot on its plate over the last few years. Yari Film Group recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, almost 4 years after family member Bob Yari lost a lawsuit to win a producer credit for Crash, the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2006. Currently, he’s wrapping up a documentary about The Police (the band, not the cops working in the Greenspoint Mall HPD station).

Only one new tenant has been announced for the outdoor space, called Renaissance Plaza, so far: a GlennLock’s Sports Bar and Grill.

Here’s a view of the proposed office tower:

Video and mall renderings: Hermes Architects; office tower: Ziegler Cooper Architects

34 Comment

  • Until the residential sector of the Greenspoint area is revitalized, a full scale rebuild seems difficult.

    The place would have to be really amazing to pull shoppers from the Woodlands or Willowbrook and Deerbrook.

  • lol @ animation

  • What’s the deal with the signage font?

  • I like the animation, but the design concept feels dated already.

  • What, no shoot out in the plaza?

  • Wait, isn’t that just the Marquis plan?

  • The outdoor area aesthetically looks like a carbon copy of the development next to IKEA at Silber…also plagued by shop vacancies/lack of customers/high theft…also has a police station in it…didn’t help much there.

  • Outdoor shopping is an interesting concept but, in reality, it’s something that a lot of Houstonians probably only do in that small window of temperate weather we get in the spring and the fall. The rest of the time, it’s from the car to the building and back again.

    I hadn’t been to the Marq-E in ages and was shocked to see how empty and run down it was. The Marq-E’s problem was that the restaurants and theater would lure you in, but the caliber of the shops wasn’t enough to make you want to hang out there.

  • KC,

    Despite our high humidity and high summer temps, outdoor shopping areas are extremely popular.

    Highland Village and Rice Village are two shopping areas where shoppers are often seen walking around from shop to shop.

  • No matter. It will still be Gunspoint.

  • kjb434:

    Only because there isn’t nearly enough parking in Rice or Highland Village! Once you give up a spot you won’t find another :-)

  • As someone who works nearby, I sincerely hope they are successful. As for changing the Greenspoint area into something nicer, I think it’s possible. There are subdivisions near the mall with nice, well-maintained single-family homes (on Abney and Southbrook, for example, just north of Greens Road, or parts of Aldine south of Sam Houston Parkway).

    I’m not suggesting a revitalization is inevitable. It may be that Greenspoint will always be a relatively high-poverty/high-crime area. But neighborhoods evolve. Read the description of The Heights from The Man With the Candy written in 1974, and try to square it with what the Heights is today. Greenspoint has a lot of hurdles to overcome to achieve a Heights-style revitalization, but it has things going for it, like lots of occupied office buildings and a good, easily-accessible location.

    The Swamplot consensus seems to be to write Greenspoint off. I’m probably biased because I work here and because I’m naturally contrarian, but I think Greenspoint has a chance and I’m rooting for it. (I’ll certainly be seeing movies in the new theater when they get that built.)

  • For all of the good around Gunspoint, there is probably about 5 times as much negative swirling around that area. You couldn’t pay me to go hang out around there after dark.

  • The atmosphere of Highland and Rice Villages is not something a developer can just will into existence by simply building an updated version elsewhere, e.g. Marq-E and Uptown Park.

    I wish Greenspoint and Sharpstown luck, but I wonder if there can be enough redevelopment money to overcome their perceived reputations. Is there enough lipstick for these pigs? Or will they always be damaged goods?

  • Many have obviously forgotten that they ALREADY tried a major overhaul of the residential component of Greenspoint into the “Cityview” concept. The spent a ton on renovations, marketing, beautification, etc. Lincoln Property Company, a reputable management company, was in charge of it. They did everything you could possibly do and it still failed. If you think there is some other magic that is going to turn that residential part of it around, you are kidding yourself. It is what it is. As for seeing neighborhoods change/gentrify over time & seeing that potential, generally I am the first one to twirl the batton at the head of that parade, but if you want a Heights style turn around you have to have some basics like interesting architecture and a close in location. An area of mongo-apartment complexes just doesn’t have the same dynamic. Never will. Possibly they could turn it into something like a big outlet type mall like the ones in San Marcos. It would then have some kind of draw. Otherwise, I don’t see any hope for it.

  • Robert is point on. All of the Houston neighborhoods that have or are “turning around” are conveniently located to several major employment centers, and most also have some sort of visual appeal in terms of historic architecture or mature landscaping.

  • If Exxon leaves Greenspoint for Spring then they certainly won’t need that new office tower. Acres of office space will be available. Come to think of it, if Exxon leaves then most of the daytime clientele for the redo will evaporate. Just remove the people from those pictures to get the idea.

  • They might as well do Sharpstown if they want to do Greenspoint. Two for one.

  • In 1993, I was with a firm that looked at buying many of the run down apartment complexes in Greenspoint. Our intent was to renovate them, thinking that the many class A office buildings contained many potential residents. Greenspoint was an enigma: awful multi-family and beautiful office development. You don’t often see the two side by side like this. When we got into town and started touring the area, we immediately saw the two critical falacies of our plan:
    1. we needed to own and renovate all of the multi-family to turn the neighborhood. One holdout property would serve as a sanctuary for all that was bad about Greenspoint. Unfortunately, not every property was available for purchase.
    2. Some of the properties, in particular those developed by Fred Rizk, were functionally obsolete. For example, sliding glass doors opening directly into parking lots–no way to easily dress this up.
    We never spent much time on the deals after that.
    On a more positive note, my boss at the time corrupted my by taking me to the St. James Club,and since that time I have considered it the best strip club ever.
    Lincoln, for whatever reason, saw things differently. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always call things right in this business, but I think Lincoln and Archon would like a do-over.

  • Greenspoint Mall is a 40-year-old “has been” mall that is now a serious hazard to your health and property. The mall will claim they have a lower crime rate than the local area. What they won’t tell you is that the Greenspoint district has the highest property crime rate in the city. Break-ins and car thefts in the parking lot are regular occurrences. The mall will even mark your car as an easy target with a bright orange “report card’ on your windshield. Panhandlers and solicitors are numerous and aggressive. Must be because of the homeless shelter across the street on Greens Road.

    Inside the mall the danger to customers gets more serious. At least one gang, the Bloods, claim it for their territory. There are other groups that dispute that claim. You can spot the gang-bangers by their droopy pants; the colors black and white; or the color red.
    Fights between large groups of teenagers, often with weapons like baseball bats, are common. The basketball court at Fitness Connection should be called the “combat zone.” The violence and thefts get a lot worse in the summer when school’s out. Weekends get pretty wild too. The safest time of day to shop is between 10 in the morning and just after lunch. A concealed carry permit is highly recommended.

    HPD support is almost non-existent despite the sub-station located there. Any businessman can tell you the quickest way to make HPD officers disappear is give them something for free. They will totally ignore you just to show that they are not being “bribed” to provide extra protection. The same applies to the PD and the SO who enjoy free rent and return minimal support to the mall. Constables working extra jobs and security guards working for the mall do the only real police work. However, they are held back by management concerns about “customer service.” Translation: Don’t piss off the teenage gang-bangers or their parents.

    The tile floors inside the mall are what really threaten your health. They get slippery as ice with any type of moisture on them. That is all the time as the roof has more leaks than grandma’s spaghetti strainer. Wet floor signs and drip buckets by the hundreds appear after the mildest rain. An average of one customer a week is hurt from falling on those tile floors. Heavy rains combined with clogged drains on the roof have the potential to cause a complete structural collapse.

    Anchor stores have dropped to just two: Dullards and Macy’s. Dullards is just a clearance center open six days a week. Rumors are flying it may close down completely if things don’t pick up. The jewelry kiosks should be approached with caution. There are frequent complaints about fake merchandise and no refunds for any reason. They do great dental work though. The dollar store – it isn’t. But, the mall is a great place to buy shoes. Just don’t get trampled when the stores have one of their frequent Jordan shoe releases. The Food Court is another health hazard. It’s hard to say which is worse: China Pantry’s raw chicken or Soborros 8-hour old “heat and eat” high cholesterol menu. You’d also think that the orientals who run Cajun Grill could at least cook good rice. Their favoriate ingredient is obviously Uncle Ben’s instant. Calling the rest of their menu “Cajun” is only being kind. Even Luna’s food is mostly prepared off-site and brought in for final assembly. They do have a great bar with an outside patio. You can enjoy your margarita while you watch the dope deals go down in the parking lot. The only two bright spots are Brother’s Pizza and City Deli.

    The mall’s owners are the same folks who thought Pasadena Town Square, San Jacinto Mall and Mall of the Mainland were good investments. They still look to the glory days when rich folks from the Woodlands shopped at Greenspoint. Those days are long gone

  • Greenspoint has already missed the boat. There are massive, empty parking lots fronting I-45 that could have become home to all the shops and restaurants that located just south of the mall, near West Road. Even with the theater, which still hasn’t been publicly confirmed, they still have the Sears and Wards spots to deal with. Dillard’s and Macy’s only occupy the first floors of their respective buildings. Fitness Connection only takes up half of the old Mervyns. And there are tons of inline stores that are empty … many of them fairly large, including spots that once housed Walter Pye’s and Woolworth Express.

  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinions however, it is more about the facts that actually matter. The facts are simple and are as follows, HPD( Houston Police Department) released a report stating that crime has DECREASED by 74% meaning that there is about 26% crime in Greenspoint, North Houston’s CBD. Furthermore, I live less than 5 minutes from the Galleria in Uptown Houston and the crime rate is very high. Greenspoint is a beautiful district with a skyline and population that is larger than most towns. And above that you don’t see trash everywere. The landscape is award- winning. GUNSPOINT rhymes with GREENSPOINT and so it catches negative people’s hearts and minds. Just because a crime is commited in an area it doesnt mean that the suspects live there. White People and other minority groups in the area walk the streets to enjoy Late- Nite attractions. Homeless shelters do not exist in Greater Greenspoint but, nice try! Many of the negative comments about the area come from the venimous mouths of people who actually like The City of Houston but wants it to have a little section of it like NEW JACK CITY. It is Not an area of high crime rates and proverty. Numerous reports proves it to be instead a middle- class district much like the areas that you NEGATIVE SERPENTS who slander it’s beauty live in. And i’m willing to bet that you make between $30,000- $40,000. Greenspoint will remain steadfast as it vigorusly gears it’s self to return to it’s glory days and continue to press towards the mark for the prize of excellence while being of good cheer. In the meantime STUDY to show Yourselves aproved.

  • Jerry WilliamsII & Co.:

    If you want to do a STUDY, go spend two hours of a weekend evening in the Galleria in your neighborhood, then go spend two hours in Greenspoint Mall.

    When you get to Greenspoint, take a good hard look around. Look at all the guys milling about with their baggy-pants around their ankles and their underwear hanging out, and their baseball caps perfectly cocked at 45 degrees. Ask yourself “Do these people look middle class?” Do you think they are there to spend money or do you think they are there because they took a bus to oogle all the middleclass women browsing the kiosks full of gold plated Mercedes emblems and cell pink rhinestone cell-phone flashers.

    P.S. Houstoncrimemaps.com says there were exactly 21,758 crimes in Greenspoint, third behind Alief and Sharpstown. It must have been REALLY bad before it improved by 74%

    P.P.S. Keep Dreaming about my income. Perhaps you will improve your psychic abilities someday.

    P.P.P.S. In all sincerity, I hope the area gets better, and I welcome anyones attempts to try because it’s better than doing nothing.

  • Shawnbob, you racist, middle class people do in fact dress like that. Just because they’re black doesn’t mean you should mock their form of dress

  • CD:

    GASP! What? I was actually talking about the WHITE people too! I’m mocking an entire CLASS of people WHITE, BLACK, GREEN etc, rather than a specific RACE of people. YES! they deserve to be mocked, because they drop out of school in droves and then mill around malls looking for trinkets to steal, don’t value education or hard work, or other peoples property. This is why they need the police station inside the Greenspoint mall restroom area, and why 21,758 crimes were committed there.

    You can pretty much assume that when you see some gold-toothed fool scrubbing around Greenspoint mall with his underwear hanging out that he’s not a cardiologist or an attorney or a software engineer looking for a Barnes and Noble. These are not the kind of people that are going to hold the door open for you in the food court, whether it is remodeled or not. Don’t pretend otherwise.

    Before you think I’m a racist, you should know that our President is the one I voted for and I’ve never yet seen him milling around in a mall with his underwear hanging out.

    The issue is CLASS, not RACE.

  • There are a number of people who are offended by saggers. These same people love to visit the beach not to enjoy the sun or to wheather the waves but, to watch Men, Women, Boys, and Girls that are practically Nude in a public setting. IS THIS WHY YOU MAKE STOPS IN GREENSPOINT, to view the BOOTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Is this how you feed your fettish because, Flat Butt Communities dont make yo rise? SO at bedtime it’s Viagra and a greasy hand- job, and at day break it’s Greenspoint……………..All the way to make your day bright.
    The Galleria is a diverse mall. However, Saggers black with the BAGGY pants as you will say, and White or mexican saggers who wear the Skinny JEANS dwell there in volumnous numbers. Again it doesnt mean that they are from the area.

    And you can’t judge a book by it’s cover because, I know people who dress and act like Charlton Banks with a $200 wallet that houses $20 and MAXED- OUT CREDIT CARDS and a half full Mercedes thats in Repo Status. so dont talk to me about a dress code.

  • JW&Co:

    It seems sadly that you missed my point entirely…I hope no one else did.

    If you dress, look and act like a clown, you shouldn’t be shocked when someone mistakenly thinks you are an actual clown.

    If you dress, look and act like a hoodlum that just got out of prison, then you shouldn’t be surprised when people think you are another ignorant low-life gangbanger.

    When you go to the mall and look around and see people that look like Gangstas with IQ’s of 60 and one guy in an electric purple suit and a big roll of cash held together by silly BandZ…what should I assume…these are venture capitalists and a CEO?

    But we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover huh…so perhaps if we took this same book about Greenspoint Mall and put a new 32 million dollar cover on it, then the story would be different?

    …and who’s Charlton Banks anyway?

  • Oh ok…CARLTON banks with no H.

    Without realizing it, I think we may have hit upon the heart of the issue: CLASS and APPEARANCE, and what’s INSIDE vs. what’s OUTSIDE.

    If you take a low-class criminal and put some nice new clothes on him, does that change his character? Does that rehabilitate him at all or just change the way he looks from the outside?

    In the same manner, if you take a run-down mall like Greenspoint and put 32 million dollars of “nice new clothes” on the outside, does that change the character of the mall? Does that really rehabilitate it?…or will it just be the same mall in nicer clothes? Is it all just a waste of money?…or will the inside of the mall ever grow enough class to keep up with the new outside appearance?

  • lol @ “the bloods” marking territory

    I cant believe you would be scared of children….

  • wow, to realize their are racist. I’m really proud of Greenspoint, I live near the CIS building and i simply walk around the Greenspoint district and seen the imporvements, of sidewalks, lights, benches, and art. and by the way my last visit to the mall was a shocker it had a Toy’R’Us and a performing art studio, and i saw more white people(mainly Itialins) but still more white peaople and Indians. Also high crime are you on crack , it really has decreased and people walk their at nights simply to see the skyscarpers and the moon. Come on at least the are doing something it better than doing nothing. by the way I meet some New Yorkers who were staying at the Hiltons, well I was at IHop and they told me that Greenspoint remind them of a litte new york, the agreed it was pretty and on the to sucess and imporvement. and John Doe your simply an old man that has no bloody clue on whats going on, its not 1970 sir, its 2010 how about you go to the mall and Shawnbob you make me sick open your eyes and see the wolrd for its glory not color you jerk, i mean you should be embaressed to actually write that crap, both of yall are simply government people, no wonder yall racists. And JW&Co your such a lovely person to acuatlly see the imporvement and great sucess the Greenspoint district can have thank you for your opinion it acuatlly made me write this thanks.
    peace and love, have a groovy day,
    the hippie of greenspoint Saul:)

  • I moved to Houston in 90 and the area around the mall was like a war zone. Shortly after that the cop was killed and the murder remaines unsolved to this day.
    All the great stores in that mall started closing one by one, either to get out of there or because they ended up going out of business. They tried to clean up the apartments and all the thugs still live there, its a lost cause. They might as well do to GP what they did to Northline, the mall is slowly rotting away anyway from neglect.

  • It’s 2016 and, Greenspoint Mall is a ghost-town. Worse than ever. All the bad that was posted about it and the area in general is not only true but, the crime has sky-rocketed! I’ve lived in Gunspoint for over twenty years. From the west side of HTR to Northborough. All a ghetto! Northborough was an acceptable area at one time. No more. After Katrina, all the low-lifes moved in and, the apartment management let them. Now? Greenspoint is lost. It’s not going to get better. Businesses have given up. Slum-lords own the complexes. Thugs run rampant. It is a violent, dangerous area. I’m leaving because, I’ve had it with the beggars, prostitutes, dope dealers and, the all around worthless lot that has been allowed to take over. Gone are the days of living quietly and peacefully. Don’t bother locking your stuff up. Just don’t live here!

    P.S. Shootings occur on a regular basis. The bullet holes and dings in my vehicles testify to that.