Weingarten: Tearing Down North Shepherd Sears Was Just Our Suggestion to Sears

Proposed Oaks on Shepherd Shopping Center, 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., Independence Heights, Houston

Sears, 4000 N. Shepherd St., Garden Oaks, HoustonA scheme to demolish the 1949 Sears building at 4000 N. Shepherd Dr. and the Pine Forest Business Park behind it and replace it with an “Americana”-themed shopping center headlined by a new Sears store and a supermarket is only part of an unsolicited proposal sent to the national retailer, a representative of Weingarten Realty tells Swamplot. A brochure describing aspects of the proposal, which would replace the Streamline Moderne department store between Garden Oaks and Independence Heights with a higher density shopping center that the body copy implied would be styled in a manner akin to the residential designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, was posted online by the publicly traded REIT earlier this week.


Proposed Oaks on Shepherd Shopping Center, 4000 N. Shepherd Dr., Independence Heights, Houston

“Weingarten and Sears have no deal in place, have not agreed to any terms for any redevelopment and plans are not imminent,” writes Weingarten communications director Carrie Murray. “Weingarten regularly makes unsolicited offers as a developer to land owners. We made an unsolicited proposal to Sears regarding its building and surrounding land. The vision book referenced online was intended as an internal piece to showcase this proposal.”

That “vision book” touted Weingarten’s local expertise: The redevelopment project, which the company called Oaks on Shepherd, would be “developed by Houstonians for Houstonians.” It was taken down from the site it was posted on yesterday, about the same time Swamplot published its story describing it. “We regret that the documents were released to the public in error,” writes Murray.

Images: Weingarten Realty

Oaks on Shepherd

12 Comment

  • Presumably when they wrote “in a manner akin to the residential designs of Frank Lloyd Wright” they meant “incorporating a full range of outlet mall bolt on design cliches”.

  • Yeah, make it like Katy Mills Mall with the grace and style of that location. Plenty of ugly parking too! (Sarcasm, if you didn’t pick up on that.)
    …and props to the other commenter with the “bolt on cliches'”
    If anything over the past 30 years, we’ve learned that Weingarten has little style, spends little money and not only ignores but actively thwarts community involvement.

  • Michael: I don’t have any opinions on Weingarten other than they must be doing something right as they’re successful. You become successful by building and offering a product that people want — not by doing something everyone hates. So while everyone on here bags on them for ‘bolt on design cliches’, it’s obviously something the market is responding positively to.
    And since the market is made up of everyone, voting with their dollars, I’ll take their opinions over people taking pot shots on swamplot.
    (I realize this isn’t a popular point of view. And I’m not saying I like their stuff personally. But what I might want to see done doesn’t’ reflect the economic realities of what DOES get done).

  • So this was a real estate “pump-fake”?

  • Cody for President

  • Weingarten tends to use their vast local knowledge in the Houston market to acquire some very well located, premium properties. They have some pretty primo properties in other states as well. Where they get criticism is that they often tend not to seem to care about how their properties relate to the neighborhoods they are located in, or to the design sensibilities of the communities they are located in. In other words, they have some trophy locations, but the buildings themselves sometimes wind up less than “trophy” quality. So yes Cody, they make money with what they have, but they could probably make even more money if they had better design instincts. See Gerald D. Hines or Trammel Crow to see how you combine prime locations with prime designs.

  • If there are 2 nickles to be made for the vulture capitalist who is dismantling Sears, you can rest assured this will be a done deal.

  • A savvy developer would do well to explore the historic tax credit possibilities of rehabbing the Sears building. Weingarten’s proposal comes off as kind of half-baked and ignorant. I wonder if their images of the new development are just a kind of clip art they use in every proposal?

  • H-E-B please!

  • Yes a H E B….!!!

  • Wow.
    I wonder if they’ve pitched any proposal to Sears regarding the Main Street store. I also wonder if Sears knows they even have a store at that location, because they don’t seem to have a clue about how to maximize it.

  • Sears as a business has drastically declined (just like Kmart) and the majority of their business is made via their Credit Card end. That being said, that particular Sears and the Family Bingo (depending on which lights on their sign are working) and the strip center just south have a crummy unkept look. I would love to see either it completely overhauled and spruced up or completely demolished and something new! That corner NEEDS it! An HEB would be MOST welcome! Brash Brewing is in the area and I would love to see more development.

    Style does matter and newer isn’t always better, but what is there needs to change or go IMHO.