West Alabama CVS Gets Its Shepherd Dr. Corner Parking Lot Ready

CVS Pharmacy Under Construction, 3112 S. Shepherd Dr., Westlawn Terrace, Houston

CVS Pharmacy Under Construction, 3112 S. Shepherd Dr., Westlawn Terrace, HoustonThe new CVS Pharmacy that’s replacing a couple of former veterinary clinics on W. Alabama — as well as the Shepherd Corner shopping center that until late last year housed Roeder’s Pub, Ruchi’s Taqueria, and Oaks Cleaners — is almost ready to show off the 40 shiny new parking spaces that will front the S. Shepherd Dr. corner a block south from the Trader Joe’s-ified Alabama Theater.

Don’t worry that parking will be scarce, though — more spaces will be available along the side and back of the new building, which faces S. Shepherd Dr. behind 2 full parking lanes. If you’re looking for a development that might be a little more street-fronting, you’ll have to wait: Construction hasn’t even begun yet on the fast-food drive-thru planned for the adjacent former site of jewelry store Fly High Little Bunny; it’ll go in where the big pile of dirt is, at the left of this photo:


CVS Pharmacy Under Construction, 3112 S. Shepherd Dr., Westlawn Terrace, Houston

Photos: Christopher Andrews

19 Comment

  • What a shame…this corner is now just so dead…it used to be the center of an old small town…now it’s a parking lot. At least I can cut the corner through the new parking lot!

  • Note the Mattress One in the photo, across Shepherd.

  • I think Sec. 545.423 of the Texas Transportation Code applies here regarding cut-throughs:
    Sec. 545.423. CROSSING PROPERTY. (a) An operator may not cross a sidewalk or drive through a driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance without stopping the vehicle.
    (b) An operator may not cross or drive in or on a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance at an intersection to turn right or left from one highway to another highway.
    n.b. Also refer to section 541.302 for the definition of highway:
    (5) “Highway or street” means the width between the boundary lines of a publicly maintained way any part of which is open to the public for vehicular travel.

  • I blame Medicare part D. A small pharmacy should not have enough outsized profit margins to wipe out a whole strip center.

  • With Houston’s no zoning and no direction in design or implementation, and , with CVS’s penchant….greed…. for overdeveloping, we have another CVS that should have been , at the least , built more toward the street /sidewalk with possibly a row of parking in front of the store with the remainder of the parking behind to create a needed streetscape , pedestrian environment. If Cvs and Houston, or at least those voters who voted for no zoning , had their dream city , this would be it, create a super convenient auto centric , parking lot of a city , with no connectivity……, to work in a building isolated from all other buildings , living in an isolated suburb, driving to big box retail stores with football size fields of parking lots, along the feeder roads to shop, drive to park at a chain restaurant to eat, then drive back home. Now CVS wants to tear down what little we have in the 610 dynamic core and Houston couldn’t give a rat’s xxx. This should be Houston’s tourism slogo….You may not like it here but your car will.

  • These pics are outdated as trees have been planted and the parking lot is clean. If only COH could work at 1/5 of CVS’ speed, we might even have Shepherd or Westheimer complete by now.

  • How many local businesses were obliterated so we could have another ugly as skin cancer CVS on this corner? I’m so sick of this mediocrity.

  • What a waste of prime real estate.

  • The expansion of CVS and Walgreen’s is perfect for those who suffer from OCD. Soon every major intersection will have an identical, uniform and sterile look.

  • Well, at least the Alabama Theater was re-purposed and preserved. There was talk of that one facing a date with the wrecking ball a few years back, and it also has lots of parking in the back, to the extent that’s preferable. Regarding the new CVS, it’s puzzling that they projected for the new location to be profitable, since they already have one on Kirby and SW Fwy and another one on the corner of Richmond and Montrose. Sure, there are a lot of people moving into the new luxury apartments along Richmond, Westheimer, and The Suzanne on Dunlavy, but they are probably too young to significantly enlarge the most profitable population segment for meds, not to mention that one of the other pharmacies may be closer (Montrose/Richmond) and Randalls (Westheimer/Shepherd) and HEB (W Alabama/Dunlavy)
    I would say the new CVS layout with steep set-back is an improvement. There were large flower pots on the sidewalk fronting Shepherd (which was a nice feature and remains so), but the one on West Alabama was very narrow and barely usable, not to mention the unsightly effluents emanating from the building. Even if the transportation code prohibits corner-cutting by MVs, that does not apply to pedestrians and the big parking lot does make it more walkable. It’s obvioulsy not going to be as nice as the HEB parking lot (formerly Wilshire Village), but there weren’t any trees there to preserve in the first instance.
    Speaking of turning corners, the one from W Alabama to S Shepherd was so sharp that the curb and the utility pole were prone to get scraped and damaged regularly and the walk signal push-button box shaved off. I submit that safety in crossing the intersections is an important aspect of walkability too. And since there a multiple lanes, and heavy North-South traffic most of the day, you do need the signalized intersection to cross South Shepherd.
    The sushi place North of W Alabama (now in its third incarnation as MAIKO) does actually made for nice urban ambience because is has a patio area that runs almost the full length of the South side parallel to the sidewalk.
    I fully agree that the standardized CVS box design and signage is ugly and does not meld with the art-deco feel and look of the older buildings nearby, but the corner building that was torn had been in poor state of repair, and part of it was vacant after the nautical equipment retailer moved out a few years ago. The Ruchi’s Rincon the Mexico signage looked more shabby than charming.
    Unlike the Shepherd-Alabama Shopping Center and the Shepherd Plaza (on the Farnham-Greenbriar curve) that has been awaiting revitalization of years now, the Ruchis building did not have much appeal aesthetically. The best part was probably the eccentric rusty emblem atop the roof of the Fly High Little Bunny boutique on the next lot to the South (now also torn down).

  • Anyone have info on the fast food drive thru?

  • So looking at the new CVS and all that bright white concrete, what again is the impermeable cover requirement for COH? In their (COH) aggressive push for more parking are they creating a bigger evil? I was at this intersection two weeks ago when we got the flash rain storm (dry when I went into WEPCO, standing water 15min later) and that corner was not doing so well.

    As an engineer, I’ve done my fair share of surface water modeling and it sure does seem to me that nobody at the city/COE is doing system modeling only focusing on the rule of thumb requirements and applying them to everyone and hoping that even with the unprecedented volume of expansion, that their little back of the envelope rules will survive a system that is changing so vastly.

  • Good lord people did any of yall actually LIVE near that strip center? It was run down and crappy. The main loss was Fly High Little Bunny, which was an amazing little spot for last minute shopping, other than that you had Ruchi’s, which was admittedly a solid tacqueria but nothing to write home about (aside from them serving alcohol after hours), and Roeders, which was ok. And while I liked the dry cleaners they’re just a commodity, theres plenty of others to go to. The Cat Vet left over a year ago. Then you had the central unit which sat empty for nearly 3 years. There is an EXTREME oversupply of storefronts in that area. The units across Shepherd that sat empty for years as well, and then right down the road near Cactus Music you have an entire stripmall that is almost completely empty. A CVS may not be the prettiest thing for the area, but its not like it was some historic monument that was lost. It was an old unnecessary strip mall that was poorly maintained in an area where there is far more frontage than there is need for it. Good riddance.

  • I agree with the last poster. There was hardly anyone at the old shopping strip, and it was a dated eye sore. I did like the plants they had on Shepard though, and it’s too bad they’ve been replaced. Was there ever any city vote letting nearby residences comment on the parking layout the great job Lancaster Place did when they were building an HEB? I guess this is “zoned’ in Upper Kirby or is it Montrose’s Dearborn Place? I think Alabama and Richmond between Shepard and Dunlavy is going to be prime for development these next couple of years.

  • I live nearby, and agree with Concrete and his interestingly named friend.

    Nonetheless, this sort of parking lot doesn’t help the area at all. It reflects more heat, and you can definitely feel it in the air nearby as you approach it. Besides adding to the traffic problems, it also invites crime and vagrancy at night by leaving a large empty open space. At least the Alabama theater strip has a security guard, but I don’t know if CVS will do the same.

    People seem to act like this was small-town charm bulldozed for a driveway. It was a 60s semi-slum, with a crumbling exterior. The problem here is the missed opportunity for improvement, instead of switching old problems for new ones.

    For those who say this is due to a lack of zoning, I disagree. Houston does have zoning, but of a very poor quality. It comes in the form of parking requirements and set-backs which produced a sprawl vortex. As for CVS being something truly awful, there are worse businesses, and I doubt many will complain when late-night medicines can be picked up withing walking distance, even when half that walk will be through a parking-lot.

  • As of today (7/14) now open!

  • Just what Houston needed, another CVS… I can’t believe a CVS replaced this shopping center. What a waste…

  • @Jim, it was open on Sunday 7/12. I have a receipt somewhere…

  • Because the three other CVS’ in a five mile radius weren’t enough…