What Was Planned for East End Central, in the Former Macy’s Building Between Austin High and University of Houston

Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy., Eastwood, Houston, 77023

Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy., Eastwood, Houston, 77023A running reader caught sign of the leasing notice currently up at the former Macy’s outlet store just north of I-45 and S. Lockwood Dr. along Munger St. The clearance center operations moved out several years ago to the current location at Highway 6 and Westheimer Rd. (as noted by signage tacked to the S. Lockwood storefront’s doors, still redirecting missed-the-memo potential customers). The company’s distribution warehouse complex next door is still in action (and, per the same set of signage, handling customer pickup).

Lovett Commercial is marketing the space; its own (larger) signage currently refers to the property as East End Central. The flier on the company’s website marketing the property (dated January 2014)show some proposed pad sites and some potential tenants; the flier also refers to the property only as 4500 Gulf Freeway or as South Lockwood Retail:

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 Potential Plans for Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy.,  Eastwood,  Houston, 77023

Here’s a zoom-in on the footprint of the largest structure shown in the plan, which is significantly smaller than the existing building on the site:

Potential Plans for Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy.,  Eastwood,  Houston, 77023

And here’s a quick glance around the site from Munger St., facing away from I-45:

Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy., Eastwood, Houston, 77023

Across S. Lockwood to the left is Diez Park, next door to Austin High:

Former Macy's Outlet Center, 4500 Gulf Fwy., Eastwood, Houston, 77023

Images: Swamplot inbox (photos), Lovett Commercial (site plans)

Southern Eastwood

13 Comment

  • I guess that land is destined to be a shopping center. Across the street from the fairly busy Eastwood Transit Center, due to the Metro bus line defrag and as the future terminus of a University Line. And the 45 right there..and U of H….Austin High School..
    The land and area is evolving from boondocks to loading docks to bike-and-walks.

  • Thats a lot of parking space for something that will have <50 cars parked infront of it at any time.

  • Yawn…This is old news Swamplot. Maybe if you got off everything Woodlands, Katy and West Loop, you’d realize this had been on Lovetts website for a very long time now. Did you guys know, we even got two light rail lines out here now! SMH Bet you didn’t know the old Fingers on Cullen has been inked to become another dreadful Walmart. As with all publications in Houston, reporting on east side developments is almost always either non-existent or very old outdated news.

  • The two pad sites out at the point, fronting Munger Street, do make an obvious sort of sense, but…
    .
    Funny, I’d always figured that this would be mostly a multifamily site instead of downmarket retail. Visibility from the freeway is very limited and southbound access from the freeway isn’t intuitive at all. Bounded on two sides by one-way streets, so poor southbound visibility from Ernestine. Yeah, I don’t get it.

  • @Eddie
    “the old Fingers on Cullen has been inked to become another dreadful Walmart”.
    .
    I’ve heard this rumor and I’ve also heard rumors to the contrary. Do you have anything more substantial than neighborhood gossip? When you say “inked” its seems you might.

  • While the traffic flow and visibility may not be optimum, I think the site makes some sense for a collection of retail. The collection would drive traffic and attract the dorm dwellers across the freeway at UH as well as the local Eastwood residents.
    .
    As someone who lived in Eastwood for several years, the one-way streets by the defunct Macy’s furniture warehouse wouldn’t be too much of an obstacle. I’m hopeful that this project will take off.
    .
    P.S. Keep doing what you do, Swamplot, and don’t let the naysayers stop you.

  • @ Major Market: Maybe things are different for UH students than when I went there as a student, but it took several years for my horizons to open up even to Mandola’s Deli, a lonely bastion of commercially-successful UH-iness. Unlike the intersections at Scott and Cullen, you can’t even see that parcel when you’re down in the interchange with Lockwood. Seriously, zero visibility. Yes there are many UH students nearby as compared to other parts of town, yes I know that, but not enough to support retail north of the freeway along Lockwood if it tries to cater to them. There is no hope of that unless…
    .
    I had also thought at one time that perhaps the Macy’s properties would be a good acquisition target for UH, that they could master-plan the whole thing and make it into an interesting residential enclave served by the transit center, their shuttles, and perhaps future LRT. Or just warehouse the land for later use and not pay property taxes on it. If the best alternative use is as questionably-sited low-end retail, I really have to wonder why they didn’t do that.

  • @The Niche, possibly because UH spent the last couple budget cycles throwing money at bigger and better sports facilities. Not saying they can’t find the money elsewhere, but they don’t get the state funding that UT and A&M draw upon.

  • UH pres mentioned a SuperWalmart would come up in that location yesterday at her staff council meeting. She also said UH has not purchased any further properties in the area.

  • I still for the life of me do not understand how they could support another walmart right there, and I’m still very suspicious of the claim. Go ahead and google “walmart houston” and look at the map. Now add that location. It just doesn’t make sense, and it has never been done in houston. The only exception would be the walmart neighborhood stores, but they aren’t really relevant since they are no longer part of the business strategy.

  • FWIW (and it’s probably not much) I have heard from people who are more connected to my neighborhood’s (Eastwood) goings-on than I am, that a Walmart in that location was not a thing anymore. AT this point, I feel like the Walmart rumor (whether it was unsubstantiated or not) is just being lazily thrown about.

  • I take it this walmart rumor started long before the start of this year when they decided to close a bunch of stores in order to buffer against slowing same-store sales growth? No way they would drop another one here.

  • I’m highly skeptical regarding this Walmart rumor, given that the Walmart on Wayside is less than 3 miles away from that spot, and Walmart just closed several Houston locations. I would really love for a high-quality HEB to open up there. The East End is in desperate need of a good grocery store.