Zeroing Out the Americana Building

The retail tenants at the bottom of the Americana Building at 811 Dallas across Travis St. from Macy’s downtown have just about cleared out, reports a reader: Popeye’s, the Travis Food Store, and Zero’s Sandwich Shop (pictured at right) are already gone. Fast Signs has a sign up saying it’s moving soon. Subway is still open, but the reader reports hearing that its lease has been bought out. When the James Coney Island on the ground floor of the 15-story office block shut down 2 years ago after 35 years in the same location, a spokesperson complained to KHOU 11 News that the restaurant had been forced to close “because their building is falling apart, but the landlord won’t fix it.”

Photos: Boxer Property (top); Swamplot inbox (below)

13 Comment

  • future demo day article ahead?

  • I heard that JCI was kicked out and refused to pay more for the lease. Never ate at the JCI but eat at the Subway, and used to contract park in the Macy’s garage inside this building (1/2 in Macy’s 1/2 in this building). Looks OK but is not Taj.

  • Knock it down and make high rise condos.

  • i just don’t understand why they can’t knock this down and build the Asbury Highrise over. It would fit in with the neighborhood so much better.

  • I don’t understand why demolish a building when there are empty lots all around downtown that can be developed.

  • John: downtown real estate is not my area of expertise but my guess is this: empty lots have the ability to generate revenue (parking). They have lower taxes (as they have no improvement value). There are no upkeep costs. There are no liability issues that a typical building would have. All this makes holding the property till you get the price you want easier.
    On the flip side a building that’s falling apart is a liability to the owner and could be sold for less. And, conceivably, the fact a structure was there might mean some issues with regards to what can go back up might be solved.
    But that’s a total gues.

  • I just don’t understand.

  • A surface parking lot on this block – wow that’d be a beautiful thing. My resources at Popeye’s chicken in the same block tell me one tenet is taking over the entire building , garage and building podium are to get a unifying re-skin.

  • The building is going to be completely gutted and remodeled. The exterior is getting reskinned. Tellepsen is the General Conractor wit work scheduled to start within 60 Days! Joe In the Know!

  • Well that’s better then it being demolished in my opinion. There are enough empty lots were buildings can be built instead of tearing down buildings.

  • It isn’t an architectural gem, but it is a nice enough building, and I believe the common/public areas were all renovated 4-6 years ago. Besides, it has some reasonable prices when it comes to renting office space in the middle of downtown. I suspect no tunnel access is a bit of a problem..? Hopefully some better places can go into the ground level than Zero’s and James Coney Island, but we all know retail+downtown=toss up.

  • Actually, it’s sorta got tunnel access via the elevators on the Macy’s garage side…it just has a long term reputation of being on the skeevy side of Class B.

  • Is the building going to retain the retail/restaurant spaces on the street level?