A Look at Some of the Green That’s Helping Transform the Former Houston Pavilions into GreenStreet

Interior of GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

Swamplot reader Marc Longoria has pics of some of the greenery added recently to the revamped interior of the former Houston Pavilions mall downtown, now known as GreenStreet. The rebranding of the mixed-use complex, which extends 3 blocks east from the Main St. rail line in a Discovery Green-ish direction, signifies more than just the infusion of cash from the new owners who are rescuing the project from bankruptcy, the Midway Companies (the folks behind CityCentre) and Magic Johnson’s Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds: There’s the notable addition of striped-green roofs over the escalators (above), for one thing. And more new plant-ish color has been added nearby:


Interior of GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

More green additions coming: lunches from salad chain Salata, which a large sign announces is opening soon in this space just east of McCormick & Schmick’s:

Interior of GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

It’ll front this bright green Astroturf-y lawn applied to a central patch in the block between Fannin St. and San Jacinto:

Interior of GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

The 3-story-tall decal applied to the back of the adjacent elevator appears to be an ad for Hendrick’s Gin, which somehow got away without sporting the latest downtown colors:

Interior of GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

Photos: Marc Longoria

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23 Comment

  • The grass is the only thing alive in there!

  • They need to hurry up with that construction so that people can get back to watching the Rockets and Astros games through the windows of the CSN Houston Studios.

  • I actually like(d) going to this place, but,
    Lipstick meet pig.
    Did they get a big discount at the bankruptcy court, that will allow them to stay in business longer because of lower financial costs?
    This would come after the subsidy the city gave the original owners.

  • Very cool. When I lived in California you’d see Green designs all over, it’s cool a developer in Houston has seen its merits. Maybe others will follow his lead. San Antonio’s Shops at La Cantara has a garden running thru the center of the development, they wisely chose drought tolerent species of plant. Houston has an almost tropical climate so the skies really the limit on what they can chose to cultivate. Bravo!

  • They are really grasping at straws here.

  • Until they fix the fundamental problem with this site (no parking and not connected to the downtown tunnels) I don’t think a green roof is going to get them any more foot traffic or many happy tenants.

  • Sure wish they’d get some of those CityCentre tenants to open downtown. They would do great, considering all the new downtown residential and convention district expansion, not to mention the convention district plans and light rail expansion.

  • This thing will never work, why would anyone go here on purpose?

  • like the new additions and wish them the best of luck. never had any issues with the development myself, but throwing in some rolling tumbleweeds would certainly not have been out of place.

  • The third problem was the inward orientation of the shops. Are they fixing that?

  • Having some patios or any hint of street interaction along Dallas St. or Polk St. would be a good next step. Wake me up when the new hotel starts construction

  • I agree that the biggest problem was not integrating with the street and orienting everything into that alley (and to make it worse you can’t walk through the alley without crossing right through San Jac and Fannin unless you walk around to the crosswalks on the corners).

  • They could let the grass grow and throw some trash on it so it resembles every Houston freeway.

  • They need to rename it “LAST MAN ALIVE!” and capitalize on the whole post-apocalyptic vibe.

    You stagger in from the bleak sun blasted landscape to find a collection of stores where apparently people once shopped …

    I’m sure they can decorate it to look like people once shopped there.

  • Everybody knows people attract people. You’ve got to see people there and enjoying it to make you want to stop and participate!

    Add crosswalks so people don’t have to dodge traffic (C’mon, City of Houston).

    Add patios to the outside streets.

    Add more shops.

    Add people!

  • I work nearby and occasionally walk through there to see what’s up. Over a year into the “redevelopment” and all they have done is redo the sidewalks and add mid block pedestrian crosswalks. There’s not much sign of opening up and adding retail and dining to face the streets. They do have a big convenient parking garage. There is a LOT of potential there. All you need to do is make it a giant food court and throw in a Starbucks and a nice convenience store. But nothing yet.

  • It has taken so long for them to do anything. I wish they would tell us when they planned to completed the renovation. It’s taking forever.

  • I bet kids could play golf on top of those escalator covers.

  • Aren’t we just rotating back to designs from 50-60 years ago? I seem to remember “Meyerland” and “Gulfgate” malls with over-sized planter boxes and trees even.

  • I am always amazed at the pessimism in comments – usually it’s at the Chronicle, but I see it here too. Are y’all really that negative all the time?? I’d like to hear from the people who are so pessimistic – what kinds of places do you frequent?

    I work at UHD and I’ve taken the train down to what is now Green Street several times – usually just to walk around and watch the street from that cool circular thing in the center.

    I’ve gone to see shows at House of Blues – it’s so easy to just leave my car at work, jump on the train and I’m there. I’ve yet to go to the bowling alley – but I love bowling so it’s just a matter of time – is it a legitimate bowling alley? Do they have leagues I could join, I wonder?

    I miss the bookstore. Why did they leave? Need more bookstores! Coffee houses! ice cream parlors for a cool workday lunch!!

    And I love those cool green diagonal thingies. :-)

  • Once more residential developments are built in the SE area if downtown, Green Street will have all the kinks worked out and good tenants paying rent. Will take a few years.

  • @Houstonia, the Books A Million made almost no money in that location. One big problem was their chain-wide policy of not allowing people to bring bags into their stores — that may work in the small towns where they mostly operate, but right at the crossroads of a central business district and a hotel/convention corridor, along a light rail line connecting universities and medical schools, where people carry briefcases, messenger bags, suitcases… They never considered that literally all their potential customers would be carrying a bag of some sort.

    Source: worked there

  • Houstonia:

    Hi there, negative commenter here. I don’t have much hope for GreenStreet because I’ve been there, too. I went back when it was Pavilions. It’s not a good location for a mall, and malls are having trouble surviving even with good locations.

    Regarding the kind of places I frequent, they aren’t malls. I spend a lot of time at work, at home, and riding my bike around Houston. Not a big shopper, although I have a love for malls.