Booming Houston ZIP Codes; ‘Butterfly Roof House’ off the Market

Photo of Memorial Drive: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


13 Comment

  • “Downtown Office Tower and Former Sakowitz Building Hit Market”
    City leaders should IMMEDIATELY meet with Bloomingdale’s executives to transform the Sakowitz building into a Bloomingdale’s flagship, so DESPERATELY needed in downtown Houston…Bloomingdale’s is the only one of the majors that we don’t have. Even a Nordstrom flagship would be great in downtown Houston. A luxury flagship is exactly what’s needed to anchor the stalled Dallas Street retail corridor project. Damn, if only Houston had city leaders with balls. It’s soooooooo needed to compliment the ‘new’ downtown Houston, especially with all the new residential and tourism/comventions.

  • The site is across the street for the block that Macy’s found impractical. I think that Target would make more sense than an upscale department store than Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom.

  • @Neil
    Downtown Houston needs it ALL: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s…and Target too. Additionally, it needs carefully selected ground floor retail and restaurants to compliment 2 or 3 department stores…all along a beautifully decked out Dallas Street streetscape. These are simply prerequisites for a downtown of a world class city: world class retail. Currently, retail in downtown Houston is dead and stinking…and people in downtown Houston have to go across town or out to the suburbs for decent retail, SMH. The new residential/office towers, hotels, booming convention district, and huge increase in tourists, have no retail in downtown Houston. It’s sad, pathetic and laughable. Downtown Houston has done a quantum leap on getting better, but the missing link that continues to hinder it is the lack of world class retail. It’s a glaring MAJOR problem. Time to fix it. That will take LEADERSHIP!

  • Department stores are dinosaurs. They are headed for extinction. Macy’s has been closing stores all over the place. Even Nordstroms is closing stores. Bloomingdales is hyper selective about opening new locations and has only shown interest in putting outlets in Texas. The Dallas St. retail corridor is pretty much a pipe dream. There is too much new retail going in other parts of town inside the loop to get people to shop downtown. Downtown needs to stick with restaurants, night life and special events. People like coming downtown for a concert or a 5k race and do not mind paying for parking. but downtown will never have enough of a retail experience to be able to compete with retail developments in the Heights, Montrose, Upper Kirby, etc.

  • The only thing downtown needs is to be put out of its misery.
    Few people even go there but almost everyone has to deal with the mess it creates.

  • I agree with @HonestTruth about Target. I think a CityTarget would work best. Smaller, limited items, mainly focused on fresh produce and pantry groceries with practical home goods. I do think Houston could benefit from a Bloomingdales, but not sure the need for one is present in Houston. We have Neimans, Saks, and Nordstrom. If luxury goods are the subject, I feel like Houston could benefit more from an influx of international brands versus another dept. store.

    I used to live in Chicago and they had pretty much every luxury dept. store (Barneys, Bloomingdales, NM, Saks, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor) available in the US. I felt the majority of this traffic was built off tourism from Asia. There was literally a boutique in NM selling Chanel while down the street 2 blocks there was a Chanel boutique. And across from that was a Bloomingdales selling Chanel. While I understand this happens in The Galleria in many capacities, I just feel like our market isn’t as busy as one like Chicago or NYC.

  • @Old School
    Department stores will always be with us. Retailers are closing ‘low performing’ stores all over the place, while opening new ones in booming markets…for example, Bloomingdale’s recently opened several new stores on the west coast, FortyFiveTen just opened a new flagship near the Neiman Marcus flagship in downtown Dallas (one of 4 NM’s in DFW), Saks Fifth Avenue just opened a new flagship at the Brickell in downtown Miami (the newest of 5 SFA’s in Miami), Neiman Marcus just opened a new store at Roosevelt Field in suburban NYC, and Neiman Marcus will open yet another in NYC next year on the west side of Manhattan at Hudson Yards…department stores are no dinosaurs, except the ‘low performing’. These other cities have great leadership…they go get it, and make it happen in their downtowns; Houston, not so much. The Dallas Street project died due to a lack of city leadership, plain and simple. Downtown Miami and downtown Dallas understand…and soon downtown Atlanta will also…but clearly in Houston, we have a problem. All the other major cities in the south (and the north) have major retail throughout their cities, especially their downtowns; but downtown Houston sucks for retail, and it’s really a shame.

  • There’s a pretty nice 3 story Target store in downtown Minneapolis. (Okay, two stories and a basement level) I no longer work downtown, but if I did I would have loved to have a Target to go to during lunch or after work to pick up a few things. Beats having to drive to the local store after work. I do believe that a Target like the one in Minneapolis would be a good fit, now that more people are living in the central business district.

  • Honest Truth, what do you want “Houston” (who isn’t a person, it’s a city) to do to get Target and Nordstroms to open a store? I’m honestly asking. They open a store where it makes sense for them to do so. If you were elected mayor, what would your plan be to get the vision you want to become a reality?

  • Honest Truth really nailed this one. It’s true that many other cities, like it or not, do public/private partnerships to develop their urban areas in a way to make them attractive to both citizens and business.
    I think the Parker administration wasted some great opportunities. I recognize she came into office in a significant economic downturn, but by her 2nd and 3rd terms in 2011-2015, Houston experienced unprecedented economic growth , yet there was a failure to capitalize on that other than spiffing up Buffalo Bayou and Herman Park. Sometimes Houston seems to have an attitude of “we don’t need to play that game” towards downtown development, and other large ans medium cities just snicker and pass us by.

  • All the skepticism and heartache about subsidizing new residential downtown, yet folks want the City to help retail? SMH
    Getting more retail was really the endgame of subsidizing the residential. Don’t most folks know that Houston First was the big actor in pushing for the residential incentives, because they knew rooftops were necessary for creating the retail and street life conditions they needed to promote the city to convention groups and tourists in general?
    While subsidizing retail is a dicey proposition anywhere in a city (let alone downtown), it certainly shouldn’t be done for department stores – why would you want to create a hard-to-reuse big box for a retail sector that’s been having so much difficulty and whose prospects are cloudy at best? And no, despite whatever good news you might hear about Macys/Bloomingdales/Nordstrom (“but they’re opening stores!”), there aren’t any non-discount chains that have an easy path forward right now.
    Lastly, market conditions downtown are entirely insufficient to support mall-type retail, including department stores. Weekday daytime shopping traffic isn’t nothing but it’s not sufficient at all. And the residential 20-minute drive time area is still mostly devoid of high-disposable-income shoppers over one half of that area, despite whatever gentrification is taking place. Compare to Uptown – situated in a nearly 360-degree sweep of well-to-do residents and a lot of density.
    Lastly, for those who maintain that tourists will keep such stores afloat – tourists that want to do a lot of shopping stay in Uptown, not Downtown, and that’s not going to change. Uptown is unquestionably the city’s main tourist hotel district, despite the convention center being Downtown. The River Oaks District only fortifies Uptown’s position on the tourist radar.

  • I agree with HonestTruth that retail & amenities make a city.
    Houston cannot ORDER high end retail to set up in downtown Houston but there are incentives and deals that can be made…
    A busy, modern person may shop online, have groceries delivered, but still goes out to eat, out for entertainment. The person enjoys strolling down a lively street. Tourist come to the lively street, too.

  • @ Honest Truth: Real leadership on this matter entails taking stock of real-world constraints and opportunity costs and acknowledging them, making stepwise incremental progress at what is often a barely perceptible pace toward shifting goalposts, and doing so with the understanding that the fruits of every effort will not be realized until quite a long time after sitting leaders have been term limited out of office, and perhaps even after their successors have also been term limited.
    “Leadership” is not a synonym of “Magic”.