11/08/13 10:00am

BALLY’S I-10 SHOPPING CENTER TO BE BLASTED AWAY FOR NEW OFFICE TOWER MetroNational has immediate plans to tear down this 2-story 12-year-old former Bally Fitness Shopping Center on a 3.44-acre site facing the I-10 feeder at the northeast corner of the Memorial City Mall — and replace it with some sort of new office tower, Real Estate Bisnow‘s Catie Dixon reports. The health club (along with all 9 other Houston Bally’s locations) was taken over by Blast Fitness last year — and shut down entirely this spring. As of the end of last week, all remaining tenants in the building at 9801 Katy Fwy. have closed up shop as well. MetroNational (as usual) wouldn’t comment on plans for the site half a mile east of its headquarters, but Dixon gets the scoop from the stores themselves: Le Peep plans to be gone from the site only for 14 to 16 months, however; it’s been promised a ground-floor retail space in the new building. T.N. Tailor Alterations also says it has a spot in the new development; no word on the Starbucks. [Real Estate Bisnow] Photo of Bally Total Fitness at 9801 Katy Fwy.: MetroNational

08/23/13 11:00am

THE NEW HOSPITAL-ADJACENT STEAKHOUSE IN MEMORIAL CITY And far below that lit-up crown that you can’t enter, there will soon be a steakhouse you can: Culturemap reports that construction is coming along at the mixed-use Gateway Memorial City development on Vallone’s, the red-meat-and-red-wine concept from the folks who feed you on a first-name basis at Tony’s. General manager Scott Sulma says that they hope to open here on Gessner Rd. and the Katy Fwy. in October. [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Vallone’s

09/07/11 4:52pm

A reader sends in a drawing showing MetroNational’s long term plans to develop the “Lifestyle Tract” at Memorial City — on I-10 west of Bunker Hill Rd. That new office building going up at 945 Gaylord is the 14-story tower the company is developing for Nexen Petroleum, which is moving its headquarters here from Plano. The Houston Business Journal reported the company would be leasing 250,000 sq. ft. from MetroNational — and that the building would be a mirror image of the Cemex tower to the west.


09/02/11 1:47pm

What’s that looks-kinda-huge project going up on the southwest corner of I-10 and Bunker Hill Rd., just east of the Memorial City Mall? A reader writes in with some info, but wants to know more: “Anslow Bryant, the company responsible for the lotus-blossom-topped Memorial Hermann Tower, is handling the project. There’s a couple of cranes doing crane things and a temporary fence lining the spot already. In addition to spicing up that desolate parking lot, the project means the demise of the nearby Spec’s and the other four or so forgettable places that line that dilapidated strip center, too. Do y’all know anything? Tell me it’s something cool and not just an office building or a La Quinta.”


08/22/11 1:08pm

H&M IN HOUSTON: ALL IN THE MALLS Swedish clothing retailer H&M is in talks to lease space at the Galleria, in the Memorial City Mall, and The Woodlands Mall for its first 3 Houston-area locations, leasing-agent sources tell Heather Staible. According to the timetable given to her, the Galleria location would be the first to open — in early 2012. [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot]

08/09/10 3:10pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SECRETS OF THE METRONATIONAL DEATH STAR — REVEALED! “Could this be an air traffic control tower for getting the Chemtrail plane patterns accurately placed in skies… for desired weather pattern chemical fallouts… aluminum oxide, barium oxide and ethylene dibromide… very harmful to us. No one is allowed to go to these top five floors all owned by MetroNational Bank (who own the whole building plus more). The rest of the floors 28 and under are doctors offices and hospital. I thought that was a bit odd. It just looks so much like an air traffic control tower… but with no airport near-by… then one must ask…”what in the air.. are they controlling… if not planes landing?” Possibly Chemtrials floating? I invite any comments. Please research Chemtrails first. I am not a conspiracy theory person nor do I believe in UFO’s, ghosts, or [Morgellons] disease.” [CLD, commenting on There Will Be No Tours of the Death Star, and Other Details About the Hospital in the Belly of the Memorial Hermann Tower] Photo: Tony Sava

11/30/09 10:17pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: COMMODITY, FIRMNESS, AND NOTORIETY “The design can’t possibly be that bad. People are talking about it. When was the last time anybody remarked on the designs of Energy Tower III or Energy Crossing II?” [TheNiche, commenting on There Will Be No Tours of the Death Star, and Other Details About the Hospital in the Belly of the Memorial Hermann Tower]

11/30/09 9:55am

Hospital executive Adam Lane tells the Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson that the easiest patients to move into the new Memorial Hermann Tower on I-10 will be . . . the babies, “because they don’t know where they’re going.”

Also, it sounds like some of the interiors might prove a little disorienting for suburban kids:

A hospital floor dedicated to children has been elaborately designed as a town center. The hallway is made to look like a street with curbs, grass and storefronts.

Fortunately, more familiar surroundings will be nearby: the building is connected by skybridge to the Memorial City Mall.


11/24/08 2:12pm

Problems with equipment deliveries are being blamed for the delayed opening of the Lucky Strike Lanes in the Houston Pavilions project Downtown. The party and pool venue, 16-lane bowling alley, and restaurant was originally supposed to debut this Wednesday, but now may not open for business until the beginning of next year. There are 20 other Lucky Strikes open or planned; the Pavilions location will be the first in Texas.

Meanwhile, all is swell at the new 300 Houston, the reimagined and rebranded former AMF Bunker Hill Lanes bowling alley that opened earlier this month near the Memorial City Mall:

. . . instead of an apathetic teen in a ill-fitting polo attending bowlers’ needs, each lane is outfitted with its own personal lane captain who is outfitted in a tuxedo vest.

“[The captain will] get them their drinks, get them any food and beverage that they want, take care of any issues on the lane – if they have a scoring issue, they miss a frame, one of the pins gets stuck – the lane captain takes care of all of that and they close out with the lane captain,” [Sales Manager Jill Maxwell] says. Before that you head to an equipment specialist who sizes you for a ball, gets your shoes and escorts you to your lane.


07/24/08 10:32am

METRO NATIONAL GETS ITS PARK BACK That Texas Heritage Park that Metro National created with a land donation 4 years ago? Nevermind. “Roberta Prazak said she was also suspicious of Metro National’s motives for taking back the land, for which they received a tax break when they donated the land. ‘I would like to see the city demanding that these management districts have a master plan for park space,’ she said. ‘Otherwise, it’s just a moving target.’” The small park — one of 3 created by Metro National — is located between Bally’s and Dillards at the Memorial City Mall. [Memorial Examiner]

07/08/08 11:18am

BECKS PRIME LOCATION FOR A SPORTS BAR That space on the west side of the Memorial City Mall where the Roger Clemens Rocket Sports Grill was supposed to open . . . before all Roger Clemens memorabilia was removed from it? It’s now scheduled to open this summer as . . . the Becks Prime Sportatorium. [Houston Business Journal]

04/18/08 9:18am

Opening in two weeks: A 15,000-square-foot generic sports bar in Memorial City Mall. Hey, wasn’t that supposed to be the Rocket Sports Grill?

Allison Wollam reports in the Houston Business Journal that Roger Clemens’s plans for a burger empire appear to have been scuttled:

. . . all traces of the seven-time Cy-Young award winner have been erased from the would-be restaurant site.

Just one month ago, construction workers were busy erecting a large red “Rocket” sign at the entrance of the restaurant, while Clemens’ baseball jerseys from the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and The University of Texas Longhorns hung in the entry.

As of this week, the Clemens memorabilia had been removed. The restaurant — which is still under construction — now houses wide-screen televisions, NASCAR video games and a variety of non-Clemens’ related baseball memorabilia.

03/17/08 9:54am

Memorial Hermann Tower at I-10 and Gessner Under ConstructionNewspaper and radio technology answer guy Jay Lee snaps this photo of the new 30-story Memorial Hermann tower going up along I-10 next to the Memorial City Mall . . . then posts it to the “Look Like a Robot” photo pool on Flickr.

Does he realize offices in that robot-head are available for rent? From a January report in the Houston Business Journal:

Marshall Heins, Memorial Hermann’s real estate guru, says he gets asked about the cone at least four or five times a day by inquiring citizens.

The top three floors of the cylinder will house mechanical systems, but the bottom three floors will house small offices. . . .

The cone’s footprint is 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, while the office floors below in the main building have a 25,000-square-foot floor plate.

Building developer MetroNational Corp. will lease the three small floors to tenants, but Memorial Hermann will not be one of them. No word yet from MetroNational on who might occupy the special space.

After the jump: what the whole thing’s supposed to look like when it’s finished!