Surprise! Walmart Buying Land Next to Idylwood for Houston’s First Inner-Loop SuperCenter

The first-ever inside-The-Loop Walmart SuperCenter will be built near the corner of South Wayside Dr. and the Gulf Freeway, a source tells Swamplot. The 28-acre site sits between Idylwood and I-45; according to a preliminary site plan currently making the rounds in that neighborhood, the store’s main entrance will be from Wayside, which also serves as the freeway entrance to a few other eastside neighborhoods, including Country Club Place and Forest Park.

According to Swamplot’s source, a real-estate entity connected to Walmart has an 8-month option to buy the property, home to 6 vacant warehouse buildings that once served as a distribution center for Oshman’s — as well as the former corporate offices of the defunct sporting goods company. Walmart has been completing its analysis of the property and is less than 30 days away from completing the land purchase, for a price of $35 a sq. ft., the source says.

Isn’t Walmart already planning its first Inner-Loop store on the other side of Downtown — just south of the Heights? Yes, but that store won’t be a SuperCenter. The Idylwood store is expected to measure approximately 210,000 sq. ft. — almost 60,000 sq. ft. larger than the planned Washington Heights District location. The site plan of the Idylwood store, which is not final (and which we’ve rotated to fit below), shows an asphalt parking lot with 722 spaces, plus a garden center on the store’s south side:


The property, which has been owned for a long time by an entity called Oshman’s Warehouse Trust, backs up to the Sylvan Rd. apartments at the southern edge of Idylwood. The site plan, labeled “Wal-Mart SuperCenter #5612-00,” was prepared by an Austin engineering firm and dates from January 27th. It began circulating among Idylwood residents late Friday; over the weekend, several wrote to Swamplot to express their concerns (Idylwood won the title of Houston Neighborhood of the Year in the 2010 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate). “Folks here are not happy,” says one email; “I wouldn’t be surprised if we pull a Heights and campaign against this,” writes another resident. In circulating emails, residents of several nearby neighborhoods have expressed interested in meeting with the developers and city officials and exerting influence on details of the design before it is finalized.

Walmart is not planning to buy several adjacent parcels that would have given the store more frontage on Wayside and the northbound feeder road of I-45, according to the source. The owner of the demolished former Holiday Inn at the corner (labeled “Wang Tract” on the plan) wanted $45 a sq. ft. for that land and Walmart won’t pay it, the source says. Also, according to the source, Walmart does not plan to purchase the vacant lot (labeled “undeveloped”) next to the Fuel Depot convenience store and gas station that sits the corner of Sylvan and Wayside, but is trying to convince the owner to grant a 25-ft.-wide easement through the property to allow an additional driveway to connect the northern section of the Walmart parking lot to Wayside; Walmart also wants that property owner to put in place a restrictive covenant that would prohibit a CVS store from being built on that site.

Photo of future Walmart SuperCenter entrance along S. Wayside Dr.: Candace Garcia

110 Comment

  • I hypothesize that the immediate neighbors won’t be too happy about this, but a lot of the East End in general will probably be thrilled. It’d be nice if Walmart would think about pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections to this site, since a good number of patrons in the East End will probably be arriving by these modes.

  • Ha – Houston land of the Wal-Marts. We are so trashy………

  • With regards to bicyclists, I think the current Google Street View of the site is pretty telling:

  • Who said the Heights Walmart wasn’t a supercenter? It is not as large as this one (152k v. 210k), but it certainly will be a supercenter with groceries and tons of cheap Chinese crap.

    And isn’t it interesting that this Walmart has plans for drainage detention, but the Heights Walmart does not.

  • Yards signs? Protests? Screaming matches on Swamplot? Eight Ball says “Doubtful.”

  • Old School: Sadly every store is full of cheap Chinese crap. Target is no different. Even places like Whole Foods and Central Market are 90% (anecdotal) full of Chinese made goods for non-food items.
    Blame Walmart for other things if you must, but they’re not better/worse than others when it comes to almost a 100% of chinese made goods.
    Every time I try to find one of those plastic or ceramic reusable coffee mugs (the ones that look like the white paper ones), they’re made in China. That’s why I still haven’t bought one (though I did get one for Christmas).
    Damn it US manufactures, I’ll pay the extra cost. So it’ll be $8 rather than $6, bfd… Every time I pick up anything I’m looking to buy, ‘made in china’, and back on the shelf it goes. Drives my gf nuts :)

    (soooo off topic, I know….)

  • Ian: I just “LOL’d” for real. Spit out my coffee. That was hilarious (google street view)

  • @Cody,

    While a appreciate your sentiment, you’re a wee bit late, the American Manufacturing train left the station 25 years ago. The only way manufacturing will return to the US is tariffs and huge ones at that.

  • I’m actually moving into Idylwood this week (renting, not buying).
    And while I would of course prefer that the land be used for community gardens, locally-owned coffeehouse/performance space/art galleries and a unicorn petting zoo, isn’t a Walmart at least marginally better for the area than the current abandoned warehouses?

  • cross: Understood. I still try to support US manufacturing when I can. For the most part, the move was done to take advantage of cheap labor and lax regulations to be more competitive on price. I get that and am fine with it. If I was trying to make the cheapest widget I could, I might do the same.
    However, me personally, I’m willing to pay more for a better made product, or even a product of similar quality made locally (where my dollars stay here, supporting local workers, likely less waste/pollution in product production, etc.)
    Just trying to vote with my wallet where I can and when reasonable to do so…

  • If the proposed Heights Walmart were the 50K s.f. Walmart market (which is grocery based), there would be less of an uproar. At 152K s.f. it is, in fact, a Walmart Supercenter (their most recent plans show an addition of a Garden Center).

    Yes, it sells crappy goods, but I can avoid that. What I can’t avoid is the FAILING grade intersections around the site and the threat of a collapsing Yale St. bridge because it can’t support traffic loads over 40K (where will Walmart’s 18-wheelers go now? Studewood? Heights? Next to Paul Carr’s new Ainbinder jogging trail? How enjoyable.)

    High real estate prices, high property taxes and no representation at City Hall…unless you live in Southhampton. If you do, you’re golden. Ashby and it’s 2,000 car threat is a no-go. Walmart and it’s 16,630 car threat, green light. With this kind of visionary thinking, Houston is doomed.

  • Wow. This is a surprise. Actually, Idylwood is very active. Eastwood may also raise their concerns. Let the screaming begin. “Walmart, we don’t want you here either!”

  • Off-topic, I know, but I thought I’d correct a misconception written above: The US is still, by a pretty wide margin, the world’s largest manufacturer. US manufacturing output is larger than that of China, India and Brazil combined. Most of our manufacturing is high-value-added capital equipment rather than consumer goods, which is why it can seem like everything in the store is made overseas.
    Granted, manufacturing employment as a percentage of total employment has declined, but that’s a result of increased productivity. People deride “service sector” jobs, but more parents want their kids to grow up to be doctors and lawyers than want them to be factory workers.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Walmart argument…

  • {Charlie Brown banging his head against a tree} Good Grief.

  • How can replacing ABANDONED warehouses with a Wal-Mart be a move in the wrong direction? It brings affordable groceries and products to many people who cannot afford a lot. As for “Made in China” rants, didn’t folks 50 years ago say the same thing about “Made in Japan” (think Back to the Future :).

    I’m always surprised when people complain about companies deciding to replace abandoned structures with new stores. I would rather see a law put in place that prevents Houston from creating more strip malls — we have way more than we need. How about renovating the 1000s a rundown strip malls or just getting rid of them in general and adding more parks?

    I have rarely explored east of 59, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s out there.

  • Hope they’ve heard about our new water bill tax based on amount of paved area. Heights Wal-Mart is planning to be grandfathered for retention since they say the site was already paved but look at google maps from the past few years and you’ll see lots of vegetation growing through. Maybe they’ll claim its paved to avoid retention and claim it’s permeable to avoid water bill tax.

  • Undoubtedly, Walmart was attracted to Idylwood by Swamplot’s prestigious “Best Neighborhood” award. I am now thankful my beloved River Oaks was omitted from the contest.

  • 1st of all, why is “any development” better than “smart development”? There seems to be this attitude that we should kiss the ground Walmart builds on because it’s “better than what’s there”, but is it the best we deserve and the best any developer or retailer has to offer? No, and I think it’s smart for neighborhoods to fight for better than the 1st crappy, crime driving, pollution driving, traffic causing, local business destroying concrete box that comes along.

    I love my adopted city and want to see the best for it. We’re finally getting some of the positive attention we deserve on the national scene. With positive attention comes money. We can and should do better.

    And I wonder how many firefighters and trash collectors the Mayor will furlough to give this WM a tax break? At least this time, it may actually contribute to economic development, which the Heights/West End location will not do.

  • Tough to predict whether Idylwood will be pro- or anti-Walmart. Many in the neighborhood initially opposed New Hope Housing’s plan to turn the HouTex into SRO housing. If you prefer a drug-dealer, prostitute-inhabited hot sheet motel over SROs with 24-hour monitoring and social service support, does that make you more or less likely to want Walmart?

    I wonder whether Walmart will do anything to preserve the George I. Sanchez School murals on the side of the building? And, I wonder whether they’ll be able to sell beer & wine, since the Sanchez School is immediately next door to the property?

  • @Angostura,

    Tell that to the people in the SE US who worked in the apparel industry or those in the Midwest who built washers and dryers, I could go on and on. Drive from Houston to DC and try to count the number of closed manufacturing facilities. I know the US is the largest but shrinking every year and those w/ your facts don’t seem to care. “Welcome to Wal-Mart” or “would like you fries with that?”

  • From LandedGent:
    Undoubtedly, Walmart was attracted to Idylwood by Swamplot’s prestigious “Best Neighborhood” award.
    My thoughts exactly, LandedGent!

  • Cody et al: Want to buy American?

    AWHeights – The WalMart is going onto a site that where giant steel things were once fabricated. How is it that suddenly the Yale Street Bridge is too weak for common vehicles?

  • @finness, didn’t you know that every last piece of work done by the steel place was carried in and out on a train, just so no evil trucks would sully the surrounding streets?

  • is this really where Idylwood is located? if so, how in the world was it voted the best neighborhood in Houston?!? I can’t even imagine what someone from another city would say about that area other than what a ghetto detached from any restaurants, etc. that make Houston interesting. This Walmart would be a godsend for that part of town.

  • Wow, htownproud. I’m really impressed with your extensive knowledge and appreciation of Houston. And you’re absolutely right: the only thing that could possibly create identity and value for an area are the same slew of big-box retail chains that exist in every single other part of the city/state/country. I’d invite you to come experience the wonders of the East End. . .but I don’t know if you could appreciate them until they include a Walmart.

  • finness- Yes! Love Etsy. Just got 2 packages from sellers today. Homegrown, factory free.

  • Oh, and as far as Yale St Bridge, there used to be a RR Spur that was used to transport most of the steel out of the yard. That no longer exists. Additionally, the bridge was pretty low traffic. It’s even pretty low traffic now. There was probably no more than one large truck on it at a time. With the new exits opened and a Supercenter (because, yes, 160k sq ft and 600+ parking spaces is a super center), it could very well have an 18 wheeler on each side and several other cars at a standstill in peek hour traffic, far exceeding what it is load zoned too.

  • finness – the Yale street bridge has always been too weak for loads over 40K lbs. It’s a load limited bridge – the sign has fallen down the embankment.

  • I’d probably have Walmart provide some money to the city for street upgrades to Highway 90 for turn lanes and such, but otherwise, I don’t see a big deal about this development. Most traffic will probably come from 45 and exit back and idylwood residents should still be able to come up Maxwell St. to avoid the potential traffic.

    I think this is probably a net neutral to Idylwood. One one hand, they lose an abandoned warehouse which can attract vagrants or other miscreants. On the other hand, there is increased traffic along Highway 90. I think it probably breaks even.

  • I live in Eastwood and I am excited to have a Walmart down the street from me :)

  • I was aware of the train tracks, but that land was traditionally industrial and plenty of trucks did and still do travel it – like every day from San Jacinto Stone. What does an 18 wheeler full of slate weight?
    I think the bridge argument is phony. Instead of demanding no WalMart, why not demand a new bridge?

  • From htownproud:
    is this really where Idylwood is located? if so, how in the world was it voted the best neighborhood in Houston?!?
    A: extremely active neighborhood bulletin board.

  • As a former Idylwood resident who recently visted the neighborhood last month, the Wayside gateway into the neighborhood looks awful. If the neighborhood can persuade WM to use one of their better looking facades and enhance the landscaping a bit, this would be a definite improvement to what is currently there. And Htownproud, Idylwood
    is a really cute neighborhood of 300+ homes that only has the blight of Wayside/I-45 as an adjacency. The rest of the neighborhood is well insulated. Quite unlike the Heights.

  • I don’t think you will find too many Eastwood residents protesting this one. Eastwood has always had more industry around it, and Wal-Mart sort of fits that. Plus, it might force the Kroger on Cullen to *finally* get its act together or shut down completely. So, a positive for those who don’t have to drive Wayside.

    @Lost_In_Translation: There is no Idylwood access via Maxwell, it has been gated for years.

  • Angostura, put down the pipe.

  • I was simply commenting that the Heights Walmart was a supercenter because it had both consumer goods and groceries (which is what Walmart labels a supercenter). But the idea that Walmart is without fault in the loss of manufacturing jobs to Asia is laughable. It has been well documented that Walmart went beyond looking for the best price from suppliers to forcing companies to shift production to Asia in order to meet Walmart’s price demands. Due to Walmart’s massive market share, companies had no choice but to close down US plants and set up shop abroad. The same is not true of the rest of the consumer goods retail industry.

    And it is interesting to compare Wayside to Heights. The Wayside location has feeder road access in addition to access on Wayside. The Heights location has no direct feeder road access and only has Yale St. as a major thoroughfare access. And that section of Yale will have five traffic signals in under a half mile with Walmart and two large strip centers trying to dump their traffic on Heights and I-10 commuters. The Wayside location is mostly isolated from residential neighborhoods (just barely abuts a neighborhood on one side). The Heights location has a large townhome development to the south, is directly connected to residential neighborhoods on and around Koehler and has a lot with low income rental housing to the north. The Wayside location is going in the place of a warehouse, but is including drainage detention onsite. The Heights location site plan shows no drainage detention. Finally, as far as we know, the Wayside location isn’t getting any taxpayer dollars. The Heights location is getting 6 mil.

  • @JD:

    Oops, serves me right for trusting googlemaps. Well hopefully wayside will be able to handle the traffic influx reasonably.

  • STOP Walmart! East End is a diamond in the rough but it will never shine if Walmart comes to our neck of the woods! It will only bring more traffic and trash! This is a sad thing for our neigborhood.

  • htownproud said, “Is this really where Idylwood is located?”

    So, it sounds like you haven’t been to our neighborhood, yet have the hubris to comment on what you perceive we lack as well as opine what we “deserve”…

  • I agree with JD that one good thing could be forcing Kombat Kroger to clean up. I am no fan of Wal-Mart, but retail options are so limited in the east end and the current site is so blighted looking that I don’t know that it will meet much resistance.

  • I play golf at Gus Wortham and have noticed how bad traffic is on Wayside (especially headed toward the freeway). I can’t imagine what will happen once Walmart is dumping more cars onto the road.

  • finness – San Jacinto Stone uses Koheler, they don’t drive heavy trucks on the load limited bridge.

  • Old School – we gotta keep an eye on the city to make sure they don’t give Walmart anymore tax breaks. The Ainbinder 380 isn’t helping out that development any – the city right now seems to be satisified with F grade intersections at that development. They aren’t holding them to higher standards – or any standards.

  • Walmart please leave this area alone. You are not welcomed. From this proposed location you have a SuperCenter just 8 miles away. (,+Houston+(Almeda)+(Walmart+Supercenter)&hl=en&geocode=FYxsxQEdEZtR-g%3BFXkgxAEdoMxS-iE9mefLH_XouQ&mra=ls&sll=29.672691,-95.255756&sspn=0.143483,0.264187&ie=UTF8&ll=29.672691,-95.274639&spn=0.143483,0.264187&z=13)

    We do not need the additional traffic as Wayside to I-45 (gulf freeway) is bad enough with that short light. Please just stay out of our neighborhood.

  • For those of you worried about the Yale St. bridge, you must have kept your eyes and ears block on any real discussion of the project. All truck traffic will enter the store from the feeder road through a rebuilt street. No Wal-Mart trucks will utilized the historic bridge on Yale or Heights.

    Also, the 40k limit isn’t bad at all. Go live in a town where all the bridges crossing the bayous are built on wood piers and rated at max 30k (for permit loads) and 20k (for non-permit). My home town has 3 bridges. Two more were replaced because of necessary widening. and two more were added. Large trucks crossed them all the time especially during the sugarcane harvesting season.

  • As America has become Generica, WalMart has become Americana. I live not too far from here and would’ve preferred something more interesting and inspiring here but the location will be a corporate hit. Hopefully the increased traffic might create a little overflow support for local businesses like Cafe Flores up on Lawndale. Fiesta could end up saying adios, however.

  • #1 Ian
    people in the east end have actually embraced automobiles

    #9 TacoTruck
    Welcome to the ‘hood!! Seriously, hope you enjoy living here

    #17 Landed Gent
    your beloved RO is omitted from a lot of lists, snoot much?

    #18 HeightsLife
    you had me until your last sentence. Snoot Much? Have you ever even been to Idylwood?? I thought not.

    #19 Andrea
    Very interesting about the school–and selling beer and wine. Also, Walmart is not buying the bldg with the mural that is on the corner of Maxwell and 45

    #21 Mel
    and you mean what?

    #24 htownproud
    you obviously dont get around much–it’s a NEIGHBORHOOD

    #26 HeightsLife
    ETSY…frauds and scams and all??

    #29 lost in translation
    TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC won’t even break even

    #33 JT
    yes, it may ‘look better’ but traffic will be horrible

    #34 JD
    Wrong–some will protest unless traffic is addressed favorably

    #39 Sally
    Agree 100%

    #40 other Robert
    people in the east end DO have vehicles

  • @kjb434: The under-construction westbound feeder will connect to Bass St. Ainbinder was unable to get the correct ROW required for this street and, as such, the road width is 27ft. Bass has small- scale single family homes with street parking and barely enough turn radius for an 18-wheeler. Not a likely route for delivery trucks, though Bass will definitely get a ton of cut-through traffic from people backed up at Yale’s F grade intersection.

    The Walmart distribution centers are East of the Heights (New Caney & Baytown); trucks will travel West to deliver. Because truckers operate on a time schedule, they’ll take the most direct route – that’s Yale. (They could attempt exiting Heights but with traffic backing up from trains and no planned signalized intersection at Koehler, they’ll learn to avoid it.)

    As a result, truckers will exit Yale South and go over the bridge. There are only so many trips you can make on a structurally unsound bridge before it fails. High volumes of weighted traffic will get you to fail sooner than later. Ainbinder needs to structurally upgrade that bridge, period. Otherwise, you and I are going to be paying for that necessary upgrade out of our taxes — hopefully, not after a fatality. Structural failure happens.

  • @PYEWACKET2: I *seriously* doubt a measurable number of Eastwood residents will get upset about a Wal-Mart going onto Wayside, for any reason other than it is fashionable to be anti-Wal-Mart and pro-Target (completely ignoring the politics of Target are just as bad as that of Wal-Mart). This is retail, and a lot of it, and Eastwood will benefit one way or another…either through closer retail options, through more traffic that discovers the East End neighborhoods, or through the additional development that can find financing due to Wal-Mart’s presence.

    IMHO, Idylwood residents (and I’m a former one) would do well to focus efforts on working with the developers to minimize impact on Sylvan Rd (vegetation, noise and light mitigation), and generally be more welcoming than the Heights area. Wal-Mart might not be the best corporate neighbor, but it knows how to work the system, and we will get more with honey than vinegar.

  • Seriously, is there anywhere inside the loop that wouldn’t be devestated by Walmart traffic? It sounds like all the major corridors would all be problematic

  • I have mixed feelings about this development. Retail is very limited in the area, and it is nice that the residents will have another option. I also really don’t think a big box retailer is a bad fit for a site bordered by I-45 & a major thoroughfare like Wayside.

    However, I do have concerns about people stealing shopping carts to transport goods purchased at the store, then leaving the carts littered around the surrounding neighborhoods.

    I also hope that the store will have adequate security to discourage loitering and panhandling in the parking lot.

    I am glad that the store is going in along the I-45 corridor, and not intruding farther into the residential areas to the north. The Lawndale/Wayside neighborhoods are great. If you have never ventured over to that part of town, I encourage you to check it out. Parts of it are actually quite scenic.

  • Is a new Walmart something to be proud of?

    When was the last time you dreamt of a Walmart on your block? Or, the last time you took an out of town guest to check out the “new Walmart”?

    As for any economic argument that a new Walmart will help the community, schools, or infrastructure, its rubbish. Walmart will not create growth, it will simply re-divert existing spending and tax dollars to a different area of town. Folks who shop at Fiesta or Target, will simply shop down the street (or not drive an extra 10 minutes down 45-S to the Walmart that already exists).

    I’d rather stare at empty warehouses believing there was some potential than to see another Walmart store built and eliminate all chances of improving the city / neighborhood.

  • Walmart (or any retailer big or small for that matter) will only divert existing spending and tax dollars if the environment it is a built in is static with NO growth whatsoever. The flaw in this idiotic economic thinking is that the neighborhoods both of these Walmart’s are going into have grown in recent years necessitating increased commercial retail options. Especially the Heights Walmart which is being place in an area of town that has seen massive population growth. This area has plenty of NEW spending sources to support new commercial retail. Any study showing diverting of existing spending resources were completed in towns that had no economic growth and static populations growth. Certainly not a picture of Houston.

  • @kjb434: I think a statement based on historical evidence and political economy is a stronger case than hypothesis (as you propose). I’d even venture to say idiotic is a bit harsh. Post some evidence of your growth or success story.

  • My home town’s sales tax revenue in rural Louisiana grew from 700k per year to 1.2mil per year attributed to the walmart rebuilding as a Supercenter (the city published this in the local paper the Daily Comet). The town is Thibodaux. This was back around 2000. Since then, that area of town has experience massive growth with new restaurants, hotels. and increased traffic from many neighboring communities that drive into town for the retail options. The town’s population is about 15k. Sure, the one lonely local drugstore shut down, but it was dying years before Walmart even came into town with K&B drugs and Eckerds (both have been bought out Right Aid and CVS respectively plus a new Walgreens moved in) Walmart didn’t have any impact on two local grocers either (Rouse’s and L&N).

    The thing many people forget with small town Walmarts is that they have the ability to attract customers from much further away. It is not uncommon for many customers to come from 15-20 miles (or more) away to the small town to shop at Walmart where they wouldn’t have traveled before. Many of these long haulers will buy goods at a month at a time versus daily market style trips to the grocery store.

    The small town has new revenue going into it’s coffers from people that didn’t shop there before. Walmart actually becomes a destination for many to take care of their needs. I guess in many of the anti-walmart crowds, they’ll look down on theses people as a bunch of troglodytes. The thing is these walmart customers don’t have the luxury to waste their time on silly issues of evil big box stores, horrors of sprawl, large parking lots destroying the worlds, architectural aesthetics, etc. And walmart, target, (insert big box store here) know that the anti-big box crown is a minority and that even in this crowd they’ll have customers.

  • Hey Pye (48) – I know we are waaay off topic, but what Etsy fraud and scams?

  • I can attest Etsy is not a fraud or scam. My little sister has sold many of her dresses and shirts on Etsy that she sew’s herself. May of the dresses going for $200+ through consignment of local stores around the country and a 1 store all the way in Australia. It’s even helped her get her job in the fashion industry in NYC.

  • Amy Davis on 2 did a piece on ETSY about 10 days ago. Women across the US were left with no product (baby things) and no recourse to recover their money thru paypal when seller did not deliver within the 45 day limit.

    ETSY closed the account after receiving numerous complaints then permitted the seller to reopen another.

  • @kjb434: I’m sold. Being only 50 times smaller than Houston, Thibodaux seems like quite a good comparative study on the successes of Wal-mart. Especially with a projected household population reduction by 2012. ( At least we can look forward to fewer households and more babies.

  • I also have mixed feelings about this development. While I understand that those old warehouses are a real eyesore, Walmart generally needs to stay out of the loop due to the traffic it brings.

    Wayside is already in need of some extra lanes, and putting a Walmart there? In the vicinity of some of the poorer neighborhoods in town? And close to a major freeway? I can’t even fathom the traffic nightmare.

  • From HeightsLife:
    With the new exits opened and a Supercenter (because, yes, 160k sq ft and 600+ parking spaces is a super center), it could very well have an 18 wheeler on each side and several other cars at a standstill in peek hour traffic, far exceeding what it is load zoned too.
    The lack of information on your part gave me a good laugh! I needed that.

  • I’m confused. On the one hand I am being told that Walmart will not bring any more economic growth as it will just divert shoppers from other existing stores. On the other hand I am being told that Walmart will bring traffic chaos as it will generate thousands of additional vehicles on the streets that are not there now. You can’t have it both ways people, either it will generate people or it won’t.

    Also can we once and for all stop pretending that the townhomes South of the West End site are some sort of peaceful residential idyll. There will be an existing freight railroad between them and the store.

  • I’d be more worried about the prevalence of third world driving skills in the general area.

  • According to the Chron, the Wayside walmart would be 150k sq ft and would be the SECOND supercenter in the Heights.

    Jimbo: Walmart attracts traffic because they are diverting shoppers from other stores. People don’t suddenly start spending money they did not spend before because a Walmart opened. They take the same dollars they spent at Kroger and Walgreens and spend it at Walmart.

    And the Thibadaux La story is actually a good example of how Walmart destroys small towns. Instead of shopping at the local small town store, people make weekly treks 15-30 miles out of town to get everything they need at Walmart. Thibadaux’s increase in sales tax revenues is nothing more than a decrease in sales tax revenues at another small town that could desparately use the revenues.

  • Which means that they are only making a vehicle trip they were already making …. which means no net vehicle trips increase.

  • #65 Old school

    Is Wayside & 45 *really* considered part of the heights now?? Even by the Chronicle?

  • This will definitely decrease traffic around all the Gulfgate stores on Woodridge (HEB, Old Navy et al.)

  • You Heights folks, move on now. This isn’t your thread, and you lost your battle.

    BTW, I have no objection, if gov’t inspectors deem it necessary, to allocate some of OUR tax dollars to beef up the Yale St. bridge, if it is not the developer’s responsibility.

    Yale has been a terrific “back-door” route in and out of the Heights for decades because Yale (S. of I-10) is a corpse of a street, drastically underutilized. An oddity, really.

    Now, it won’t be so. Move on, folks.

  • #67 Pyewacket2 and #65 oldschool

    I saw the chronicle article and I see no mention that my neighborhood is considered part of the heights. It mentions the 2nd inside the loop, the 1st being in the heights. The article also goes on to say a traffic study will need to occur which I concur it does because traffic on wayside going towards 45 from Sylvan is just horrible all day long due to a short light at the intersection. If Walmart does want to build here I wouldn’t mind seeing a corner/neighborhood store but not a supercenter. That’s too big and too much for the traffic to handle.

  • As an Idylwood resident – I’m torn on this one.

    Presumably, the new development will attract more attention to the area — however, I cannot predict whether that attention will be good or bad, or whether we’ll end up the dumping ground for all the light, noise, and lifted shopping carts that flow out of the place.

    I once lived next door to a wal-mart in a moderately priced part of town. Living next to it was horrendous. Constant shopping carts left everywhere, lots of vagrants and similarly low-end types would hang around – either to steal, rob, or beg. Younger guys/girls would gather on the weekends, showing off their cars and motorcycles, revving engines and so forth.

    On the other hand, it could attract new businesses (the Fallas Paredas could move from across 45 woo…), it could perhaps put a lot of pressure on the little apt complex, and it could also spur some more investment in the area – but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

    Undoubtedly, I won’t be able to get to 45 from Wayside anymore, it already gets up to 15 minute waits on the weekends. Widen Wayside? Well, there are two option there: take out part of Idylwood, or part of the convent – neither are attractive options.

    For those who think wishing for a more respectable business is “snobbery,” perhaps you should look up “obvious.” Anyone who doesn’t wish for the best neighbors they can get is a fairly odd sort of cat.

    All-in-all, the East Side has down quite well without a Wal-Mart, and would continue to do well without. I’m leaning towards to hoping for a better development, and if Wal-mart should come – I’ll be there with others putting pressure to make sure they don’t reduce the quality of life in our neighborhood. (But I have no intent to picket or petition the city, unless they should prove to be deaf to any discussion.)

  • Just like with the Heights thing, all of the broken, dilapidated people will suddenly come out of the woodwork, preaching low standards and how everyone should be more like them, using Wal-Mart as their rallying point.

  • You guys realize they’re just trying to screw with you, right? Wal-Mart has access to lines of funding most of the people here seem unable to even conceptualize. They specifically choose neighborhoods that aren’t dogmatically corporatist just to be spiteful (as if the mentality of their apologists wasn’t a huge hint). It’s just another tool in their arsenal. If you outwardly dislike them, it just gets them even more excited since they assume you must have something, and it’s their job to take it from you.

  • I’m pretty sure that Walmart choose locations based on the predicted income that they can bring in from stores located there. To think that they choose locations specifically to be spiteful to people who don’t like them you would have to be a tin foil hat wearing loon …. which reminds me, did you know there is a shadowy cabal of European aristocrats plotting to impose a one-world currency?

  • Drone said:

    “For those who think wishing for a more respectable business is “snobbery,” perhaps you should look up “obvious.” Anyone who doesn’t wish for the best neighbors they can get is a fairly odd sort of cat.”

    I don’t think anyone has said it better in the half year we have all been fighting over Walmart in the Heights.

  • Their “lines of funding” lately have been our tax dollars. Between making govt workers take days off and the school districts all poised to lose 15-20% of their funding, Wal-Mart better not get a single cent of tax incentive. We as a public should demand that much. If WM wants that land or any land, they can pay to make it work how it needs to. I don’t like my ditch and driveway and it doesn’t work come garbage day for four houses, but the city didn’t care when I bought it. I will get permits and fix it, just like anyone including WM should.

  • I have nothing against wishing for the neighbours you personally want. I do have a problem with inventing straw man reasons for trying to stop the neighbors you don’t like from moving in. If everyone arguing against the West End Walmart would stand up and say, “I don’t personally like Walmart but I certainly don’t think less of you for thinking they are not so bad” then we would probably all get along much better.

  • I am really glad I did not buy in Idlywood. Here is the start of the decline of them. Forest Hill was the first to see this decline years ago, country club has held out fairly well, but here goes Idlywood!

  • Mario,
    With that attitude, I’m kinda glad you didn’t buy in Idlywood (sic) too!!

  • #70 Keith,

    I know what the Chronicle piece said. I was poking fun at Oldschool’s typo.

    I think Oldschool meant to say “the SECOND supercenter in the loop”.

  • Well Jimbo if you being “pretty sure” of something is all it took to convince anyone, I guess you’d be able to pre-emptively shut down any debate you weren’t capable of discussing or simply couldn’t understand.

  • You’re right, I’m sure that right now, in a subterranean vault in Arkansas, teams of analysts are beavering away to determine the store site that would most inflame the intelligentsia. Thats exactly how successful businesses are built.

  • @Jimbo – generally, I like to stay out of others’ issues with their neighbors, as me jumping into a fight in which I have no dog is more likely to worsen, rather than improve, the situation.

    I don’t like having a wal-mart backing right up to our neighborhood. Of course, I wouldn’t like a target backing up there either, or even a whole foods. I believe in buffers between paved lots and homes, a small patch of trees at a minimum. Had, for some unknown reason, someone asked my opinion – yes, I would prefer a higher-end retailer, as that indicates a belief in a higher-end clientele, which can end up a self-fulfilling prophecy. Suburban types looking to move closer to downtown? “Oh yes, look dear – it’s right next to a Nordstrom and a Whole Foods!” (Alas, pipe dreams one and all – I’d just like something comparable to Buffalo Market being closer.)

    Will Idylwood be any less desirable with the Wal-mart there? Generally, no, ‘cos last I checked, “distance from wal-mart” was not one of the positive factors I and everyone else I’ve spoken with considered when buying here.

  • I’ve lived in Idylwood for several years and I don’t have a problem with the folks who, for the most part, will be shopping at this store. I’ve been shopping at Fiesta, HEB, & Sellers already. This will be just another grocery store to me.

    Now, I would prefer that some other retail could use that property, one that would not generate the amount of traffic congestion that a large box store most certainly will. I’d much rather see Walmart move into the Macy’s warehouse location closer to town.

    What it comes down to for me is the bottleneck of traffic that will be the result if a big box store moves in. And I don’t really see the city or Txdot taking anyone’s property to widen for Walmart.

    But, maybe if there was a threat of that, then the affected parties would mount such a protest and hire lawyers and such that the thing would go on for years and maybe Walmart would get discouraged!

  • PYEWACKET2 says: Mario, With that attitude, I’m kind of glad you didn’t buy in Idlywood (sic) too!!

    That’s the thing about East End residents. We like to think we are a “diamond in the ruff”, or the next heights. Yea right, we can’t even admit our own shortcomings, including so much trashy property, illegal drug use, biggest “cantina” in Houston on Lawndale, lack of City of Houston deed restriction enforcement, TRASHY apt. buildings, homeless shelters, etc… Until we are able to admit these things, we will only continue to go downhill. But then what the H*ll, I had a trashy neighbor move to the Woodlands, so now you’ll get to deal with him and his family. And again. I can tell you’ll Idlywood resident… there goes property values in your pocket. Sorry guys and gals…

  • Mario (85) – Been in the Heights for 29 years & deed enforcement only comes if people harass the city. Rule-breaking things get built anyway.
    And you are right about neighbors! I live between a very poorly maintained cottage and a spotless Victorian – guess which houses the lead-footed, heavy drinker who hates everyone?

  • #85 Mario

    I would NEVER like to think we’re the “next heights”!

    And really, it’s IDYLWOOD, not Idlywood.

  • PYEWACKET2 says – I would NEVER like to think we’re the “next heights”! And really, it’s IDYLWOOD, not Idlywood. Mario says There we go….with that attitude. The East End is trashy and run down and primarily a lower socio economic area, you know it. It’s even been called “Taco Terrace”, so call it what you will but it’s not IDYLWOOD… It is Idlywood. As soon as we can all admit it, we can clean it up.

  • “Mario says PYEWACKET2 says – I would NEVER like to think we’re the “next heights”! And really, it’s IDYLWOOD, not Idlywood. Mario says There we go….with that attitude. The East End is trashy and run down and primarily a lower socio economic area, you know it. It’s even been called “Taco Terrace”, so call it what you will but it’s not IDYLWOOD… It is Idlywood. As soon as we can all admit it, we can clean it up.”

    Right Mario, Pyewacket has the ‘tude. Why don’t we amend The Heights to The Height of Arrogance?

  • I was going to reread Plato & The Platypus but this has been scads more scintillating. PYEWACKET2, I think I heart you. Mario, our trashy neighbor moved to The Woodlands to, coincidence? Jimbo, I’d love to play chess with you! Drone, you have a lovely way with words & Old School, it was nice of you to notice.

    That said, I moved from Denver Heabor to the East End. We moved here in 81 with promises of looming regentrification. We’re still waiting. While not in Idylwood/Idlywood, I live close enough. Our street still has homeowners but several streets back, it’s largely renters. I think that makes a big difference, you know, vested interest and all.

    I love the diversity of this neighborhood & have seen the good & the bad. I remember when Gulfgate was still a mall. The new stores are great, our Children’s Place is the best around & the area is well patroled. The Starbucks stinks but hey, you can’t have it all.

    We live because of its proximity to everything & yeah, sometimes my neighbors stink but I’d rather live here than somewhere with an HOA. Frida would’ve had snit fit if she couldn’t paint her house blue, and Sandra, wasn’t hers purple? I may not like it but I support you right to do it, I don’t pay your taxes.

    As for shopping carts & panhandlers, hello? They’re everwhere. It made me grin to see the Fiesta cart retrieval truck driving around. And I have a soft spot for the 100yo guy at the Shell playing his violin.

    I love this neighborhood! Where else will you find the paleta cart guy pulled over at the fence at ForestPark selling corn in cups & paletas to families visiting a graveside? (It’s an awesomely gaudy cemetery to…) There are tortillerias, refresquerias & coffee shops. We’ve got a little bit of everything, we even have The Orange Show! We also have 2 great Spark Parks that ate well maintained.

    We could have moved to a larger house somewhere other than the Woodlands, but chose to stay here for the diversity. It isn’t that I don’t care but that I understand change is inevitable. If it wasn’t Wal-Mart, it would be something else. Maybe they’ll fix the light at Wayside, maybe they’ll get the underpasses repainted less obnoxiously, maybe our Starbucks will gets its act together. Maybe there’s hope.

  • Self-edit: The typos & grammatical errors are largely a result of bad predictive texting on an iPhone…

  • Well I must say I am so looking forward to this Walmart, it beets driving to Almeda. A;though please understand, I feel so sorry for Idlywood. They were the last of the great Eastend neighborhoods, like a sinking ship going down, blub, blub, blub. As Alvarado says, Walmart is a friend of the community (yea right)!

  • Let the whining from the Yuppies and hipsters began!

  • From Wycked1s: #90 ”I moved from Denver Harbor to the East End. We moved here in 81 with promises of looming regentrification. We’re still waiting. While not in Idlywood/Idlywood“, “We could have moved to a larger house somewhere other than the Woodlands, but chose to stay here for the diversity.”

    I agree with Wycked… I love the diversity also. This Wal-Mart will offer more diversity to Idlywood which has always had the nickname West U of the Eastend. it’s time that this pocket is open to diversity. 98 percent of the homes have perfectly manicured lawns and there are no pink or purple homes. As Carol Alvarado says, “Wal-Mart is our friend”, and they will create diversity and maybe now I can afford to move into Idlywood!

  • Wow! So now the goal is to dumb down Idylwood to the the lack of standards in the rest of the East End. Barbara, in case you didn’t know, there is diversity in Idylwood. Old, young, straight, gay, white, hispanic, tasteful and tasteless, smart and stupid.

  • Barbara,
    It’s IDYLWOOD.

    And, who exactly calls it the West U of the east end?

  • JT,
    I wanted to say something like that but didn’t quite know how. How horrible of someone to wish for reduced property values so that THEY can move to a neighborhood. Doesn’t say much for that person.

  • So what’s the East U. of the west end?

  • From Udunno:
    So what’s the East U. of the west end?

    Why it’s Walmart, for the win!

  • #98
    Surely there is some small section of the west end/Heights where the neighborhood is only 6-8 streets of little all BRICK homes set on streets without ditches but with sidewalks and rolling hills with a neighborhood park. Oh, and NO fenced in front yards.

  • #100- do enclaves of townhouses count?

  • From JT: Wow! So now the goal is to dumb down Idlywood to the lack of standards in the rest of the East End…. I suppose I’m offended with this comment, talk about stereotyping. But then isn’t Idlywood where State Rep. Carol Alvarado lives who states “Wal-Mart is a friend of our community”. Sounds like Idlywood may already be dumb downed! Enough name calling though. I can’t wait to buy in Idlywood, hopefully near the park there, it is so cute. And in reference to the homes being brick…brick can be painted a nice lime green.

  • For all future posts, it’s spelled IDYLWOOD (Y before the L, not l before the y). Please spell it correctly when you refer to our awesome neighborhood. Thanks.

  • keith,
    We do have common ground after all.

    Tonight at the superneighborhood meeting, Carol’s assistant passed out a letter from Carol saying she is NOT in favor of this Walmart unless certain concerns are addressed. Traffic was high on that list.

  • Hey PYEWACKET2, I don’t know if your new to neighborhood, but Carol Alvarado is worthless and will only waste our time, she is probably so exited that she will have another big political contributor in our district. I’m sure we all remember the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Air Quality) meetings we had, or how about the Deed Restriction Database that she was going to implement before she left City Council. Although her assistant may of passed out some sorry letter, she has already said that Wal-Mart is our friend. I believe we have to take this up ourselves, and even though Mayor Parker will be worthless on this also, offering tax breaks to the Wal-Mart in the heights, we need to focus on TX-Dot and the traffic mess this will cause.

  • All the heights cried about the Wal-Mart comimng, why would the Mayor worry about the East End(not important enough) to her.

  • This is great news. I need a closer Super Wal-mart. :)

  • This is great news! We need a closer
    Super Wal-mart. I take 2-3 buses to go shopping at the closest Walmart right now. So we are all anticipating the GRAND OPENING OF THE WAYSIDE WALMART.

  • “So we are all anticipating the GRAND OPENING OF THE WAYSIDE WALMART.”

    Drove by tonight and the tilt walls are tilted and the big box is in place. Someone notify the brass band.

  • And it will open the middle of this month!!

    I’ve just re-read these comments (sprained ankle as if I needed an excuse) and it’s interesting to see how things have worked out.

    Heights Walmart opened and the world did not stop. This Wayside Walmart will open and again, the world will continue spinning.

    My my, who woudda thought?