Swamplot Street Sleuths: From the Ruins of Komart Marketplace

Got an answer to any of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Midtown: A couple of readers are curious about this new sign, which went up at the end of last week at the long-languishing lot south of West Alabama between Travis and Main, across the street from Julia’s Bistro and the Breakfast Klub. There were plans to build a hospital in this location a few years ago. In the last year it’s become an inexpensive parking lot, notes roving Swamplot photographer Candace Garcia, who’s curious how whatever’s being envisioned for the property might “tie in with the rail, the church (SMBC), and the Men’s Center nearby.”
  • Spring Branch: Reader Jason Tinder snaps the dramatic photo below, showing the final moments of vanquished Korean grocery store Komart, and notes the entire Gessner Place Shopping Center, on the west side of Gessner just north of I-10, is being demolished. It looks to him like something else is going in there . . . can anybody give him some clues?


  • Montrose: A reader has heard rumors of plans for a new mixed-use development at the half-empty shopping center on the south side of Westheimer at Montrose, and wants to learn more: “Someone told me it was Hines and it is Vertical”:

Photos: Candace Garcia (West Alabama); Jason Tinder (Komart and strip center demo; licenses); Swamplot inbox (Westheimer center)

21 Comment

  • Thank you Jason for asking what I have been wondering about for over a week!!! :) I pass the KoMart/Gessner Shopping Center daily and wonder what is going to go in in it’s place (an online search for that very thing is how I found THIS website.) :)

  • I’ve long believed that the southwest corner of the intersection of Montrose/Westheimer would eventually turn into a mixed-use development similar to the West-Ave development. It would certainly clean up that corner a little bit.

  • I don’t know the answer to any of these… I just want to comment that the first Komart photo–with the half-destroyed wall–is one of the most striking photos I’ve seen here in a while. Good job to Jason!

  • Interesting, I was looking at it being demolished about the time this photo was being taken. That is prime real estate and it is ready to realize it’s potential.

  • Rumors have been swarming for quite some time that Memorial Hermann has bought the entire plot of land north of I-10 at Gessner and plans to expand, which could explain all the expensive new homes being erected in the Energy Corridor.

  • I heard a rumor about a year ago that the Montrose/Westheimer block was indeed scheduled to become a mid-rise mixed-use building: 10-12 stories or so with retail at the bottom, supposedly with a decorative plaza in front. I don’t know if it’s Hines.

  • I’ve heard a rumor that most rumors are just rumors, and rarely fact.

    I’ve heard that 80% of statistics are made up.

    I’ve heard that not conforming to non-comformist culture makes you a conformist.

  • Hey JG, thanks for bringing nothing to the conversation.

  • Sorry but must ask our of curiousity why did they tear that down? Komart was quite popular if memory serves, seems a little odd. One less place to get my gochuchang sauce, bummer.

  • Either the owner of Komart (if they owned the center) or the commercial property owner got a good price for the property.

    Nothing complicated.

  • From c.h.ha:
    Rumors have been swarming for quite some time that Memorial Hermann has bought the entire plot of land north of I-10 at Gessner and plans to expand…

    I was told the same thing over a year ago by a friend who works in that hospital. He said that Memorial Hermann was purchasing the land north of I-10 along Gessner and that the plan is to make it the first part of a sort of “Texas Medical Center West.” He mentioned that a big issue he had heard of was how to provide people walking access across the freeway and that he and his buddies were enjoying speculating about super long skywalks or under-freeway tunnel systems.

  • My vote is for skybridge! LOL

  • Komart had its time in the sun in the early to mid-2000s; however, it has been completely replaced by the far superior (and cleaner) Hmart, located just down a few blocks on Blalock. Koreans in the know go to Hmart . . .

  • the plotsky group has a sign in the window of the old Blockbuster. It would be great to see somehting make this corner better.

  • I’m so glad to finally see the North side of Gessner start to get it’s long-awaited closeup. There are enough fast food joints and cheap apartment complexes on Long Point to pick up the displaced, and 99 Ranch/HMart have the asian groceries covered.

  • I was told that the corner of westheimer and montrose is under a long term ground lease by HEB. They are banking the land to keep anyone else from locating there, and to box in the Kroger next door.

  • Memorial Hermann is the tennant. MetroNational is they landlord. They own Memorial City Medical Center, including the old hospital, the tower, the medical buildings, the under-construction Westin as well as the old Komart/ CiCis/ Schlotsky’s parking lot.

    Furthermore, the rest of the old Oshman’s parking lot, in front of the tower, once rumored to be slated for a Cheesecake Factory and one or two other upscale casual restaurants, is still vacant. It seems unlikely they would start building a campus satelite, with all of the logistical challenges, while that sits empty.

    Also, TMC West is out toward Katy where TCH and Methodist are side-by-side. http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2010/04/26/story11.html

    So… Next theory?

  • Like Jason, my understanding is that Metro National owns the property (entire strip center) where Komart was. Hell, they pretty much own any commercial property between the Beltway and Bunker Hill on the South side of 10, plus a few other scattered properties in the area.

    I also understand that they own the center on the other side of Kingsride from the professional building on the South side of 10 and have not been renewing leases.

    So I would assume that both of these properties will at some point be razed and rebuilt to attract newer/better clients now that Fidelis is a threat in the area with their new development at Bunker Hill. It looks like the Gessner center was the first to go.

  • 5 years ago, clear channel was looking @ the property to build a 2500 ampitheater there

  • MetroNational is building a 22 story office building on the North Side where Komart used to be.

  • AH: Any details on this 22 story office building? What is the source? Thanks!