The Abandoned I-10 Toys R Us and Its Abandoned, Across-the-Street Replacement Store Have Both Found Their Second Callings

Months after the chain that once operated them declared bankruptcy and retreated to Canada, the pair of empty Toys R Us stores situated almost directly opposite each other off the Katy Fwy. at Bunker Hill Rd. are getting ready to go their separate ways. Off the highway’s westbound side, the more recently vacated toy store pictured above at 9730 Katy Fwy. will give way to a new 40,000-sq.-ft. Burlington clothing store, but not entirely; its former Babies R Us portion remains unleased, as indicated by blank blue rectangle in the site plan at top of the Village Plaza at Bunker Hills shopping center.

The shopping center was brand-new when Toys R Us opened there in 2010 as a replacement for the chain’s older, standalone location at 9655 Katy Fwy., on the other side of the highway about half a mile east of Memorial City Mall. Developer Moody National bought the older Toys R Us in 2016, by which time it had been empty for just about a decade (although the building’s distinct rainbow trim is still intact). Along with an adjacent single-story retail strip and the 164-unit La Renaissance apartment complex at 970 Bunker Hill, directly west of the toy store, the developer now controls nearly 10-acres near where the I-10 feeder meets Bunker Hill Rd. (According to county records, however, the BBVA Compass bank on the corner isn’t included in that tract.)

Its plan is to swap out the apartments, strip building, and Toys R Us and put a pair of 6-story office buildings with ground-floor retail on the site:


They’d be linked by a skybridge running over the driveway that’s planned to cut between them:

The back of the complex affords just enough room for a 3-story garage building, as indicated in the site plan:

Below a green-skinned portion of its facade, some retail and outdoor seating appear to be in the mix as well:

Photo: Allex D. Site plan of Village Plaza at Bunker Hill: Fidelis Realty Partners. Renderings and site plan of 9655 Katy Fwy.: Moody National

Toy Story

8 Comment

  • Are you sure the apartments are coming down next to Bunker Hill Rd? I thought they were to remain. The little strip building was demolished this week.

  • Wow. Those apartments aren’t all that old….

  • Well, I can’t say this area necessarily needs more apartments, but the decision for mid-rises is ambitious considering the glut of class A office space throughout the corridor.

  • Moody’s purchased in 2016. Re-branded and invested in CapEx in an effort to boost GPR until the bulldozer comes along. Would not be surprised if a deal is in the works for BBVA. Maybe a nice corner spot in the new development.

  • I am 99% sure the apartments are staying. The original plan was to tear them down and try to build something similar to the new River Oaks District. However, Moody realized those apartments are very lucrative and changed to this plan which will be built on the Toys R Us site.

  • That TRU on the south side of the freeway has been empty since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

  • I’m pretty sure the apartments are staying. They just updated them – they may not be finished with the updates yet.

    Those apartments were built in the 1970’s if I recall correctly. They’ve been redone a few times.

    In related news, I think the old La Quinta (can’t remember its newer name) hotel will be torn down pretty soon.

  • Looks nice but that is going to push a lot of stormwater on the million dollar homes on Gaylord Street. The current parking lot will be elevated 2 feet or so. At 10 acres thats 20 acres of foot high water that has to go somewhere else. Hope no one gets flooded.