The End of the Greenspoint Mall Is Upon Us

THE END OF THE GREENSPOINT MALL IS UPON US Greenspoint Mall may close its doors for good in as little as 60 days, a source tells Click2Houston reporter Sophia Beausoleil — after news broke late Friday that the hobbled 42-year-old shopping center at I-45 North and Beltway 8 is under contract for purchase by an investment group headed by Chinese investor Gao Feng. Global Plaza Union says it is still considering several different redevelopment concepts for its newly acquired property. Not included in the purchase, but expected to be added to it for any transformation to take place: the 3 independently owned anchor store sites within the property. The Sears store at the southeast corner of the property closed 7 years ago; the Macy’s, in the northwest corner, shut down earlier this year; the Dillard’s in the southwest corner, closest to the freeway interchange, is one of only 2 anchors still operating in the mall. (The other is a Palais Royal.) [Click2Houston; Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Colliers International    

19 Comment

  • No, not Gunspoint! Won’t someone please think of the heritage we’re losing…darn gentrification.

  • You know, that space would make a honkin’ massive self-storage facility, a fitting re-use for the dying malls that sold us so much retail clutter in the first place.

  • TIL that Palais Royal is still around.

  • When the whole mall’s gone, When you change your identity and your image, The entire neighborhood on the North Side will still be called gunspoint for a reason, and it’s time to clean it all up. It’s time to leave the gunspoint name behind.

  • Does anybody remember the old xylophone water fountain that used to be in the mall? Man, I remember being so impressed by that thing as a kid!

  • Good riddance, Gunspoint Mall.

  • That Dillard’s outlet is gloomy, but has some kick-ass deals.

  • Where will I get my sketchy carnival ride fix now?

  • There was a shopping mall
    Now it’s all covered with flowers — Talking Heads

  • Freeway interchange corners like this one seem to be tricky places for anything to last a long time. The long flyover ramps create this weird phenomenon where you have to exit a couple miles back and ride the feeder to that spot. Yet those same ramps make the property very prominently visible to tens of thousands of people each day who pass by overhead in their car. For whatever reason, the properties seem to cycle in and out of use and disuse. The changeover is probably exacerbated by construction freeway construction, widening and ramp rebuilds.

  • Billy 2 Block, yes. And the walkway behind the waterfall. Until then we’d only shopped at Northline Mall and the Sears on Shepherd. It was far out man!

  • Malls that are about to die need to utilize their best asset and that is having large AC filled connector hallways that can hold pretty much any small business such as coffee shops/barber shops/pet supplies/retail obviously. Using the large department store areas like Macy’s/Sears/Dillards/Palais Royal, investors could make 6-8 story apartment/condo towers. Plenty of parking lot space around in case the apartment towers needs to be built wider than what the old department stores have to offer in space. The location at I-45 & North Beltway is great and parking lots will have exits to both feeders. Residents would be able to enjoy not just living in a nice condo lifestyle but also have AC filled hallways with all kinds of small businesses, I could see baby boomers loving this since many of them are early morning mall walkers anyway. It would be a long process, especially getting 4 different towers completed; but since they are all at different corners of the mall, residents will not have the construction headaches that you might assume would come along with it. I think its a better idea than just tearing old malls down.

  • @mas, you’re not from around here, are you? “Nice condo lifestyle” isn’t what one typically thinks of when discussing this particular mall.

  • Nothing they can do at the mall is going to matter much until they clean up the Class D apartments in the area. What I envision is a City tax credit program similar to what they did for downtown, but for apartment rehabs in Greenspoint instead. That coupled with a buyout program from HCFCD for complexes in the Floodway, along with some in the 100 year floodplain and bayou-adjacent, to be replaced with stormwater detention.
    The tax credits would allow the apartments to remain affordable, while being upgraded. Desperately needed in Greenspoint. It should help crime too since the Better apartments will attract more prospective tenants, and landlords then can start screening again. The buyouts are a necessity because these complexes aren’t going anywhere without it.

  • Nobody wants to shop in a crime-ridden neighborhood

  • ZAW almost gets to the end point. Turn the entire site into a detention pond. Include the Class D apartment areas also.

  • @ ZAW: Perhaps you are forgetting or are unaware of the TIRZ-funded rehabs of several apartment complexes in Greenspoint a number of years ago. A lot of public money was spent to physically upgrade those properties under the assumption that the owner would be able to raise the rents and attract higher income tenants. While the physical conditions of the properties may have improved, the tenant quality did not. Tenants who could afford higher rents still refused to live there, and the investors never matched their pro formas. The whole scheme failed miserably, the owner went bankrupt, and the properties slipped back into slum status (not that they ever emerged from it, in terms of tenant profile).
    The theory that physical upgrades of apartments in low-income areas not subject to gentrification pressure will result in a different tenant profile has no basis in reality. It didn’t work in Greenspoint, and it won’t work in Westwood or similar areas. Only in areas on the edge of gentrification will it have a shot at proving out.

  • @mas The economics don’t work for the kind of project you are envisioning because the cost of tearing down the connector stores is much less than the added economic performance of an “ideal” design. Moreover the residents would not support that much retail and non-residents would not shop there without the draw of an anchor tenant (which lost its allure years ago anyway, which is why we are seeing these malls die). It’s a nice thought, but not something an investor would do (at least not in a market like suburban Houston).

    The truth is that the format of that mall, in that location, is obsolete and the market dynamics (population demographics, income levels, office vacancies, etc.) would possibly support a school complex but, more likely, would need to be torn down for any new use.

  • and to think all the money they made off of KBR for years. That whole area made money all the hotels have been payed for over and over at least 3 times. Those were good times back then.