Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Updated May 04 Greenspoint Mall Houston Texas April 2009

Welcome to Greenspoint AKA Gunspoint Mall.

I have added new photos to the original post on May 04















Some of the old colors have resurfaced due to peeling paint.














































Opened in the 1970’s this mall featured JCPenney, Sears, Beall’s, Joske’s, Dillard’s, Foley’s, Montgomery Ward, Cinema, and Oshman’s. This mall was built at the corner of I-45 & Greenspoint Drive and was typical of the era with dark paint and lots of wood paneling on the storefronts.
During the mid 1980’s the area around the mall began to decline and crime started to get out of hand. Willowbrook Mall and Deerbrook Mall also opened in the mid-80’s near the newer suburbs. The construction of the Beltway 8 freeway began just to the south of the mall in 1986 messing up area traffic patterns. By 1990 this area had a reputation to stay away from. The mall had an indoor shooting after hours and several carjackings in the parking lot. Nearby restaurants also were robbed and some of those robberies turned deadly. Joske’s closed in 1989 and Mervyn’s took over that anchor spot soon after. Woolworth opened a concept store in 1988 and it was closed a couple of years later. In the early 90’s the mall was remodeled and painted white, and the cinema closed. JCPenney, Oshman’s and Mervyn’s closed in the mid 90’s after a plan to turn the struggling mall into an outlet mall was announced. By this time the mall was 50% vacant; chain stores were leaving and being replaced by mom and pop stores. In early 2000 Montgomery Ward closed with the entire chain and the Dillard’s became a clearance store. A Ross store opened next to the Montgomery Ward shortly before they closed and only lasted 2 years there. The food court does well with over 10 restaurants. The mall is located next to a few skyscrapers and gets a tremendous lunch crowd. In 2002 Foley’s announced it would leave the mall and begin a closing sale. The mall was somehow able to negotiate Foley’s into staying. The empty anchor Mervyn’s in early 2000 became a Fitness Connection and the first level of the old Montgomery Ward anchor became a worksource in around 2005. The empty JCPenney anchor was labeled the Greenspoint convention center but is never used. As of April 2009 the Dillard’s clearance center, Palais Royal (Formerly Beall’s), Macy’s (Formerly Foley’s), Sears , and Fitness Connection remain. The food court does extremely well and is the driving force of the mall. The inline stores are about 50% occupied and the former JCPenney wing has been completely shuttered. The former Ward’s wing only has CiCi’s pizza, a jewelry store, and a luggage store. The Dillard's wing is only holding onto about 5 stores out of a possible 30. The Sears wing is only 25% occupied as well. The Sears wing also has a huge section that was a Woolworth concept store that has not been occupied since the early 1990's. The Macy's wing is almost full and the middle of the mall is nearly full. The nearby shopping centers have become technology centers, restaurants or abandoned. The apartments in the area have been refurbished but the area has a reputation of crime that will be hard to get rid of. Surprisingly there is a plan to turn a flea market three exits away on I-45 north into a mall style setup with anchors. I have added a picture of the now defunct Finger's furniture store across from Greenspoint Mall as a bonus. Finger's was a part of Houston for over 80 years; they changed over their stores to the Ashley name in 2008. Finger's sold their Ashley stores this year due to money troubles and closed their historic downtown location. The second story of Macy's was closed in 2008 possibly due to hurricane roof damage. I took a couple of pictures of the old escalators with blankets covering the second floor inside the Macy's. Sears was closed today for some reason and the Dillard's clearance center closes early at 7pm. There are also pictures of the former Joske's/ Mervyn's and Montgomery Ward.

My memories of this mall are from the late 1980's. This mall had several toys stores that we would visit; this mall was better than our nearby Deerbrook Mall during this time period. Montgomery Ward's and JCPenney were not at Deerbrook, so we would make the drive to Greenspoint to shop at those stores. There used to be a ton of traffic in the area before the Beltway was opened up, and parking there was not easy.

24 comments:

  1. The report was good, except for a few minor quibbles.

    1) Where is the picture with the paint peeling?
    2) In the late 1970s the mall had lots of real trees and many statues and fountains, with a "central park" theme.
    3) JCP and Mervyn's closed in 1998, I think
    4) Some good info on Greenspoint including opening stores (no photos, sorry) can be found here: http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/index.php?showtopic=17325
    5) Foley's did not close the upper level because of hurricane damage...it was closed before Macy's took over.
    http://deadmalls.com/malls/greenspoint_mall.html

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  2. (Re-posted after Grammar issues corrected)

    I plan on updating my camera soon, so the pictures will be of better quality. The fuzzy picture of the ceiling is one area where the paint is peeling. In the former Montgomery Ward and Dillard's corridors there are several sections of peeling paint. I will return one of these days when I upgrade my camera to get better pictures. The Macy's completely closed the upper level shortly after Hurricane Ike in 2008. There was still a small section of the second floor open for clearance items, furniture, and home items after Macy's took over. We bought our blender there in January 2008 with a Christmas gift card, so I have to respectfully disagree with the Deadmalls article if the author said the floor was closed. The Pasadena Macy's location will probably close their second floor also as they seem to be shrinking their merchandise there significantly. I remember when the second floor had the windows at the corners to look out over the freeway. There was also huge toys section with a nintendo display on the second floor. We go to Greenspoint Mall every couple of months since our nearby Macy's at Deerbrook Mall is closed due to Hurricane repairs. With the exception of the Mall of the Mainland and Katy Mills; we visit all Houston Malls regularly because my wife and I are mall rats.

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  3. The original anchors in 1976 were Foley's and Sears. The mall was developed by Federated Department Stores (Foley's parent since the 1940s) and was the largest grossing mall in the nation in its zenith. The pictures of Foley's are depressing. I notice they have closed off the entire second floor. That was Foley's 3rd largest store in the chain and most grossing in its heyday. Anna's Linens was Oshmans. The mall used to be lined with real ficus trees which were lit up with small lights at Christmas. In the mall's center was a 2 level waterfall with a restaurant on top called the Center Court Restaurant. One could walk under the fountains with water on both sides. The Sculpture Court featured a statue called "High Flyers" of a boy pushing a girl on a swing. It was made of bronze and was life size. By Wards was another fountain that was made of pipes. It sounded like a music box. Each pipe would gradually fill with water and gently fall on the stone which would make the sound of a chime. Each pipe was a different size making a different chime. Near The Patio (food court) was the Children's Court. It had a rubber floor and red and yellow cubes kids could play in and jump from. Foley's and Sears were the original anchors. JCPenney, Wards and Lord & Taylor were added in succession with Joske's and its corresponding wing being added in 1980. Palais Royal and Battesteins were also original junior department stores. Bealls purchased Battelsteins later. Isabell Gerhart (From The Galleria) had a store down by Foley's while Walter Pyes (another junior upscale department store) had a location by Joske's. Joske's was sold in 1987 to Dillards. Lord & Taylor pulled out in 1988. Wards closed in 2000 and JCPenney pulled out in 1995. Walter Pye's closed along with Isabell Gerhart and Beall's. New owners of the mall gutted its beautiful Central Park theme demolishing the fountains, trees and sculpture and taking up the classic tiles replacing them with hideous glow in the dark pastel tiles. The Patio was also gutted of its skylights, hanging baskets and wood detail. The mall is now a ghost of what it once was

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  4. houston351967 excellent post. Do you have any information to post on the blog about the Northline, Gulfgate, and Meyerland Malls?

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  5. Johnme,

    Is the Dillards now closed at Greenspoint? I know it was turned into a clearance center and was rumored to be closing. Macy's closed the second floor of Foley's after their takeover. Foley's was part of Federated for years (since the 1940's) until Campeau, a real estate tycoon, from Canada bought Allied Stores (Joske's parent). He used all junk bonds to do so. Once it was complete he had a garage sale selling off many fine stores and closing other divisions. Then he eyed Federated and took them over, again all with junk bonds, none of his own money. Once the sale was complete he sold Foley's and Filene's (in Boston) to May Department stores. Bullock's/Bullocks Wilshire and I Magnin - both California based - were sold to the upscale RH Macy & Co. Federated and RH Macy then went bankrupt. Campeau fled the U.S. and is in Europe. He never paid a dime for the mess he made of US Retail. Macy's was purchased by the new Federated that came out of bankruptcy. It was nothing like the old Federated. They eventually closed all their divisions that were left and changed the name to macy's. Federated also bought The Broadaway Stores which included The Broadway, Emporium and Weinstocks and closed or converted them to their KMart Macy's. The old RH Macy was upscale and a very nicely run outfit. The new incarnation of Macy's is like a Kmart - cheap in house clothing with no sales people or service. Twenty years ago, the US had over 300 regional department store chains. Now there are 5 - Macy's, Belk, Dillards, Bon Ton (Under several nameplates like Carson Pirie Scott, Herberger's, Parisian, Younkers, etc) and Boscov's. This does not include Sears and Penney's. Gone is the regional identity of the country's stores that defined their own class, style and service.

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  6. To Richard in Houston;

    The Dillard's is still open but on shorter hours than a normal store. The store is filled with seemingly never ending racks of clothes and their second floor is closed off as well. I am not sure about this store closing, but they have not invested any money in this location for years.

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  7. I was visiting with someone at The Woodlands Dillards and was told that store is the 3rd largest grossing in the chain. It is designed to have a 3rd floor w/furniture but they have not added on yet. The Galleria (Joske's former flagship in Houston) is the top grossing in Texas. He was told Dillards was planning on closing Greenspoint, West Oaks, Lake Jackson, Mall of the Mainland (which was closed after Ike and never reopened, Deerbrook and a few other stores. It is a matter of time before Macy's closes dozens of stores.

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  8. I live by Deerbrook Mall and I hope they reconsider that closing. Deerbrook Mall is nearly 100% occupied, and the closed circuit city has already been replaced by a new total home store. A closed space at Deerbrook does not stay empty for long and if Dillard's closes the mall will have a big void in the very front of the mall.

    I just got back from Austin today and the two Dillard's stores at Highland Mall are beginning their closing sales. I will have a write up and pictures of this mall later this week. I was glad to have a chance to see this mall before those two anchors close.

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  9. A rapidly dying mall, Greenspoint Mall in Houston was developed by Federated Department Stores and opened in July, 1976 with Foley's and Sears as the initial anchors. Being the first mall in the northern suburbs, it instantly was a huge success. At its height it was the largest grossing mall in the country. The expansion continued in the 1970's and early 1980's which included 170 stores as well as JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, Montgomery Ward, Joske's, Walter Pye's, Palais Royal and Beall's department stores. The mall had a memorable fountain court which included a restaurant over the waterfall. One could walk through the waterfalls under the cafe. The corridors were lined with full size ficus trees which were decorated with thousands of miniature white lights at Christmas. The mall was designed with a "Central Park" theme. There was a statue/sculpture called "High Flyers" which was dedicated at the mall's opening in 1976 and was anchored in the sculpture court.

    As Houston continued to boom the WillowBrook and Deerbrook malls opened which took a significant amount of its business. The city of Houston annexed the mall area in the mid 80's which allowed the bus line. Unfortunately, the crime rate soared culminating in the kidnap and murder of a female sheriff in the early 1990's. Much bad publicity went around and the area became known as "gunspoint". The final nail in the coffin was the opening of the Woodlands Mall. The affluent residents fled the area in the 1990's when the crime increased and the 3 other malls took the rest of the business. Walter Pye's, Bealls, Wards, Penney's, Lord & Taylor have all closed. Joske's was taken over by Dillard's in 1987. That store has been converted to a cheesy clearance center. The Foley's, which was one of their largest stores, has been downsized considerably with the 2nd floor almost compeletely closed off. It will likely close altogether when Macy's takes over next year. A remodel was done in the 1990's by new owners which cheapened the mall's look considerably. Gone are the trees and fountains. They were replaced with almost glow in the dark multicolored tiles. It's days are definitely numbered. It is sad to see what was once a vibrant shopping mecca become a shell of its former self.

    This is the comment I submitted to DeadMalls.com a few years ago regarding Greenspoint.

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  10. Small corrections: Mervyn's took over the spot facing I-45 that Lord & Taylor once occupied. That spot is now Fitness Connection. Dillard's arrived at the mall with its acquisition of the Joske's store there, fronting Beltway 8.

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  11. Looks like the Greenspoint remodel will happen after all.

    http://texas.realestaterama.com/2009/07/15/frenchys-creates-new-concept-at-the-renaissance-at-greenspoint-ID0256.html

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  12. Thanks Pseudo3D for the update. I dug around the net and came up with this link that details the project in better detail. If this project goes through; this will help turn around this once prominent mall. http://www.loopnet.com/Attachments/C/6/4/C6452EAE-C280-4251-B3EE-9CCD7B053B52.pdf

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  13. Is the blank wall with the vending machines the JCPenney wing?

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  14. Where were Bealls, Ross and Palais Royal?

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  15. The Palais Royal that is located in the mall currently is in between Macy's and The Fitness Connection. This store was one of the last to keep the Beall's name in the Houston market and switched over in early 2000. The Ross was very short lived and it was located in the former Montgomery Ward's wing directly across from CiCi's Pizza. This is the only in-line mall Ross store I have even seen. The location is now a Uniform Superstore.

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  16. Yes the blank wall by the vending machines is where one of the JCPenney entrances was. The other one is behind the playground near Anna's Linen's. The JCPenney site is where the cinema is located on the redevelopment plan for the mall.

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  17. I've been a Greenspoint resident for 20+yrs; I have been waiting for the BIG CHANGE for almost 5yrs now. Were getting ready to go into 2010 and I have only seen minor changes... when are we going to start seeing the major changes happen? I was reading on one of the links Johnme posted and it stated that the theatre was expected to open in the summer of 2009, what happened?? Our area deserves a facelift and Im sure one this happens other big area vendors will follow
    -Jeanette

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  18. Pseudo3D sent the link to the redevelopment of the mall, but nothing has happened on site yet. A similar plan minus the movie theater was unveiled at the San Jacinto Mall around three years ago, but nothing has happened there either. Financing is extremely difficult to come by these days and most projects that did not get funded before 2008 will have to wait until the economy gets better. I remember in the late 1980's when this mall was the place to go and I would like to see some great things happen here in the future. The competition from the retail district around West road and the redevelopment of the Northline Mall site make it difficult for Greenspoint Mall today.

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  19. I remember going to Greenspoint Mall as a youth to get my school clothes and the parking lot being at almost 100% full. I remember we having to park almost to the freeway where they have the small carnival's today. I remember the old Picadilly cafeteria and having to stand in long lines to eat. I remember "Greenspoint Bank" by the freeway. I remember there being a small cafe at the second level in the Foley's store. I remember "Alberto's Clocks" and "KB Toys".

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  20. Greenspoint Foley's was the largest branch store behind Sharpstown. It was truly a beautiful store. The mall opened on Thursday, August 5, 1976, although the Foley's actually opened a few days earlier. Here is the original lineup of stores for the mall's opening:

    Alberto's Clocks
    Albert's Hosiery
    American Uniform
    Artland
    B. Dalton Bookseller
    Baker's Shoes
    Baldwin-Lively Pianos
    Baskin Robbins Ice Cream
    Battlesteins
    Betty's Maternity
    Casual Corner
    Centre Court Restaurant
    Chandler's Shoes
    Chess King
    City Appliance Center
    Clover Patch
    Corrigan's Jewelers
    County Seat
    Creperie
    Disc Records
    E/J's Model Shop
    El Chico Mexican Restaurant
    Ellison's
    Famous Ramos
    Fashion Conspiracy
    Florsheim Shoes
    Foley's (still open, though now branded as Macy's)
    Fortune Cookie
    Foxmoor
    Funway Freeway Arcade
    The Gap
    General Nutrition (still open)
    Gilbert Ortega's Indian Arts
    The Go-Round
    Gordon's Jewelers (still open)
    Greenspoint 5 General Cinema
    Greenspoint Pet Center
    Hamburger Hamlet
    Hanover Shoes
    Haus Edelweis
    Hickory Farms
    Houston Trunk Factory
    Isabell Gerhart
    J. Harris
    J. Riggins
    Jean Nicole
    Jeans West
    Jerry Thompson's Restaurant and Saloon
    Joan Bari
    Jovee Betram Bath and Boudoir
    Kid's Kasuals
    Kinderphoto
    Kinney Shoes
    The Limited
    Leopold, Price & Rolle
    Levitt's Jewelers
    Margo's La Mode
    Merle Norman
    Miss Bojangles
    The Monocle
    Morrow's Nuts
    Mr. Calculator
    Naturalizer Shoes
    The Oak Tree
    Organ Exchange
    Oshman's
    Palais Royal (still open)
    Picadilly Cafeteria
    Pickwick Music
    Pipe Pub
    Pizzeria
    Playhouse Toys
    Polar Bar
    Radio Shack (still open)
    Ramos Pretzel Shoppe
    Regal Touch
    Rodney's
    Roots Natural Footwear
    Sears (still open)
    Sherry's Hallmark Shop
    The Shoe Gallery
    Showcase
    Silvermans
    Size 5-7-9 (still open)
    So-Fro Fabrics
    Sounds & Imports
    Southern Fabrics
    Steve's Sandwich Shop
    Stuart's
    Susie's Casuals
    Sweeny's Jewelers
    Taco Spot
    Texas State Optical
    Thom McAn
    Tiffany's Bakery
    Transcontinental Travel
    U-Frame-It
    Ventura's Formal Wear
    Village Casuals
    Waldenbooks
    Western Junction
    Wicks 'N' Sticks
    The Wild Pair
    World Bazaar
    Worths
    Zales Jewelers

    Here are the first movies shown at the premiere of the Greenspoint 5 General Cinema

    Blazing Saddles
    Bugs Bunny Superstar
    Lifeguard
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
    Ode to Billy Joe

    JC Penney was added in 1977.

    Montgomery Ward was added in 1978.

    Lord & Taylor was added in 1979

    Joske's was added in 1980.


    Richard in Houston

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  21. Foley's Greenspoint was the largest branch store behind Sharpstown. It truly was a beautiful store.

    The mall opened on Thursday, August 5, 1976, although the Foley's actually opened a few days earlier. Here is the original lineup of stores for the mall's opening:

    Alberto's Clocks
    Albert's Hosiery
    American Uniform
    Artland
    B. Dalton Bookseller
    Baker's Shoes
    Baldwin-Lively Pianos
    Baskin Robbins Ice Cream
    Battlesteins
    Betty's Maternity
    Casual Corner
    Centre Court Restaurant
    Chandler's Shoes
    Chess King
    City Appliance Center
    Clover Patch
    Corrigan's Jewelers
    County Seat
    Creperie
    Disc Records
    E/J's Model Shop
    El Chico Mexican Restaurant
    Ellison's
    Famous Ramos
    Fashion Conspiracy
    Florsheim Shoes
    Foley's (still open, though now branded as Macy's)
    Fortune Cookie
    Foxmoor
    Funway Freeway Arcade
    The Gap
    General Nutrition (still open)
    Gilbert Ortega's Indian Arts
    The Go-Round
    Gordon's Jewelers (still open)
    Greenspoint 5 General Cinema
    Greenspoint Pet Center
    Hamburger Hamlet
    Hanover Shoes
    Haus Edelweis
    Hickory Farms
    Houston Trunk Factory
    Isabell Gerhart
    J. Harris
    J. Riggins
    Jean Nicole
    Jeans West
    Jerry Thompson's Restaurant and Saloon
    Joan Bari
    Jovee Betram Bath and Boudoir
    Kid's Kasuals
    Kinderphoto
    Kinney Shoes
    The Limited
    Leopold, Price & Rolle
    Levitt's Jewelers
    Margo's La Mode
    Merle Norman
    Miss Bojangles
    The Monocle
    Morrow's Nuts
    Mr. Calculator
    Naturalizer Shoes
    The Oak Tree
    Organ Exchange
    Oshman's
    Palais Royal (still open)
    Picadilly Cafeteria
    Pickwick Music
    Pipe Pub
    Pizzeria
    Playhouse Toys
    Polar Bar
    Radio Shack (still open)
    Ramos Pretzel Shoppe
    Regal Touch
    Rodney's
    Roots Natural Footwear
    Sears (still open)
    Sherry's Hallmark Shop
    The Shoe Gallery
    Showcase
    Silvermans
    Size 5-7-9 (still open)
    So-Fro Fabrics
    Sounds & Imports
    Southern Fabrics
    Steve's Sandwich Shop
    Stuart's
    Susie's Casuals
    Sweeny's Jewelers
    Taco Spot
    Texas State Optical
    Thom McAn
    Tiffany's Bakery
    Transcontinental Travel
    U-Frame-It
    Ventura's Formal Wear
    Village Casuals
    Waldenbooks
    Western Junction
    Wicks 'N' Sticks
    The Wild Pair
    World Bazaar
    Worths
    Zales Jewelers

    Here are the first movies shown at the premiere of the Greenspoint 5 General Cinema

    Blazing Saddles
    Bugs Bunny Superstar
    Lifeguard
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
    Ode to Billy Joe

    JC Penney was added in 1977.

    Montgomery Ward was added in 1978.

    Lord & Taylor was added in 1979

    Joske's was added in 1980.

    Richard in Houston

    ReplyDelete
  22. Pseudo3D said...

    "You copied that from the HAIF."

    Yes, he did. And I should know, as I'm the person who posted it on HAIF.

    It's not that big of a deal... after all, I got that info from the August 1976 editions of the Houston Post and Chronicle, which ran special sections (really paid advertising, I'm sure) on the opening of the mall.

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  23. I remember when Greenspoint was brand new. We use to have to walk thru a maint. alley to get to the theatres. (They were building Montgomery Ward) I had my first job at Greenspoint Montgomery Ward, and worked there for 8 years. Back then the mall wasn't open on Sundays, and my dad taught me how to drive in the parking lots there! I went by there not too long ago--so sad to see what it has become.

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