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.