Wednesday, June 22, 2011

San Jacinto Mall Update June 2011

This article was down to add more photos from my collection, enjoy.


From the nearly empty Mervyn's Wing


"Shop San Jacinto Where there's more in Store!", but you have to walk for a while past this sign until you find an open store.




Inside the Mervyn's from the mall view.


Once this wall was put up separating this wing from the rest of the mall; I thought it was being closed like the other section of the mall. The A/C was off or cut very low in this wing so they might be saving electricity here. Only one actual store remains here with a bingo hall and school offices.


Sears and Marshall's.





Waldenbooks in the Sears wing.

These are from the east mall entrance of JCPenney and the corridor.

The wall partially blocking the Mervy's wing is in the distance.
Mirrored Glass fitting for this mall that still looks like the 1980's.


Some patchwork in the JCPenney wing.

The Macy's wing.


The food court


I was inspired to take a trip back to the San Jacinto Mall after seeing the "Tears for a Mall" you tube video. All of the images were taken by peeking in windows around the mall.
Former Service Merchandise that opened as a Wilsons.
The Premier Cinemas

The Casa Ole advertised on this sign is closed.
Former Mervyn's

The doors are locked but anyone can see right in; these photos were taken from the outside of the mall looking in.







This is all that you can see of the closed Montgomery Ward wing. The entire wing died off when Montgomery Ward closed in 2001 and the majority of the wing was walled off. Walgreens and the entrance to Bealls were in this wing. Hallmark was also here as well but their store moved to the Macy's wing. Sam Goody and Pacsun were still operating in the small part of this wing that was not walled off, but the only business left is a small power wheel track for the kids. All of the photos below are from the section of the mall that was part of the redevelopment plan that never got off of the ground. This part of the mall has been left to rot away for now with no sign of change.

Through the door of an old (restaurant?) in the closed off wing.



This is a close up of the fountain that was still running up until this wing was closed off.
This is about the only modernization that this Montgomery Wards had before it closed; Wards stickers with the updated logo on the entrances. Montgomery Ward lost their identity in the 1990's and never regained their former retail dominance. As a kid in the 1980's I preferred to go to Montgomery Wards because they had a better toy section than any other department store. Electric Avenue (The electronics department) also had video game displays to try out. Montgomery Wards was very similar to Sears with many similarities such as huge appliance and tool sections.

It is hard to believe that Montgomery Wards closed 10 years ago already.
The store is beginning to age rapidly; many sections of brick are cracked and this section of the entrance is beginning to come down.
Montgomery Ward stores of the 1970's and 1980's such as this one usually were made to look larger on the outside than they were on the inside.
This may have been the garden center of Wards; it looks like you can see into the store through this opening.


The garage of the former Montgomery Wards. Notice the boat parked inside and the Tire Sale sign on the left wall.

Inside of the waiting area for package pickup. Unfortunately this was the only spot where you can see inside of the store. The rest of the entrances are covered up or the double doors have too much reflection to get a photo :(.

The entrance to the package pickup.
You have to enjoy the nostalgia with these door handles.
An older picture of the Wards wing taken though an open spot in the wall.

Ike or neglect? Former Bealls store closed in 2001 (I think). This store is located in the closed off Montgomery Wards wing. In some of the shots to the left you can see the edge of the former Walgreens store inside of the mall. All sales were final.









13 comments:

  1. It's so sad what has happened to this mall, it used to be such a cool mall. The problem, I think was having WAY too many anchors, I know @ the time it seemed like a good idea, unfortunately we did not see what 2001 was going to have in store (Wards, Service Merchandise shutting down due to bankruptcy) As well as Bealls suffering in 2001 closing much of their stores. Then 2005, Mervys leaves houston, and at the very end of 2008, the entire chain shuts down. I really believe had it not been for those two years (2001 and 2005) this mall would still be thriving.

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  2. i think to fix this mall tear down the dead anchors and try and attract dillards , ross maybe Burlington to the mall . I think the future of dying malls like greenspoint , san jacinto , northwest is to incorporate supermarkets like HEB , Kroger , Randall's , foodtown fiesta to come to malls.

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    1. I agree with you, many of these properties need a new anchor to spur development. The owners/ management also need to get together money to help attract these stores, but these properties seem to have been forgotten and are sitting there waiting for redevelopment.

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  3. Biggest need in Baytown is a large store near the mall like a full blown HEB w a Central feel to it. Then everyone will see Baytown as a good thriving city.

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    1. It is strange how all of the new developments have been outside of the mall but not added onto the mall to help the property out. Several of the new stores that opened up could have easily renovated space in the mall, but choose to build a new location down the street. The mall needs some kind of catalyst to bring it back to life. Parts of the mall need to be demolished and a large HEB would really help to bring more people to the property.

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  4. San Jacinto Mall has been sold to Fidelis Realty Partners. Fidelis plans on tearing down all or a large section of the mall and redeveloping it into an open-air center. It sounds like it'll take a few years to get everything together. The toughest challenge might be linking all three existing anchors (assuming they all remain open) with an outdoor center unless someone is willing to move.

    Sometimes these redevelopment plans fall apart and the malls continue to exist as is. That said, Fidelis recently purchased the Willowchase shopping center near Willowbrook Mall and executed the redevelopment plans they had when they brought the place by demolishing part of the center. Granted, demolishing part of an indoor mall and repopulating it is a much tougher challenge than tearing down part of a regular shopping center. We'll have to see what happens.

    I still have some time to visit San Jacinto Mall before the big changes may happen, but I will have to get there somewhat soon if I want to see it. I wonder if Triyar selling the mall has any implications for their other local malls, Greenspoint Mall and Pasadena Town Square. Perhaps not (Triyar did sell of the Mall of The Mainland years ago without it impacting their other malls), but we'll have to keep an eye on the situation.

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    1. Baytown and the surrounding area has has significant growth over the past few years. I bet the city was planning on taking legal action over the condition of the mall if this sale had not happened.

      I am glad to hear the mall is in the hands of a new owner, but not keeping an indoor mall here is a mistake. The area has a lot of big box retailers already so why would they create more. Hopefully they will reconsider and make a good portion of the new mall enclosed. The good part about the mall site, is that there is a bunch of land and they can connect the anchors several different ways. I wonder if the cinema is going to stay as well. I guess we will know more in the upcoming months. I would not be surprised to see Sears leaving the mall now since they should be able to sell their site for a good price. Some of the neighborhood retailers at San Jacinto may be hard to relocate because the rent will obviously go up at the new center.

      Hopefully they will sell off the other two malls as well. Triyar has let all of their malls languish and bleed stores while the property declines. With the exception of an exterior paint job and a new cinema at Greenspoint, not much has happened at the three malls to enhance the centers.

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    2. That’s a good point about Sears selling their store to Fidelis. I don’t know if Fidelis would have any reason to want to buy the Sears building. If they did, I’m sure it would be to consolidate the anchors into a smaller area for redevelopment purposes. OTOH, I’m sure Fidelis would like to keep Sears since they are an anchor. We’ll have to keep an eye on the situation. Perhaps the San Jacinto Mall Sears does well, but I don’t know. It does have current signage.

      I’d certainly prefer an indoor mall to an outdoor mall or power center, but I guess other people feel differently. Perhaps they’ll keep at least part of the mall intact. We’ll have to see. The problem with keeping it as an indoor mall is that shoppers may assume that the mall is still in bad condition inside even if Fidelis does a total remodel.

      We’ll have to see what Triyar does with Greenspoint Mall and Pasadena Town Square. Neither of them seem like attractive redevelopment projects, but who knows. I didn’t think that San Jacinto Mall was an attractive redevelopment project either. I don't think many Houston area mall fans will be sad to see Triyar sell their remaining malls as they have a pretty mediocre record here operating malls, but I don't know what their plans are.

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    3. Many similar redevelopments initially have Sears as a part of the new plan, but then Sears closes up once the work starts or gets close. Valley View Mall Sears in Dallas is another store that may close to make way for the redevelopment. Sears is part of the plan for now, but as we know all stores are for sale.

      If any part of the mall stays it would be the cinema & food court area. I am not sure how they could even keep that because of how the area is configured. They may just demolish the area and rebuild the food court around the cinema entrance somehow. The mall building is in such poor shape, it is a shame that the cost to demolish is probably better than the cost to remodel at this point.

      It seems like the Pasadena and Greenspoint malls will continue to limp along. Even the best section of Greenspoint mall from the food court to the Macy's is seeing more vacancies. About three years ago the food court was full, now it is less than half full. Pasadena has continued to lose stores also. The section from the food court to the children's playground which was the strongest section of the mall is losing stores.

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    4. Many similar redevelopments initially have Sears as a part of the new plan, but then Sears closes up once the work starts or gets close. Valley View Mall Sears in Dallas is another store that may close to make way for the redevelopment. Sears is part of the plan for now, but as we know all stores are for sale.

      If any part of the mall stays it would be the cinema & food court area. I am not sure how they could even keep that because of how the area is configured. They may just demolish the area and rebuild the food court around the cinema entrance somehow. The mall building is in such poor shape, it is a shame that the cost to demolish is probably better than the cost to remodel at this point.

      It seems like the Pasadena and Greenspoint malls will continue to limp along. Even the best section of Greenspoint mall from the food court to the Macy's is seeing more vacancies. About three years ago the food court was full, now it is less than half full. Pasadena has continued to lose stores also. The section from the food court to the children's playground which was the strongest section of the mall is losing stores.

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  5. So many memories here... mainly around 1998 - 2001. Waldenbooks, Electronics Boutique, Suncoast, KayBee Toys, Walgreens, Sam Goody, Casa Ole, Piccadilly cafeteria. There was a coin / trading card shop here that I loved, I think it was called Benjamin's Coin or something like that.

    It was so sad to watch this mall turn into what it is today. Seeing the pictures, especially the empty Waldenbooks... its just sad. Sometimes I go there just for the hell of it, for nostalgia I guess. I wish there was a reason to still go there, Im not looking forward to it being torn down.

    Good bye San Jacinto Mall, you will be missed.

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    1. I remember the coin shop, it was next to Power Play if I remember correctly. For now we can still check out the mall and see it before it is all gone. Thanks for sharing your memories.

      If you have a chance to get some pictures of the mall especially when they demolish the Montgomery Ward wing in the next few weeks or so, please send them to us. Southernmalls@gmail.com is our email. We are putting together a large post of the mall.

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  6. So many memories here... Mainly from 1999 - 2001. I used to love going to Suncoast, Electronics Boutique, Sam goody, Waldenbooks, KayBee Toys, Casa Ole, and Piccadilly cafeteria. There was a coin / trading card shop that I really liked, I think it was called Benjamins Coin.

    It was sad to see the stores disappear one by one over the years. I still go there occasionally just for nostalgia. It'll be sad when it gets torn down.

    Goodbye San Jacinto Mall, you were a big part of my childhood.

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