Sunday, August 7, 2011

West Oaks Mall Jul 2011 Update

I was surprised to see that West Oaks Mall was under demolition; I completely missed this piece of news. Most of the former Steve and Barry's wing that was almost dead is being demolished to make room for a new 14 screen Edwards movie theater. This is great news for the struggling mall; although there is already an Alamo Drafthouse movie cinema that is located almost next to where the new cinema will be located. The Alamo Drafthouse is connected to the north side of the food court and the Edwards cinema will be connected by a small remaining section of the mall on the west side of the food court. A new Palais Royal will open soon in the former Linens and Things mini anchor leaving just the former JCPenney unoccupied. Some ideas that I can suggest for the JCPenney site are a complete tear down of the building and add a smaller junior anchor such as TJ Maxx or a sit down chain restaurant to complement the two movie cinemas.

This part of the mall will be gone soon to make way for the new cinema.
So far the Mall Directory has not been updated to reflect the upcoming cinema that will be in the bottom left corner of this photo. The JCPenney site is called a future development.
The west side of the mall is being demolished to make room for the new Edwards cinema.



This whole view and more was once covered by a Steve and Barry's/ Mervyn's store.

Looking into the remains of the mall. A small part of this wing has been walled off and is still open.


A wide view of the mall with the former Steve and Barry's/ Mervyn's to the right.






This space was most recently a short lived restaurant that opened around the time of the most recent remodel.



These two shopping carts are the only evidence left of the Steve & Barry's store at the mall.

This is the former JCPenney which opened as a Lord & Taylor store.
A few shots of an entrance of the closed JCPenney. The sign with the layout of the store is still present; this store was originally a Lord & Taylor.

Macy's is the main anchor here and seems to do well. This hallway is nearly identical to the now demolished Mervyn's corridor.

The Macy's corridor facing the West side of the mall.
Sears is located in a small corridor near Macy's. This store was originally a higher end Saks store.
This mall has many detailed high ceilings.

Dillard's clearance center after closing on a Sunday evening.


This former Linens and Things is slated to become a Palais Royal in the near future.

Inside of the store; it has still has the look of the former Linens and Things for now. 
This is what is left of the former Mervyn's/ Steve & Barry's wing.
The mall was walled off and the other side is a mess of demolition now. This part of the mall started dying out before Mervyn's closed and did not recover when Steve & Barry's opened. Some of the few remaining stores in this wing moved elsewhere in the mall.
This will be the mall entrance to the new Edwards Cinema.

The food court has a nice fake fireplace.



The entrance to the Alamo cinema; this cinema will have a hard time competing with the upcoming Edwards cinemas that will be built almost next door when the demolition is completed.

57 comments:

  1. This is a nice looking mall inside. Seems like something is changing. They lost Saks and Lord & Taylor. Did the Dillard's start as a clearance center or did it convert? Perhaps the demolition will bring new life to the mall.
    Scott

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  2. The mall started as a higher end mall and downgraded shortly after opening. The Dillards converted to a clearance center around a year ago. You can find several articles in the houston chronicle articles that document the history of the mall.

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  3. it seems that macy's westoaks is here to stay . the store is actually polishing the wood floors. I cant remember the last time that happened may have been when Foley's was still open. Also Dillard's west oaks is cleaning the store up and fixed the air and is replacing lights that were burned up . I heard from a sales associated that Dillard's is regretting the conversion because it actually is making more sales than memorial city . Wow! lol Hopefully this means something , this mall has some aspects other mall just don't have.
    Anyone hear anything about what is going on , since both store are not owned by the mall , maybe some big changes are coming .

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    1. I dropped by West Oaks earlier this year and saw the early stages of the JCPenney conversion into a college. The area is primed for a comeback and it would be great if the mall becomes a top destination again. The management of the mall has done a good job getting the mall into a better position in a relatively short time, but there is still work to be done.

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    2. Thanks for the update about West Oaks Mall. It's been about a year since I've visited that mall, but I know that some positive things have happened at the mall since then. The opening of the college and the Toby Keith's Grill are probably the two biggest pieces of news. I believe that Indigo has taken over the leasing duties for the mall. Hopefully Indigo can do a good job with that. I certainly enjoy the blog posts that Indigo posts on their website.

      Maybe I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but it sounds like the West Oaks Macy's is getting freshened up without getting any kind of renovation that takes away vintage aspects of the store. I like that news if it is true. The West Oaks Macy's reminds me of how the Willowbrook Mall Foley's used to look before the sales floor was renovated.

      Perhaps it is true that the West Oaks Dillard's does more sales than the Memorial City Mall Dillard's, but I suspect that the Memorial City store would cream the West Oaks store if both stores were regular format stores. Perhaps the more affordable pricing at the clearance store gives them an edge with more price sensitive shoppers. The overhead of the store is probably much less too.

      West Oaks does not have the most ideal location since it's kind of in between Katy and Sugar Land, but it's still close enough to both that there are a lot of potential shoppers who can shop there. Katy is so big now that there are certainly some people who would rather go to West Oaks than Memorial City. The marketing campaign for Toby Keith's probably helped remind some shoppers of the mall. The mall looked nice inside and out during my last visit so maybe that is encouraging some shoppers to come back.

      West Oaks has historically been on a cycle of good and bad periods. I think we are in a good period right now, but hopefully that will hold for a while because some of the down periods for the mall have been painful. We'll see, but I enjoyed reading the update.

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    3. I agree. Macy's west oaks looks very much like Foley's . everything down to the elevator. I really like that store since a lot of old Foley's have been redone into macy's new look.
      As for dillards, I don't know whats going on . It seems that they are really getting high fashion items. There was a whole rack of Michael kors items. At least its better than just a year ago when the air didn't work and the store was dirty .I hope this store can reopen upstairs there is a lot of wonderful art deco aspects that only the galleria has left.

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  4. does any able to get a mall directory from 2003 when the mall was kicking memorial city's butt lol

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    1. To say that West Oaks Mall was kicking Memorial City Mall's butt in 2003 is probably a bit of an overstatement, but the mall still had a pretty good lineup of traditional mall stores at that time. Here is a copy of the mall directory from the April 2003 West Oaks Mall website courtesy of The Internet Archive.

      That is interesting that the West Oaks Dillard's is getting more higher end items. Perhaps Dillard's is taking their clearance stores more seriously, but I don't know if the Greenspoint Mall Dillard's is getting the same treatment. As shabby as the West Oaks Dillard's looked during my last visit a year or two ago, the Greenspoint Dillard's was in much worse shape during my last visit to that store a handful of years ago.

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  5. Why does west oaks management do something right and try to get H&M in the downstairs jc penney? The area north of westhimer can definitely support it. only 2 miles there is the multimillion dollar development called kickerillo. It puzzles me why this mall is struggling. Other malls that are struggling their demographics tell the story .Westoaks doesn't have that. A lot of people say it was first colony or katy mills or memorial city that is killing the mall but when all those mall were popular Westoaks was still popular. I hope the management sees this because it is time for west oaks to come back . Houston is even bigger than just 5 years ago and its a pain to go anywhere far anymore without hitting major traffic or construction.

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    1. A lot of malls are trying to get H&M and have to give large incentives to land this hot store. Many of these retailers are growing slow to keep the demand up for their products. When Steve and Barry's grew quickly they lost their ability to draw people to their stores and make a profit by selling large quantities of items to people. Since Steve and Barry's and probably H&M have such a small profit margin they need to keep the stores they have filled with people and constantly selling items to make a profit. I agree that West Oaks needs to get another retailer in that spot and reopen that section of the mall up.

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  6. Does anyone know if westoaks JC Penney's was a flagship store. There was a Houston post article talking about this. When looking at the map on here of the store it seems there was a cosmetics section of the store which was not typical of any locations before Sephora came into play. I bring this up since Sears and Dillard's are very upscale at that mall
    Anyone know about this ?

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    1. It is possible since the JCPenney was in a former Lord and Taylor building and close to an early 1980's full size Town and Country store. Around the time this store was opened was when JCPenney was going through several changes which was one of the first times the company was in trouble.

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    2. I agree with the other person's comment about this location was a flagship location. look at this store layout from 1990. https://flic.kr/p/bfwk18
      it shows that the area around the mall entrance had booths/display case almost like you see at Macy's or Dillard's . I really believe this might have been a flagship location. I cant think of any location before Sephora came into the store, that had that layout or style .

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    3. JCPenney had many test stores where they tried new ideas and West Oaks was probably one of them. The JCPenney at the Valley View Mall in Dallas that closed was one of those stores until the company finally pulled the plug on that location.

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  7. I have to agree that jcpenney had some very upscale features and thing that other locations didn't have. I found this link of the former store . Even with the hurricane Ike damage it look very nice store and it looks better than some locations that are currently open right now.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/64730129@N08/sets/72157627835319412/

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    1. It is funny that they took the time to remove all of the mirrors from around the store but left the escalator signs. I am sure they kept many design features in place from the Lord and Taylor like they did at Memorial City Mall.

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  8. I know that there has been some interest on the history of the West Oaks Mall JCPenney so some may find this to be helpful. I was browsing the Houston Chronicle archives today and I came across a 1990 article discussing the opening of the West Oaks JCPenney. The article mentions how the store reused some of the old Lord & Taylor features like the marble flooring and rich wood paneling. Also, the store put the cosmetics up front instead of in the back of the store like how JCPenney stores used to be setup. The store had individual shoe departments for men, women, children, and for athletic shoes instead of just one general shoe department like was typical for JCPenney stores at the past.

    Of course, that was a transitional period for JCPenney as a whole. They were trying to stop being a Sears/Montgomery Ward mass merchandiser clone and they wanted to move a bit more upscale with a soft line focus. Thus, stores that were renovated/built/opened in the 1990s-2000s were more upscale looking than older locations. To some extent the change in focus did not work out as JCPenney shoppers still wanted the traditionally styled fashions at competitive prices instead of more trendy looks (apparently JCPenney forgot that part of their history when they brought in Ron Johnson). So, anyway, the West Oaks JCPenney may have seemed really upscale at the time because it was one of the first stores designed under the new philosophy, but eventually other JCPenney stores got the more upscale look as well (though without the Lord & Taylor aspects).

    There was also some articles talking about the West Oaks Sears clothing only store that opened up at West Oaks in the former Saks at around the same time that the JCPenney opened up. The clothing store was an interesting concept that was probably done because of the combination of the fact that the store was too small for a full-line Sears (until the store was expanded later on) and because Sears was trying some singular department concepts at the time like the Sears Homelife furniture stores. Anyway, there was also a 2006 story in the Chronicle that mentioned that the West Oaks general manager said that Sears management told her that the West Oaks Sears was the "most successful" Sears in the Houston area. Now I'm not sure if that was true or if it was a relative statement based on store size, but that would have been pretty impressive if true since the mall was struggling a bit in around 2006. The West Oaks Sears is one of the smaller Sears in the Houston area, but it is also one of the nicer looking ones IMO. Shoppers probably like the nicer look of the West Oaks Sears. Also, it (along with the former Westwood Mall Sears) is the Sears store that serves the important Sugar Land market. That probably helps out a lot.

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    1. Thanks for the additional information, it is strange how JCPenney also kept many of the Lord and Taylor fixtures in the Memorial City store as well. I did not know the Sears store had been expanded. I guess Sears wanted to focus on clothes at the then upscale West Oaks Mall. I wonder why they said the store was too small for a full line Sears. There are many Sears stores with less than 30,000 square feet with a full line of departments in small town malls.

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    2. The Chronicle has two stories from 1990 about the opening of the Sears clothing store at West Oaks Mall. It seems that the store was initially about 50,000 sq. ft. before being expanded some years later to a ~102,000 sq. ft. full-line store. I'm not sure when or how exactly the store was expanded. The West Oaks Wikipedia page says the expansion was in 1998, but I seem to recall it being before that. Then again, that may be true. I visited West Oaks a lot in the 1990s, but I think most of my visits were in the latter part of the 1990s so maybe it was already expanded by then. The doubling of the size makes me think that Sears added a second floor to the store, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I'm sure someone else will know the answer though.

      The articles say that Sears opened the clothing only store because they wanted to open a store at West Oaks so they were willing to take what they could even if it was a small space. Although both articles mention that Sears was trying singular department standalone store concepts at the time, both articles also mention that the clothing-only store wasn't a test concept but more of a case of Sears only being able to fit clothing in the store based on size. This may have been true, but I'm sure that Sears was paying attention to the results. Then again, margins are typically pretty thin on clothing so I'm sure that Sears wanted to get some hardlines in there.

      Although Sears could have opened up a full-line store in a 50,000 sq. ft. store, I'm not sure if the customers would have approved it. West side shoppers were probably used to the Westwood Mall and Memorial City Mall Sears which are two of the largest Sears stores in Houston. Something so small may have been seen as an insult to the area and may have not been successful. Small town shoppers may not have a choice but to accept a small Sears (they're probably happy to have anything), but Houston shoppers are going to be more picky given the alternatives.

      One of the articles indicates that Sears didn't really merchandise the West Oaks clothing only store much differently from their other stores since some other stores had clothing departments of around 50,000 sq. ft. anyway. That said, one of the articles did say that the store did have some distinctive aspects like a cow's skull in a Southwestern clothing section. Perhaps that's not as special as the West Oaks JCPenney, but the West Oaks Sears still exists and the JCPenney does not so maybe Sears had the right approach.

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    3. You are probably right about the second floor being the part that was added on. I cannot imagine how they could have fit 50,000 square feet on the two floors with how the store is currently configured, but I am not an expert on store sizes.
      Since West Oaks was a more upscale property in the 90's, it sounds about right that Sears would put a clothing only store there. Wasn't that also the time that Sears was touting the softer side of Sears campaign?

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    4. The West Oaks Mall Sears clothing only store opened up in 1990. I think that the “Come See the Softer Side of Sears” campaign started in 1993, but I could be wrong about that. Perhaps Sears was planning that campaign in around 1990 though. I think Sears felt the pressure from category killers/big boxes and started to try some single category stores in around 1990. There was the Sears Homelife furniture stores, The Great Indoors which came some years later, increased amounts of Sears Hardware stores, Sears purchase of Western Auto, creation of NTW/NTB, and probably other things too that I’m forgetting.

      Perhaps Sears wanted to test a clothing only sore, but the articles do quote Sears people as saying that the clothing only store was not a test, but rather the only way of getting into West Oaks Mall given the small store size at the time. The clothing only store certainly also fit the upscale fashion image of West Oaks Mall in the 1980s, but perhaps that image was fading a bit in 1990 with Lord & Taylor and Saks moving out. Perhaps the image did not fade completely by then. Plus, the mall still had Foley’s and Dillard's was coming soon.

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    5. Thanks for the clarification, Sears took many more chances in the past with their business and it helped them to be successful but so many of those concepts were never fully realized.
      Some of those concepts could have possibly helped Sears through the tough times they are in now if they had been expanded nationwide.

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    6. Sears was still trying a lot of different ideas up until just a little bit after Eddie Lampert's purchase of Sears. There have been some experiments under the Lampert era like MyGofer, but it seems like Lampert isn't willing to spend to legitimately try ideas. Some concepts seem to be showing potential like the expansion of the Sears Outlet concept, but that is now part of a separate company (though one that is highly tied to Sears itself). I think the problem that Sears had with stores like Sears HomeLife and The Great Indoors is they didn't have the scale like the main stores did. Plus, since they weren't all that important to the company in the grand scheme of things, it was an easy decision to sell/discontinue the experiments when things like the housing market turned and made those concepts into money losers.

      It's hard for large companies like Sears to try totally new concepts and be successful at it. I think Sears was actually more aggressive back in the 1980s and 1990s than people give them credit for. Sears and Montgomery Ward both saw the threat of the big boxes and category killers and tried to counter them. Both tried "store within a store" concepts like Sears Brand Central and Ward's Electric Avenue that were somewhat successful for a little while at least. Wards had their Jefferson Ward discount chain that they purchased and Sears had some category killer concepts and eventually a discount store/full-line combo concept (Sears Grand). I guess we can say that these concepts didn't work out though. Some of Sears' non-retail experiments were actually quite successful. The Discover Card was a lot more successful than people expected it to be when it was launched and Allstate Insurance probably did well for Sears for many decades until Sears sold/spun off those divisions. Sears' "everything from socks to stocks" Sears Financial Network in-store banking/real estate concept didn't work out so well, but I think a lot of those divisions were rather successful aside from that.

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    7. Many of these experiments and companies have probably helped Sears to survive as long as they have. Sears took the cash from these operations and added to their coffers. Now they do not have enough money to try any other new companies or concepts. They have to continue to work on things at their stores such as making returns without people leaving their cars.

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    8. the sears west oaks was never expanded. they just downsized the clothing selection and replaced it with hardware and electronic. The only part that may have added more space would be the removal of the restaurant that was there upstairs.
      the saks in dadeland mall in Florida is an exact copy of this store. also the lord and taylor there was the same as westoaks , until they remodel the store in the late 90s

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    9. Thanks for the information about the West Oaks Sears. In the above comments we were unsure of what happened in the first few years when Sears moved in and Saks moved out.

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  9. the parts of sears that were expanded, one can tell based on the lighting fixtures. the original lights have a golden color and a square shaped. the new areas have the standard rectangle shaped light one would see in an office bldg. The statement that sear west oaks is successful is true. The reason is because there is no sears in katy or sugarland. the closest would be westwood or memorial city mall. I think this was a smart move since, this location is very busy on the weekends.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. West Oaks is one of the strangest Sears stores in the area since it was not originally a Sears.

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    2. since there is an interest in Sears west oaks, sale numbers are out and westoaks and baybrook are tied for the top selling locations and memorial city is number 2 with willowbrook in number 3. I guess not having a location in Katy or in Sugarland is really helping sear. Sadly , sears on main street along with Shepard and Westwood are the lowest with main street and Richmond as being the lowest. I wouldn't be surprise if it goes. its sad since they wouldn't be any retail in downtown but money always is the winner when it comes to closing locations

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    3. Thanks for the sales figures. The Main street location will be valuable in the next few years as land in that area continues to go up in value. Sears will more than likely eventually sell that store.

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    4. Thanks for the information about Houston area Sears sales numbers. The Chronicle article from 2006 quoted a West Oaks Mall official saying that the West Oaks Sears had the best sales for Sears in the area so maybe that was a true statement. I wonder if it is a relative figure though. Is it tops in gross sales or in sales per sq. ft.? The West Oaks Sears is the smallest Houston area Sears aside from the Mall of the Mainland Sears, but it still has the same departments and probably the same top selling tools, appliances, clothes, electronics, housewares, mattresses, and so forth that the bigger stores have. That may give West Oaks an edge in a relative comparison. Plus, it may show Sears that they can still have profitable stores if the sublease/lease parts of their bigger stores to other tenants while keeping smaller stores.

      I'm not surprised that the Willowbrook and Baybrook Mall Sears stores are high on the sales list regardless of the sales measuring metric. I would have figured that Memorial City Mall had the top selling Sears in the area, but I guess it's close to the top. Being close to Sugar Land may help the West Oaks Sears, but in theory the Westwood Mall Sears should benefit from that as well. The sales figures indicate otherwise though. Perhaps Sugar Land Sears shoppers really prefer the West Oaks location. Of course, a relative sales metric would naturally be harder on the Westwood, Main St., and Memorial City Sears since they are the biggest stores even though they don't have a ton of more products to sell than the slightly smaller stores.

      The Main St. store also open less than the other stores. That probably eats away at sales, but I'm sure Sears has looked at the numbers and decided that the night sales at that location would be too little to justify staying open later. The Main St. Sears real estate probably is or will soon be quite valuable so we'll see how long it hangs on. Sears hasn't dumped it yet which is a promising sign.

      I'm surprised that the N. Shepherd Sears sales are on the lower side. The store always seems busy when I visit it. I visited the store recently and it looks like they built a new PartsDirect department in between the appliances and the shoes/clothing departments. At least I didn't remember seeing that before. The department has some parts and supplies for things like lawn equipment and appliances. They also have some big LCD screens displaying parts and there was a clerk working a computer in the department. I suppose the clerk could look up and order parts that have to be ordered. I think the presence of the new department is a good sign that Sears is committed to the location. I wonder if we will see those departments at other stores. The Willowbrook Mall Sears has it's own part store that is attached to the main store by the package pickup, but I think most Sears stores don't have their own parts stores.

      Anyway, Eddie Lampert posted something on his blog explaining why he is closing so many Sears/Kmart stores. There's nothing shocking in there, but it is an interesting read.

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    5. Deerbrook also has one of those new Parts Direct departments which is located in the former Portrait studio spot. I would have thought Deerbrook would be up there since that mall is busy most evenings. Oh well at least West Oaks continues to do really well, which shows that the mall is still a viable property.

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  10. looks like a major problem at west oaks
    Toby Keith's bar is mysteriously closed
    I hope the mall management is smart and replaces it with something good like when the mall turned over in 1990. the mall has done very well and each year since 2011 with more people coming back and new customers from the growing energy corridor.

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    1. It looks like the bar is behind on rent and to top it off they allegedly owe $150,000 to contractors for the construction work still. It seems like the bar took longer to build than it was actually open. Here is the story http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2015/01/03/toby-keiths-i-love-this-bar--grill-locked-out/21242463/

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    2. Thanks for the update. I didn't realize that there was trouble at the Toby Keith's Grill, but I can't say that I'm shocked about the problems. It seems like West Oaks Mall frequently has setbacks right after waves of good news. Hopefully this won't be a major problem for the mall, but we'll see. I'm sure the mall is eager to lease space out to any exciting projects, but at the same time they have to make sure that the proposals are solid and that the backers can actually pay their bills.

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    3. The Toby Keith concept has had issues elsewhere as well. They were one of the planned mini-anchors at the newly renovated Riverwalk Outlet Mall in New Orleans and they have yet to open there after construction was started and halted.

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    4. Toby's Keith's grill at west oaks was always packed with costumers and the yelp reviews were great. To bad, seems this mall is always having problems with management , like how pervious owner's ruined the mall back in 2004.

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  11. Toby's Keith's grill at west oaks was always packed with costumers and the yelp reviews were great. To bad, seems this mall is always having problems with management , like how pervious owner's company ruined the mall back in 2004.
    I used to work at west oaks mall back in 2000- 2010 ( JCPenney 2000- 2005 , Dillard's 2006-2010), so iv seen the mall go downwards after pervious owner's compnay bought the mall in 2004. When pervious owner's company bought the mall back in 2004 , he decided it was wise to renovate the mall but the way it was going to be payed for was the problem. He never disclosed to the stores that would take part of the bill. I remember this becuase this was a facto rfor JCP to leave. JCP westoaks was a very busy store up until it closed back in OCT. 2005 and yes it was one of the best looking stores. When pervious owner finished the renovation , that is when he really ruined JCP at westoaks. He wanted JCP to pay for part of the renovation. I remember my manager was worried about the store becuase it sounded like they want big money for JCP. This was around May 2005. Then july 4th came and we all found out that JCP would close the store for a new stand alone store . The reason was it was cheaper to build a new store. When the store closed i moved over to Dillard's since i lived by and back in 2005 the area around 99 and I 10 was not devlopmented enough for me to go there and i had alot friends that worked at the mall. JCP building was prime retail since the mall was about 90 % occupied and was doing very well. Around dillard's was in talk with pervious owner's company to purchase the JCP building to open a mens store. I remember Dillard's was serious since they gave us a memo and showed how to current store would be remoldel into a women's store. This was before there was a store in first colony for women only. The deal fell through because of price. The mall wanted a large amount of money for the building somewhere 3x the price to build a new store. ( this is reason why nothing ever opened there until recently) My friend worked at foley's and he said they wanted to open a mens store also but that never happened. So really previous owners was the reason nothing ever came into JCP. The resason alot of stores closed is becuase of higher rent and later no one would answer the phones when stores wanted to renew their leases.. My friend worked at pac sun and he said they wanted rent that was only couple hundred dollar's less than the galleria. Which is crazy since the mall lose JCP and Mervyans was vacant. that was the reason Westoaks went down . I saw this mall fall from a really nice mall to almost sharpstown. I left when dillard's converted in jan 2010. It was a fun time there but. this could happened to any mall if the managment is greedy.

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    1. The Toby Keith issue will be a setback for the mall, but the good thing is that the property is in the back of the mall not in a prime spot. I am sure the mall can take the space back soon and hopefully find another tenant that can bring more business there. The current mall management has made huge strides in fixing the mistakes that were made by the previous management. The mall looks better now in my opinion than it did right after the 2004 renovation. It is cleaner, fuller, and has a better variety of stores.

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    2. West Oaks Mall is one of the best looking malls in the Houston area inside IMO. It’s even better than the Memorial City Mall renovation IMO. I’m impressed by the effort the current management has put into the mall. Hopefully things will turn out well for them because they had some positive momentum going, but they’ll need to make sure any major future tenants are financially sound. It sounds like the restaurant did well (it was marketed pretty heavily). Hopefully someone else will be interested, but it could take a while to find a new tenant.

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    3. The Toby Keith spot will be difficult to fill. Hopefully they have a backup plan to aggressively market the space to targeted retailers. The last thing they need is for more space to be used for non-retail businesses.

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  12. I think to fill the Toby Keith spot is to get something in the downstairs jcp . Once that happens I think the mall come back with stores easily
    I think the management needs to look at options that would put them ahead of nearby mall
    Like getting h&m on the first floor of jcp
    It's very common in other cities that h&m open stores in malls that are not as popular
    Westoaks still has potential since all the anchors plus the movie theater do very well and always packed with shoppers
    Plus there isn't h&m at memorial city or first colony and would draw shoppers to the mall
    That's how westoaks stayed strong back in the 90s even though first colony opened
    Westoaks had a Disney store that first colony didn't have
    there was Sears and other speciality stores that weren't at first colony
    The management really needs to get retail in jcp not a another school or gym
    It's amazing that management hasn't thought of ways to bring big retailers back
    The area north of westhimer and the close by energy corridor can support mid scale to upscale stores
    The homes around Eldridge and briar forest are in the low 400k
    And there is more development of kickerello home starting at 2 million just east of the mall
    Including shell plant business men to the south of the mall that can support mid scale stores

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    1. Turning around a mall is not easy. Some retailers that left when the previous management messed them over are probably not going to come back. H&M would be a great draw to the mall, but they would have to make big concessions to get them there. The area income levels are favorable for a mall, but once again the previous reputation of the mall is something that is hard to change. If Dillard's converts their clearance store back to a normal store it would really help to attract other retailers.

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    2. I think if the mall really get retailers together to come back or open new stores, the pervious reputation could go a away. We saw this happen at memorial city mall. Remember the reputation in the mid 90's of memorial city mall and now it is nowhere near what that reputation was.

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    3. Yes Memorial City improved the mix of stores after the years, but only once the mall attracted new anchors and a major upscale renovation. Companies are also more cautious than they were before 2008, so it will be a challenge but not impossible.

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  13. As of March 2015, nothing has changed except on sundays, the mall seems much crowded including the food court. The actual mall part is still needed of help. Again the anchors, the movie theater and junior anchors are do very well and always busy. Dillard's West oaks is currently number 9 out of the country in clearance stores and the new management is really try to clean up the store and keep the store in order.
    As for the mall, they really need to find away to open the dead end where JCP was. If it stays this way I really don't see west oaks stay no more than 10 years. The Anchors will always stay strong since they have great location facing highway 6 and Westhimer but the mall part is in the air.
    Macy's is updating the cellar portion and looks really nice and clean.

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    1. It is good to see the anchors taking pride in their stores at West Oaks. Maybe the mall can land an H&M or a large Forever 21 to draw more inline stores. I was not happy to see the video game store was gone on my last visit.

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  14. FYI The Fireplace in the food court is real. It's a gas fireplace but it does work.

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  15. here is a rare video of westoaks mall from 1994 when the yellow power ranger came. you can see JCP entrance and can see how upscale that store was with all the cosmetics and stuff. It also shows the original mall before any remodel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XItruvGIBWU

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    1. Thanks for sending that over, who knows how many old home videos were filmed at malls in the 80's and 90's. It is also crazy that people who were born on the day this was filmed are almost old enough to drink beer legally.

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  16. When are you coming back to west oaks I would really want to see how it's changed in 2015 please

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    1. I have been back a few times since my last update on this mall. Not much has really changed except for the loss of a few stores, restaurants, and the Toby Keith Bar and Grill. A portion of the old JCPenney now has a college campus, but it does not connect to the mall yet. Overall the mall is stable, but it has yet to completely rebound.

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  17. Anyone have pictures of the old food court before the remodel, when it was the "Fiesta food court" with the elevated levels, ramps, and gaudy pastel colored decorations? So much of my childhood memories attached to that place. Anyone remember Brother's Pizza there, and that little joint called Potato Pizzaz?

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  18. Yes I do I have checked it the @westoaksmall Instagram and have found about 4 pictures that they have posted where they have pictures from the 90's if you go a little bit deep you can find the old pictures of pictures there entrance, dillards, pailis Royal, and the food court

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on the Instagram page. Their #TBT photos are awesome. I only visited the mall once when they had barely started the renovations. From what I can remember, only the Macy's/Foleys wing was under construction at the time. The Mervyn's and JCPenney were still open at the time.

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  19. With the extent of West oaks, Macys is shutting down their location in West oaks, greenspoint, and Pasadena mall. I am not sure how West oaks is going to take it, since it is a big part that brings in life to that mall. The food court is really depressing, as so as the Express is closing. I am not sure if this is another breaking point for the mall as it was in 2010ish era. On a news post it stated that West Oaks might use that space for more retail, or do what they did with the Mervyn's wing.

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    1. Maybe they can use the soon to be former Macys for Burlington to move into from across the street. Burlington is not an ideal mall tenant, but they would keep the anchor from sitting there vacant.

      I am not sure what other kinds of businesses they can lure to that side of the mall. They still have a lot of open space that was part of the redevelopment that is unused. They also have been unable to fill the space that was going to be the Toby Keith bar. The Macys closing is a huge loss for the mall and will be difficult to overcome.

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