Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gulf Deauville Mall Webster Tx.

The Gulf Deauville Mall opened in 1984 with spaces for 40 inline tenants and was anchored by Houseworks, Builders Square, Lowe's Gulf Cinemas (2), Federated, and The Fair. Designer Depot may have also been here as well, but I could not confirm this. This center was 458,000 square feet and the largest Houston area Deauville Mall. 
The Deauville Malls ran into trouble in 1986 and were foreclosed on by First City Bank throughout the year. This mall was foreclosed on again in the early 90's before it was purchased and redeveloped. 

Interior stores
 (If anybody knows the names of any more comment below)
Nursala's Name Brand Shoes
Siegel's Fashion Station   
In 1992 the mall property was sold to Levcor Inc. and the interior mall was gutted and divided into 8 big box store portions. As you can see some of the big box stores take up more than one portion. The new store spaces were gobbled up quickly by Best Buy, Leaps N' Bounds, Sears Homelife, Oshman's Super Sports, Stein Mart, Boater's World, and Oak Crafters Furniture. Currently the former mall is doing great with only a small store space un-leased. 
Looking around the property, you can see the signature Deauville Mall wall design that was used in all four malls. Sadly all other evidence of the mall has been erased by the 1992 redevelopment. 

18 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff, thanks for the photos. This location was very, very close to the successful Baybrook Mall. That may have hurt it as a mall, but it probably helped it as a shopping center. It's probably fair to say that this is the former Deauville Mall that has had the most prolonged success as a retail destination. Granted, that success came after the mall was converted. The Chair King's facade certainly looks like a vintage Best Buy location. I'm guessing that is what it was before.

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  2. Yes the Chair King was Best Buy until around 2004 when they relocated to a new center off Bay Area and I-45. It appears that Bed Bath and Beyond may have expanded and BEL Furniture expanded taking up extra big box space. The anchors now are Bed Bath and Beyond, BEL Furniture, Buy Buy Baby, Chair King, Stein Mart which is only 5 out of 8 original spaces. There is a small store space between Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby that was vacant, it may have been part of the former mall or just leftover space. You can see part of that store space in the 2nd photo.

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    1. You can get a pretty close-up picture of this shopping center using Google StreetView. The path in front of the stores were digitized in 2011. According to those pictures, that empty store was empty then too, but it had some sort of yellow and green covered walkway going to it with colored dots on the front and "Entrance" written on the side. It looks like that covered walkway is gone in your picture. I guess the center must have removed it. I have no idea who used that covered walkway though. The Buy Buy Baby space was also vacant in 2011, but it has noticeable The Sports Authority labelscar on StreetView.

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  3. That is interesting, I tried to look in the glass of the small store to see if it was an entrance to the former mall or cinema but I could not tell. After the conversion to a big box center the cinema still had a portion of the mall corridor going to their main entrance I guess like at North Oaks.

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    1. I don't know what Leaps N Bounds was, but do you think that empty space could have been that? That covered walkway looks like it could have gone to something child oriented which Leaps N Bounds may or may not have been, but I really have no clue. The Google StreetView image of that place does have credit card stickers in the window, but that's about it really. The covered walkway does look a bit faded on the top so it was probably there for some time. There is some labelscar in the StreetView image, but it is very faint and I can't make out what it says. The brochure for this shopping center does have an aerial image with the covered walkway, but you really can't make anything out on it. It also does show a site map for the center. That empty space does start out somewhat wide, but then it becomes very narrow. It is an unusually shaped space, but I guess that is what you get when you convert a mall to a big box shopping center.

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    2. It looks like there is still space in the actual structure that may not have been converted into big box stores. I wonder if any of the old mall is still hidden in between those stores?

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    3. I don't think that empty space still exists today though. The aerial image on the brochure and the Google StreetView of the back side of the center shows a continuous indoor space around the old Sports Authority, but the Google Maps aerial image of the place, which is presumably newer than the other photos, seems to indicate that the enclosed spaces surrounding the Sports Authority/Buy Buy Baby were demolished. I'm not sure why they would demolish that section, but I guess they did. This must have happened in the last couple of years. There are still very small parts that could still have a mall look inside like a little section next to the back of the Stein Mart, but I have no idea what that is being used for or what it looks like inside.

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    4. That is a shame that they have taken away the rest of the mall space. I guess the cost of maintaining the roof and other maintenance is the reasoning behind that move.
      Alco is going to be acquired by Argonne Capital Group according to this article http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/alco-stores-inc-enters-definitive-141000688.html
      It looks like the company is going to be expanded once this transaction is completed, but I hope they keep their same formula and work on getting lower prices from the buying power they will get from growing.

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    5. I'm not sure if the Oshman's/Sports Authority used up all that space that was demolished or not. Oshman's Super Sports stores were pretty big. I'm not sure how big Buy Buy Baby is, but perhaps it isn't as big and they (and the center operator) didn't want to pay to maintain and air condition it and stuff like that.

      I did not know about Alco's sale. I knew that they were planning on moving their headquarters to the Metroplex, but I wonder if this will change those plans. Argonne seems to be based in Atlanta, perhaps the headquarters will move there instead. Maybe not. But, yeah, hopefully this will allow Alco to grow and prosper. I'd like to see them do well because they can be a really good alternative to Target and Wal-Mart especially if they can lower their prices. If nothing else, hopefully it will allow Alco to continue to serve small towns that wouldn't have discount store shopping otherwise. I'm still not sure what is going on with the Gessner Rd. Alco, but hopefully that store will return to normal operating status soon.

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  4. The empty space next to Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby used to be a Discovery Zone in the '90s.

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    1. it was first a leaps and bounds and then bought buy discovery zone

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    2. Oh. My sister had a birthday party there when it was a Discovery Zone. I have a picture, and on of the workers was a Discovery Zone uniform.

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  5. When Buy Buy Baby was built the area that was formerly occupied by Oshman's / Sports Authority and some of the space around it was demolished and a new building was constructed for Buy Buy Baby.

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    1. Thanks for the comment and additional info. I thought that building looked out of place.

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    2. Does anyone know about the death of a little girl at this specific discovery zone back in the 90s? My coworkers talk about it, they claim our store is haunted and people have seen and heard her.

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    3. I also work at BBB, and we are still looking for information about the death of the girl at Discovery Zone. It would have been between 1985-1992.

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    4. I looked in the Houston Chronicle archives for any information about this, but I did not find anything there. That does not mean nothing happened, but I guess whatever may or may not have happened was not newsworthy.

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  6. it seems form google maps that they have torn down a sizable portion of the central court vicinity

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