Monday, November 18, 2013

Buyers Market I-10 West

After a short break from the blog, here is a long awaited post. 

Here is the second installment of the Houston area Buyer's Market series. This former Buyer's Market Mall was busier than the Airtex location. The building is currently occupied by Garden Ridge and has many of the mall fixtures still untouched such as the food court spots. Some of the former mall is used for Garden Ridge offices, but the majority of the former mall is still open to the public. Garden Ridge took over both former Buyer's Market Mall locations shortly after they closed and used the former mall stores as departments for the items in the store. 

When Bramalea Ltd., the company that developed and managed the centers announced the closing of the malls there were 15 stores out of an original 48 left. A small amusement park was one of the last efforts to bring this property back to life before the center was ultimately closed. One of the failures of this center was the movement of the company officials to other assignments leaving the mall with new management when the mall was failing. The mall opened in November 1984 along with the Airtex location and closed on Jan 31, 1986. There were no true anchors to these centers and not much advertisement which hurt the viability of the stores at the malls. Many of the merchants were so bored in the final days that tables were set up in the middle of the mall for card games to pass the time. 

Former stores
Draperies Etc.
Holcombe Lindquist
Nutrition Outlet
Textiles Outlet
Inside we can see the same type of floors and ceilings that are in the former Airtex Buyers Market Mall.
Looking to the left of this picture, you can see the former stores of the mall used as departments for Garden Ridge. 
Here is the area near the checkout inside of a former mall store. Many of the former mall stores were opened up to create an open floor for the Garden Ridge.   
Here are some shots of the former food court area of the mall. You can see the mirrored glass and lighting that was used as signage for the food outlets. The shelving in this area makes it difficult to get good photos, but it looks smaller than the food court area in the Airtex location. 

10 comments:

  1. I have been looking forward to you posting about this Garden Ridge location since I drove by it several months back. I may have been in this Garden Ridge many, many years ago, but it's hard to remember. The photos do look similar to the Airtex ex-Garden Ridge photos that you took a few months back.

    One thing that is different from this location to the Airtex location when it was still a Garden Ridge is that it seems that this Garden Ridge knocked down a lot of the walls that used to make up the various mall stores in the old Buyer's Market Mall. As far as I can remember, the Airtex Garden Ridge still had those walls up until around the time it closed. That made shopping there quite unusual as you had to walk in and out of "stores" like in a mall even though all the "stores' were part of one big store. I don't know if the I-10 Garden Ridge has always been open like this or if they renovated the store to be more open sometime in the recent past. Also, it seems that this Garden Ridge has a lot more products for sale in the corridors than I remember the Airtex location having. Of course, that was many years ago.

    Still, one can tell that this location started out as a mall even with all the changes. It is certainly an interesting piece of Houston discount mall history. It's nice that you were able to find some historical information about this location because there really isn't much out there about the Houston Deauville Fashion Malls and Buyer's Market Malls.

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    1. In front of some of the departments you can make out the labelscars from the old Garden Ridge signs that were on the former storefronts. The store walls have been opened up across the store so it is a mostly open floor plan now. The few remaining stores that are left in the Airtex Buyer's Market Mall are still separated by the original walls but only one side of store fronts is still left. Garden Ridge has packed that store full of merchandise so it is really difficult to get good photos in there, but you can still tell what the building was used as before. It brings up an interesting question though about the Stafford Deauville Mall Garden Ridge. I wonder how that store was set up while it was in business? If they left the Buyer's Market Malls intact, then did they also leave the Deauville Mall stores intact?
      Finding information about the malls was easier once I was able to access the library archives. There is not much information with the exception of the HAIF forums online.

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    2. You bring up an interesting question about the Stafford Deauville Fashion Mall Garden Ridge. I'm not sure how that looked because I know that I never went there. I would not be surprised if they maintained the mall look, but it's hard to say. Hopefully someone will remember this and will post about it because I am interested in the answer as well.

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  2. Looks like a big market. Nice pics.

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  3. There's a similar Garden Ridge in Round Rock that looks like it may have been a mall at one time. It's on the corner of I-35 and SH 45.

    Was that a Buyer's Market/Deauville Mall as well?

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=i-35+%26+SH-45+Round+Rock&hl=en&ll=30.481624,-97.676876&spn=0.002792,0.003629&sll=29.786292,-95.710145&sspn=0.001406,0.001815&t=h&hnear=N+Interstate+Highway+35+%26+S+H+45,+Travis,+Texas&z=19

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    1. That does look similar to a Deauville Mall but without the anchors. The Spring Deauville Mall has a similar shape but had two anchors on the ends of the + shape. The only article I have mentions a planned site at I-35 and US 183 for a 500,000 square foot Deauville Mall but it came out just before the company lost all of their mall properties to the bank.
      The Deauville Malls or the similar Buyer's Market Malls were intended to be similar to the factory outlet malls of today, but they were built and opened when the Houston economy tanked in the mid 1980's. The Deauville Malls lasted for a few years in most cases, but the Buyer's Market Malls lasted a little more than a year. I have 5 more articles about the former Houston area malls including partial store lists if you are interested in learning more about these malls.

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  4. Hey!

    I made a comment on your article about the I-45 location about a year ago. I've got some info about this location I'm sure you've already got some of this. but the food court at this location was operated by Garden Ridge for some time. The last time I know for sure it was open was in the early 2000's Probably some time around 2004/5. The spot that was open was the same corner spot that is open at the I-45 location. Across from that there was a display in a corner spot. You could see where the counters had been cut from the wall. Then recessed into the spot (under grease covered ceiling tiles) there was a faux-house. It was country themed it was meant to look like it was right up on the bayou. With a tin roof, and a fountain. It was a neat little thing.

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    1. Thanks for the additional information about this mall. I noticed some construction going on in front of the property last week. I have not been able to find out any information Online about what is going on, but I will make an update if needed once the construction is completed.

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    2. I wonder if that was in relation to the AtHome conversion?

      By the way I can provide tons of info on the Stafford Deauville Mall and a few of its tenants after closure. My family frequented the Garden Ridge, The Sam's Club, and The Movie theater! Just let me know what you want to know. You can contact me on HAIF by messaging my username there is SpaceGhost

      Also the Round Rock Garden Ridge mentioned above has closed. Apparently the building will be torn down.

      Article About Future of the plot of land- http://aquilacommercial.com/news/printer-friendly/Shopping-center-to-rise-at-Round-Rock-Garden-Ridge-site

      Foursquare Pics of the Garden Ridge- https://foursquare.com/v/garden-ridge--closed/4bd5bde87b1876b0f73d8b86/photos

      Yelp Pics- http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/garden-ridge-round-rock

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    3. Another retro store bites the dust (Round Rock).
      The Buyer's Market on Airtex near I-45 in Houston was demolished in the summer of 2014. All that is left of that Buyer's Market Mall is the parking lot and the large sign. The Armadillo Flea Market that had taken over the building seemed to be doing well and gaining more stores in late 2013. Then in early 2014 it was quickly closed and demolished to make way for more warehouses. I guess they got an offer they could not refuse for the property.
      I am interested to see how this store looks on the inside since it has been converted to an At Home store.
      I am always interested in retail history so feel free to drop me a line at southernmalls@gmail.com
      I make my articles as accurately as possible using personal memory (what little I have left, lol), research, emails, and comments to the blog.

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