Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Westview Village Shopping Center Waco Tx

Westview Village Shopping Center opened in 1957 and has over 300,000 square feet of space. This shopping center has one large subdivided anchor space and a small center mall space. The shopping center is nearly full and still looks much like it probably did in the 1950's with the exception of different stores. It is a real treat to see a shopping center like this one in 2014 (when these photos were taken) thriving and doing well.

The subdivided anchor has a Vegas Buffet, Michaels, and Hancock Fabrics. This anchor was a Cox's Department store with two levels. That store opened with the center and closed in 1995. It appears that only the first level is being used for the current stores.
The sign for the center mall portion of the shopping center.
Here is the outdoor center mall portion which houses mostly offices and services.
The mall portion is not climate controlled, but has good ventilation and was breezy despite the heat outside. This is the view from the main entrance to the back.
Now here is the view from the back entrance to the main entrance.
The entrance to the central mall portion of the shopping center. Check out the retro letters and signage.
Here is the road sign for the center.
At the other end of the mall we have a Pep Boys and Cavender's along with more small shops.  
As an added bonus, here is the retro Arby's just down the street. Not many of these old Arby's signs have survived.
There was another nearby mall that was mostly demolished in the early 2000's called the Lake Air Mall. The Lake Air Mall now exists as a shopping center and you cannot tell it was ever a mall. The Lake Air Mall opened in either 1957, 1962, or 1962 depending on who you ask. I may cover this center in the future, but for now this is the end of the Waco/Kileen/Temple area coverage. 

7 comments:

  1. Wow, this is a really nice looking retro shopping center. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I’m glad to learn about this place.

    I’m not sure if I would classify this as an outdoor or indoor mall. I wonder if the roof was there when the shopping center was built or if it was added later on. Anyway, it’s good that the mall corridor has good ventilation even if it is not air conditioned.

    The retro looking Arby’s is interesting too. Most of the Arby’s around here are from the 1990s or newer. One of the ones around here, the one on Cypresswood near 249, used to be a Fazoli’s and looks very nice for a fast food restaurant (presumably it looks the same now, I’ve not been there since around 2010). The closest Arby’s to me is actually the one in the ex-Target shopping center at FM 1960 and Jones Road. That Arby’s has been there since the early 1980s if I remember correctly. I think that store may have closed briefly for a while in the late 1990s, but then it reopened. Maybe I’m just remembering that incorrectly and maybe it has been open continuously. Either way, it does not have one of those famed retro Arby’s street signs like the Waco location does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would classify this one as an outdoor shopping center. The mall corridor goes through the middle and I don't think it was connected to the large department store but I could be wrong.

      Austin had at least one retro Arby's like the one in the photo, but it closed and the new owners modified the sign. Arby's has been shrinking in our area, but a few of the stronger stores continue to do well.

      Delete
    2. The Target at Jones and 1960 opened in 1982, and yes Arby's there opened around the same time. Captain D's Seafood (not sure if this chain still exists, but it was owned by Shoney's which certainly is a dying chain) was originally next to the Arby's. This Captain D's was open at least 20 years but closed and now is a Moroccan restaurant. There also was a Captain D's in front of the original 1984 Walmart in Tomball (now a Hobby Lobby) which closed in the early 2000s and might still be empty.

      Back to Arby's though, the "roast beef sandwich is delicious" signs were only used in the 60's and early 70's. The Arby's logo changed in 1975 (but the chain had only started in 1964) and the 1975 logo was used for at least 30 years. While the early Arby's "covered wagon" restaurants have a lot of memories for me, I must say I liked the 80's direction of Arby's better. Many Arby's of the 80's were much bigger and had a very upscale feel compared to their predecessors (or any other fast food restaurants of the 80's). Not sure why, but some Arby's in the late 90's and early 2000s had Coke but others had Pepsi.

      I have some questions though for anyone who might know: when did the Arby's in downtown New Orleans open? My instincts say early 80's but I could be wrong. Also, were the TJ Cinnamon's and Pasta Connection concepts ever used by Houston or New Orleans Arby's? These were two experiments used by Arby's in much of the country in the 90's but I believe they are both now extinct.

      There originally was an Arby's in the parking lot of the Albertsons at Spring Cypress and Kuykendahl in Spring, but not surprisingly it closed soon after the Albertsons closed. Jack in The Box is still open in that center though. While the Albertsons (after sitting empty a VERY long time) now is a driver's license center, the Albertsons Express in the parking lot is now a Valero. The Albertsons in Cypress is now split into offices but its gas station also continues as Valero, and the Wendy's in the lot is still open.

      On a similar subject, I wonder... would Starbucks and Bank of America have both been upset about Albertsons such as the one in Spring closing and taking them down with it? Luckily, Kroger kept the Starbucks open at the Albertsons they bought, but sort of ironically, the Albertsons in The Woodlands didn't have a Starbucks, but Randalls opened there (relocating from Sawdust) and added one, as Safeway and Starbucks had just begun their big partnership.

      Not sure about this, but I think Kroger replaced the Bank of America branches at former Albertsons with branches of another bank, perhaps one native to Houston. I seem to remember this happening at the Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8) and West Road store.

      Delete
    3. Yes Captain D's still exists, there are locations in Baytown, Channelview, and Porter that I know are still open.
      Some of the banks actually stayed open when the Albertson's stores closed. I know at least one of the banks had the rest of the store walled off so you could only walk in the entrance and go to the bank. A Randall's that closed also had the same setup until they reopened the Wells Fargo in a new location.
      We will see if any other readers can help you out with the other questions.

      Delete
  2. Apologies for an off-topic question, but this mystery's been puzzling me for years: did the current Walmart Supercenter in Conroe at Loop 336 and I-45 start out as a non-Supercenter? The current building has been a Supercenter since 1996 (I know this from documents), and was a replacement for a former Woolco-turned-Walmart (now a Hobby Lobby) down the street that Walmart took over in 1983, right after Woolco went under.

    Is it possible the Woolco/Walmart's replacement originally opened in 1990 or 1991 as a non-Supercenter? I ask because the original 1983-1984 Walmart in The Woodlands was relocated in 1990-1991, but then in 2007-2008 was relocated again to a Supercenter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Conroe Walmart was expanded at around the same time the Porter and West Rd stores were expanded in the late 1990's. It is harder to tell these days since the front entrances of the stores were made larger, but the ceilings in the grocery section are higher than the rest of the store. Several Walmart's were expanded in the same way, but a lot of those stores have been replaced by newer locations.

      Delete
    2. Actually, the Hobby Lobby was actually a Kroger Family Center (this is easily accessible, just look for 1217 W Loop 336 and "Kroger Family Center" on Google). It looks like the old Wal-Mart was across the street at Westview and Loop 336.

      Delete