Thursday, January 10, 2019

Greenspoint Mall 2017 & 2018 Update


Greenspoint Mall, the long awaited update. 2017 was a very tough year for the mall. The last 2 large retail anchors closed. Macy's pulled out in March, and Dillard's in December. 2018 saw the loss of the last junior anchor Palais Royal. The interior of the mall still has a decent amount of stores mostly in the center of the mall. All of the corridors leading to former anchors are mostly empty or blocked off.

Owners of different pieces of the mall property cannot come to an agreement on what to do with the property so it sits in limbo. The owners of the Macy's want the building to become a storage facility and a truck stop built in front of the store along the highway. The owners of the Dillard's want to turn the building into a restaurant distribution business. The other owners have different plans for the property and don't want the truck stop or other developments. The future of the mall will not be retail, but for now the mall continues to operate.

More info can be found here
and here
and here

Montgomery Ward was demolished in 2017 while the Macy's was in the process of closing.
Here is the building in the process of being torn apart. The first set of images were taken in March 2017.












Here is the view from the inside of the mall where the entrance to the above Montgomery Ward was located. This part of the corridor was blocked off right where I was standing. It has since been reopened.

More from the Montgomery Ward corridor.


Using the former cinema poster frames to advertise the newer cinema.


The Macy's wing as it stood prior to the store closing in March 2017. This corridor has now been walled off with a window to peek inside.





The store on the right, moved to another location within the mall. The rest of the stores located in this wing may have closed.


Cinema corridor, former JCPenney.

The center fountain, still in use as of December 2018.

Former Mervyn's entrance. The Fitness Connection only has exterior access.

Store fronts near the former Mervyn's. This one was a Circus World toy store. 




The Dillard's corridor. Surprisingly many of the closed off stores have been walled off in this part of the mall after these photos were taken.

GNC, still there as of December 2018.



Inside of one of the closed stores.


Roof damage, it is even worse in 2018.


Dillard's closed early while the store was still in business. 





The former Sears corridor. Most of the corridor is walled off.



Food court was a little more lively, but not nearly as good as it was 10 years ago.


The second entrance to the former Mervyn's, located across from the food court.

A former Babbage's store.


More of the food court.



This corridor and the corridor towards Macy's are the busiest parts of the mall with few vacancies. That still continues to be the case in 2018.







The playground was closed and this area is now walled off. Hard to get families to shop at a mall without anything for the kids to do.

The mall was about to close for the night at this point.




This store closed in 2018. This was the last large retail store left at the mall.






More views of the Montgomery Ward.




Sears still had the lights on their property. That is no longer the case.


Visit in the Summer of 2017 just before the Macy's corridor was walled off.




The cinema which sits on the lot where the JCPenney once stood.

Early 2018 visit. Dillard's closed in December 2017.

The inside of the former Dillard's.


This former FYE store was being used for a temporary office. It was cool that the neon is still working. 

More of the former Dillard's corridor.


Former Montgomery Ward entrance.

The walled of former Macy's corridor.

A peek inside of the open door.



The Macy's after less than a year of being closed was already looking terrible.



Gotta love the Foley's labelscar though.


Graffiti and broken windows.

The patch of land where the Montgomery Ward once stood.

The Montgomery Ward auto center. The building is in use once again as of December 2018. 

The new cinema stands out against the old mall.


Former Sears.




Sad when you have to advertise that the mall is open. 

The Fitness Connection seems to do well. Lots of cars on every visit to the mall that I have made.

Former Dillard's/ Joske's.


Former Sears Auto Center, check out the red trim around the building. The mall entrance had a similar trim.

Sears at night with the skyscraper background.
December 2018, Christmas shopping season in full force. 

Lots of ceiling damage.

I wonder when the last time this room was used.


They made sure the mall was well decorated for Christmas.

Food court is down to 3 restaurants.

Friday night and light foot traffic through the mall.

Fountain still going strong.


Wards wing, unblocked for full access. Only 2 stores left in this whole wing.

More ceiling damage.



Ward labelscar still visible.

The former Macy's and Cinema court still has a decent amount of stores despite the Macy's corridor now being blocked off.

A look inside of the now blocked off corridor through the window at the entry doors.

A view inside of the now closed Palais Royal store. This was the last retail junior anchor left at the mall.

More views of the food court.







The former Dillard's wing. 5 stores left and the military recruiting center. 

Inside of the former Dillard's that closed about a year prior to this trip.

More ceiling damage is visible in this wing.



This view of the military recruiting areas makes the mall almost look full.




The former Sears and the background skyscrapers with Christmas colors.

Lots of new articles coming soon!
 Here is a sneak preview on YouTube.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article and the many photos. Although I drive by this mall somewhat frequently on I-45, I have not been in it since around 2014 or 2015. I also have not kept up with all the news about the mall. I must have forgotten about Palais Royal closing if I even knew about it at all. Palais Royal, like GNC, is usually one of the last hold outs at dying malls. In fact, they've stayed open at a few malls which have closed. It's not a good sign that even they have thrown in the towel, but Stage hasn't done particularly well lately as a whole.

    The food court has certainly gone downhill compared to my last visit to the mall a few years ago, but I guess that's to be expected with some nearby businesses leaving the Greenspoint area and thus there are fewer people eating their during their lunch breaks. The food court still looks nice, but there's not much in it now it seems.

    It's nice to see the old Babbage's once again. I can just see the area up front which had monitors with NES/Genesis/SNES games playing on them. I can't remember for sure now, but did the Babbage's become an Electronics Boutique/EB Games or was EB in a different location?

    It looks like the old Oshman's/Anna's Linens has a new tenant, but it still looks just like an Oshman's from around the time the mall was new. It's nice that the mall was well decorated for Christmas, but I'm guessing most of those decorations are probably from the 1990s. The mall was in poor physical condition with leaks and such during my visits to the mall even in the early 2010s. I can't imagine how much worse it must be now. That dark corridor where the GNC is almost looks scary to shop in.

    Anyway, we'll have to see what happens to this mall. There still seems to be a core of small businesses which have operated at this mall for a number of years now. Thus, I guess this mall still must have some shopper traffic in it. The closing/shortening of some of the corridors will help make the mall feel less spread out and isolated, but it probably won't fool many people into thinking it's a healthy mall. We'll have to see what happens to the place. It wouldn't surprise me if some sort of development happens in the next couple of years, but things could stall out and the mall may continue to operate in deteriorating conditions for perhaps several more years. Who knows, it's really hard to say what the best path forward is. Warehouses and industrial park usage might not be a bad plan for the old anchors.

    On a final note, I'm glad that the blog is still around for 2019. Some of the retail blogs, like the Acme Style blog, have closed down, but there are still some which are active even 10 years after the big wave of retail blogs in 2008-9. A lot has changed since then as far as Houston malls go and I'm sure there will be more closures in the next few years unfortunately.

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    1. Palais Royal is also closing their store at Deerbrook Mall. I guess the company is getting rid of their abundance of retail stores. Greenspoint has lost a lot of retailers, but the center of the mall still does okay.

      The Pizza place at the mall seems to do well, but the other restaurants don't seem to attract a lot of customers at least at night. The food court ceiling also has water damage even though it appears nice.

      Greenspoint had an Electronics Boutique right next to the Circus World. It was there in the early 90's. I am not sure if the Babbage's ever changed names like the San Jacinto Mall location did.

      The store in the former Oshman's was right next to the Macy's before they closed. Shortly after Macy's closed. they moved to that location.

      I can see Greenspoint sticking around for a few more years like Northwest did after losing all of the anchors. There seems to be no real plan on getting the mall property redeveloped so the owners can make some money while the interior remains open. There is just so much vacancy outside of the center of the mall, that a lot of people are creeped out to shop there.

      I have enough photos ready to fill the blog for at least another year and then some. There has been a sort of rush to visit and document Sears and Kmart locations as they continue to vanish.

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    2. Palais Royal has been closing stores over the last few years. The store in Dickinson closed after Harvey and presumably isn't coming back. Granted, the Mall of the Mainland Palais Royal is just a few miles away and is a much nicer store. I think Stage's Gordmans format would be more popular than the Palais Royal format. Perhaps we'll see some stores change formats here in the next few years.

      I can't say that I'm shocked that the Deerbrook Mall Palais Royal is closing. Palais Royal seems to have left many of the more successful malls already. The Willowbrook Mall Palais Royal closed many years ago.

      I can't say for sure, but I seem to remember a software/gaming store near the Oshman's at one time. That may have been the same location you're talking about or maybe it was a Software, Etc. or something. I think the old AT&T Phone Center (landland phone store) was near that area too.

      You're probably right that the mall will carry on as is until there is an actual development plan. These things can take years to iron out and the economy is still probably not strong enough to push massive developments. It's good to see that there is still a solid core of independent retailers who are successful at the mall.

      It's a shame that the food court has some physical problems too. I did eat at the Roman Delight Pizza the last time I was at the mall (or one of the last times at least). I think that chain is in some of the other malls in the area. It's fine, but overpriced for what it is like most mall pizzas except for the one that used to be at Northwest Mall before it closed. Greenspoint Mall used to be known for the Brother's Pizza location which used to be in the food court, but that's been gone for a long time now.

      It's good to see that there will be new content on the blog this year. Hopefully we won't have to look at closed Sears and Kmart locations. Either way, it'll be interesting to see the current state of the remaining stores. While there are a handful of Sears still in this area, the number of Kmart stores in this region is getting quite small.

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    3. Palais Royal does not announce closings like some department store chains do. The Gordman's conversions were the only store closings I can remember seeing a story about. They have too many locations as it is, so we will probably see more close.

      Memories are hazy so you may be right about the store by the fountain at Greenspoint being a Software Etc. The Brothers Pizza place was pretty good from what I can remember. I also remember the Wendy's and Quiznos that were there as well. How things quickly change, that food court was one of the best and now it is barely alive.

      I am going to do my best to catch up on new posts. I really want to make another trip to Louisiana to document the last Kmart and possibly even go to Gulfport MS location about an hour away. Both of those Kmart stores are the last in each of those states. Either way, I have a bunch of things to put together so I may slow down on the documentation so I can get caught up.

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  2. It's really sad that in the Chicagoland suburbs, there are only 4 malls with fountains. We have about 22 malls in Chicago and suburbs so that's a lot of malls without fountains. I don't understand why these malls get rid of fountains, there one enjoy while going to a mall and some people take pictures of the mall fountain when it's running. That shows that mall fountains are very popular with the general shopping public to this day, they should be brought back to malls across the country.

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    1. I totally agree with you. Even a lot of the boring lifestyle centers have some sort of fountain feature. I guess the mall owners would rather see annoying kiosk salespeople than create a peaceful environment in their malls.

      We have 5 malls here with fountains. The Galleria, Willowbrook, Greenspoint, Plaza Paseo and Baybrook. San Jacinto had two up until a couple of years ago, when they were shut down and filled with plants. I am not even sure if Plaza Paseo still turns their fountains on.

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    2. Almeda Mall had a fountain near the JCPenney (now Burlington), but it closed many years ago and was tiled over so that it looked like there was never anything there. When the mall was recently renovated, the area where the fountain was because a children's play area. That's certainly not as nice as a fountain, but hopefully the children will have good memories later on of the play areas.

      OTOH, the Northwest Mall fountain was operational until the mall closed. Given that, and the fact that the Greenspoint Mall fountain still works, it must not be too expensive to operate those fountains. I'm not sure how they work, they must recycle the water through the fountain or something to keep the water costs down.

      I do agree that people often remember things they did around the mall fountains. People seem to remember the dates and such they would take to the fountains. Unfortunately, like je said, mall operators would rather put up a cart with aggressive cell phone salesmen and make some money off of it rather than put in a fountain which causes memories and relaxation for the shoppers.

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