Friday, November 14, 2014

North Oaks Mall Houston Texas

North Oaks Mall and Westchase Mall are twin shopping centers that were both developed with small mall corridors. The malls were developed in either the late 1970's or very early 1980's. Both malls were very small corridors that had a few small shops between the Target and center entrance to the mall. 

Today we will feature North Oaks which is located at FM 1960 and Veterans Memorial. 

A few former big-box stores at the mall were. 

Drug Emporium
Pic N Save
Solo Serve Stores

North Oaks has been through many changes over the years but still remains very successful. Several nearby shopping centers have struggled to retain tenants, but North Oaks is nearly full and continues to fill empty shopping center spaces relatively quickly. Very little information about this mall is available online so as always comments are appreciated. 

Here is the rest of the shopping center across the street. 

A look into the remaining mall corridor which is the entrance to the North Oaks 6 Cinema. All of the small shops have closed or were absorbed into a large retailer space. At Westchase this area has been completely absorbed by larger stores.

A MacFrugal's sign on the Big Lots entrance to the mall shows the age of this corridor. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Goodbye Macy's Sage at the Galleria

Here was the last 1980's era Macy's in the Houston area. Macy's has an interesting history in the Houston area and almost disappeared at one point when this was the only Macy's store in the area. Macy's came to Houston in late 1984 with the Deerbrook Mall store and then Willowbrook and Baybrook locations opened shortly after in early 1985. All three of these stores had three floors and painted white bricks with large glass structures over the entrances. 

Macy's at Sage (Galleria Macy's) opened on September 24, 1986 with featured singer Tony Bennett and the Stephen F. Austin band with a gala to benefit the Children's Museum. The store was filled with balloons and also had other local music bands in the store. A parade with many of the characters from the New York Thanksgiving Day parade was also part of the opening day festivities. The new store opened along with an addition to the Galleria called Galleria III. The new section of the mall which actually opened on September 18 was attached to the mall through Marshall Fields which is now Saks Fifth Avenue. The Galleria III with space for 50 shops and over 100,000 square feet of space was 70% leased at the opening. and featured the Sharper Image, Bass Shoes, Au Bon Pain, Hoffritz for CutleryCrate and Barrel and a Ralph Lauren Polo shop along with the 3 story 256,000 square ft. Macy's. The Galleria I and II were 99% leased at the time of the Macy's opening. 

Timeline of Macy's history in the Houston area which directly and indirectly had an impact on this store.

In March 1988 Macy's made their first bid at to take over Federated stores which was the parent company of Foley's. The bid was not mentioned again in the news until 1994 after the bankruptcy.

In January 1992 Macy's files for bankruptcy protection and reorganizes.

In July 1994 Macy's and Federated agree to merge but the deal falls through. Macy's emerges from bankruptcy later that year. 

In March 1997 Macy's sells the Deerbrook, Baybrook, and Willowbrook locations to Dillard's. The stores are converted over the next year and only the Galleria store remained open in the Houston area. The Deerbrook Dillard's still looks exactly the same on the outside as the Macy's did with the exception of the sign change. The interior was remodeled. The Baybrook and Willowbrook stores were expanded and remodeled completely inside and out with the Dillard's design. 

May 2000 The latest expansion Galleria IV is announced with the addition of three story 225,000 square ft. Nordstrom and a 250,000 square ft. three story Foley's. 

July 2002 a sexual harassment lawsuit case was brought against Macy's stemming from an incident between two workers at the Galleria store. Macy's was cleared from any wrongdoing in the case.

August 2005 Macy's acquires Federated stores and announces they will eliminate duplicate mall locations including the Galleria Macy's. All Foley's stores became Macy's stores by September 9, 2006 which gives Macy's an unprecedented large share of the Houston department store market for the first time. 

2006-2013 Macy's at Sage which the store was renamed after the Federated acquisition continued to operate on borrowed time due to the lease agreement for the store. The store that was long rumored to close kept going until September 2013 when redevelopment plans were finalized for the entire Galleria III including the Macy's. The mall will be mostly demolished and Saks Fifth Avenue will move to the former mall portion of the Galleria III. The Macy's site will also be demolished to make way for a high-rise residential development. 

March 2014 Macy's begins the going out of business sale for the Macy's at Sage.

The final day of business was May 4, 2014. The store is currently being demolished.

Enjoy these photos of this retro 1980's Macy's location. The store did not have any major remodels throughout the years and still looked like it did in 1986. You don't see this kind of detail in modern department stores any more.  

Visit #1 about a month before the store closed. 
Here is another visit during the last two weeks of the sale. The once full store is starting to empty out. 
 2nd to last day May 3, 2014 The store still had all three floors open for fixture sales, but large sections of the store were empty. The first floor former Men's department had several clothes racks and odds and ends left.  
Bonus photos Galleria 3 redevelopment.