Friday, July 28, 2023

Memorial City Mall Houston Texas

Here is a compilation of visits to Memorial City Mall. Memorial City Mall is one of the oldest operating malls in the Houston area opening in 1966, but you would never guess this by looking at the mall. The entire mall has been extensively renovated over the years and has many of the popular stores you will find at the top malls in the country. The mall is listed as having 1.7 million square feet of retail space which is the second largest mall in the Houston area. Memorial City Mall is one of the strongest retail centers in the Houston area and well worth a visit. The expansion and renovation of Memorial City Mall in the early 2000's cemented the status of the mall. Nearby malls such as Town and Country, Westwood, Sharpstown, West Oaks, and Northwest were forced to either change their business model or close entirely after the Memorial City expansion. The Galleria expansion, the opening of First Colony and Katy Mills also contributed to the demise of the older West and Southwest Houston Malls as well.

This directory photo is a bit dated, the current anchors are Target, JCPenney, Macy's, and Dillard's. Sears closed in November 2018 and has yet to be replaced after being demolished. There are several sit down restaurants attached to the mall as well. 

November 2019 early morning visit. Best time to take photos of the mall just before most of the retailers opened for the day. This mall gets busy everyday, so don't let these photos fool you. 

Target was originally a two-story Montgomery Ward.

One of the additions to the mall in the mid 2000's, the ice rink court. Mervyn's was an anchor in this part of the mall until the store closed. The Mervyn's building was picked apart with parts of the structure remaining until the rest of the lot was filled. The fireplace wasn't on, but runs during mall business hours.

With the Mervyn's building gone now, it is hard to tell exactly how it was situated here. The ice rink, outdoor field, and sit down restaurants you will see next are roughly where the anchor sat. 

The views here are really nice. In addition to the skyscraper background, the side facing the mall has a large screen that is used for movie nights.

Pictured here is the large screen just to the right of the Christmas tree. This is an artificial grass field that is open year round.

The ice rink.

The main corridor leading to the food court.

For some reason my photo roll jumped to the former Sears wing. A fish feeding tank for the kids.

The play area, which was in the center court with the original mall renovation. 

Before the Sears building was demolished, we photographed this short-lived playground business using the front of the old store.

A look through the glass into the playground.

Looking down the former Sears corridor.

The old school clock near the food court.

The central food court area.

Back to the next corridor. This part of the mall was also heavily modified in the early 2000's remodel of the property. 

Standout ceiling above the Starbucks.

The quiet JCPenney corridor. This store was originally a Lord and Taylor so it is more fancy than your average JCPenney store.

The Dillard's court. This is probably the best part of the mall to visit during the Christmas Season. 

This store was a former Sharper Image.

The 2019 directory.

The Macy's which opened as a replacement Foley's. Currently the Toys R Us in here is the larger flagship store.

In front of the Target anchor these two odd hallways which were once lined with stores remain. Even though these hallways were renovated, they still have the feel of the older mall. 

Now let's take a look outside around the mall.

The former Sears building.

January 2021, post Sears demolition.

June 2023 
The old Sears slab is still pretty much the same. This part of the mall has some recent vacancies so it needs revitalization. There are plans to turn the former Sears site into an outdoor retail/residential area. The former Town and Country Mall site did well with this type of redevelopment so we will see if it works here as well. 

Parts of the mall have been repainted and updated with new seating, plants, and colors. I really like the updated look, hopefully the rest of the mall gets this update. So far only the main corridor from the ice rink to the food court has the update.

More to come!. Sorry about the slow pace of new content, the blog is not dead yet!