In West Houston, the closing of the Sears store at Memorial City Mall left a gaping hole in the shopping center’s tenant base. Yet Houston developer MetroNational, the property’s owner and manager, has chosen to seize the opportunity to undertake a redevelopment on this super-regional mall.
One of the Mall’s First Tenants
Whenever Memorial City Mall opened in 1966, Sears was one of the first tenants. However, when Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Memorial City located closed in late October of last year. The store closing left the mall with a 209,000-square-foot vacancy.
The Mall of Today
Today, Memorial City Mall has over 150 select stores, restaurants, and entertainment attractions. Anchored by national retailers like American Girl, Michael Kors, Apple Store, and Banana Republic. What’s more the mall has the Lone Star State’s top performing Macy’s store. Additionally, the mall has popular restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy. On top of that, Memorial City Mall has attractions like an NHL-sized ice rink, a Cinemark movie theater, the world’s largest indoor, soft play area for kids, and a historic Venetian-style carousel.
In addition to being a popular local attraction, it is a tourist attraction as well. In fact, Travel & Leisure magazine recognized Memorial City Mall as the nation’s 20th most-visited shopping mall in 2017. What’s more, the mall is situated in one of Texas’ most affluent zip codes. In the 77024 zip code, the median household income is $114,223. Furthermore, over 40% of households have incomes of $150,000 or more. Moreover, this area is key for commercial real estate Houston.
A New, Long-Term Plan
To maintain the 1.7-million-square-foot mall’s profile, MetroNational has announced plans to redevelop the currently vacant Sears location. Recently, the developer announced that Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Co. will be tasked to create a new 50-year master plan for the mall. Trademark led the development of Market Street in The Woodlands and is also currently renovating Rice Village. Trademark’s vision for the Sears space as well as the entire mall will most likely include more restaurants and mixed-use tenants but also more outdoor space on the 265-acre campus. In a recent statement, MetroNational President Jason Johnson said:
MetroNational is excited to collaborate with Trademark to deliver a best-of-class development that will transform Memorial City Mall. With Trademark’s expertise in mixed-use developments and MetroNational’s six decades of experience in west Houston, the end result will be spectacular and undoubtedly benefit the community for generations to come.
In a press release announcing the redevelopment project’s master plan, MetroNational described this vision as a unique for shoppers and visitors which will be accomplished through adding even more best-in-class retail, restaurants, and entertainment. Also, the plan will add additional public spaces, enhance walkability, and curate mixed-use areas as well.
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