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               MALL OF THE MAINLAND: HOUSTON, TX

John Espiau's Commentary

Posted September 3, 2006 (user submitted April 3, 2006)

In Texas City a suburb south of Houston on I-45 lies a mall built in 1996 to give the residents of Galveston county a place to shop called the Mall Of The Mainland.

When the mall was opened it had 4 department stores JCPenney ,Dillard's, Foley's, Sears and a 75% occupancy. This mall along with an outlet mall a mile away were opened to capitalize on the anticipated increase of traffic from the new racetrack on I-45.

The mall also has a food court and a cinema in the center. The site is off of I-45 and is not easily visible due to off ramps and hotels blocking the view. The mall opened with several gift and tourist shops some of them had moved from the failed Galvez mall in nearby Galveston island that closed in 1996. Texas city is miles away from the beach and mostly a working class city with 60,000 residents. The mall also has had very few major chains inside the mall. Fast forward to 2006 JCPenney closed in Nov. 2005 to open at Baybrook mall a nicer busier mall north on I-45 going to Houston. The only chain stores are F.Y.E.,Gordon's,Corn dog 7,Lids, Electronics Boutique,Palais Royal,and a few womens clothing chains. The inside of the mall is almost completely empty from the center food court to Dillard's in the north end and from the Foley's entrance to Sears on the south side. Pretty much only the center food court has any stores and the mall is 20% occupied on the inside.The design is very plain and features white with pink and blue accents all of the closed stores have not been boarded up and the ones that never had stores have murals painted on the depicting storefronts. The outlot features many restaurants that are successful and the hotels do brisk business. The area has seen several new subdivisions built between Texas City and Clear Lake but most of the shoppers prefer to go to Baybrook mall that has Foley's, JCPenney, Sears ,Dillard's ,120+ stores and near 100% occupancy along with a nearby SuperTarget,Barnes&Noble,Borders,Old Navy,and several shopping strips nearby. This mall never has been truly successful and bigbox has not done very well in this area due to the low household income. The business district of Texas City has a closed down Wal-Mart (Moved in view of I-45 to a new supercenter location) 2 closed down K-mart locations across the street from each other and a few grocery anchors closed in town.

The only use for this land would be to de-mall the property and leave only the cinema and Foley's standing because these are the only draws to the mall that do well. This mall will probably last 2 or 3 more years in its current state unless they can attract several big name merchants to take up all of the empty space.










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