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Old Sakowitz Building Get New Shops

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April 21, 2005, 12:18AM

Old Sakowitz site may get new shops

Now a parking garage, the former icon looks for street-level retailers

By DAVID KAPLAN

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

The former downtown home of a local retail icon is getting a new life.

The old Sakowitz building, which has been converted into a parking garage, may soon be getting clothing and other retail shops at street level.

*** Edited to remove copyrighted content ***

Edited by Subdude

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This is good news. American Apparel, though..looks kind of boring. No graphics, or anything..just simple clothes. Still, sweatshop free, and made in the USA.

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Guest danax

That is great. I really don't care what they put in that building, just that they're not knocking it down is all I need to know. The lighting looks cool too.

Anyone know the exact vintage of this building? Isn't it like 1950?

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This is good news.  American Apparel, though..looks kind of boring.  No graphics, or anything..just simple clothes.  Still, sweatshop free, and made in the USA.

I don't understand how you can find American Apparel stores boring. They've got porn all over the walls, the workers are usually ultra-attractive, and the clothes are bright and fun. I've been to their stores in Montreal, New York, and LA and the last way I would describe them is boring. They might be the next mainstream retailer that eventually gets played out, but for now they are very well entrenched in hipster culture.

Downtown needs these guys more than these guys need downtown. I'm personally wetting my pants at the prospect.

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Yeah i don't know about wetting my pants per se, but I agree this is really cool news. I have been to their store in Brooklyn and like their gear. If that building can start with American Apparel and then fill out with other different stores, it is huge for downtown.

Someone was asking me why they wouldn't just put it in the Galleria and I said that is because DT is exactly where it needs to be for city purposes. People aren't going to go downtown for a store they can go to in their own backyard. Example number 1, that Foley's there and most of what is in the Park Shops. But if it is only in one location and has that cool factor around it, it will be enough to get people to go down there. That article mentions a lot around "soft goods retail" and this is a great start to getting other stores down there. Not sure the high end major names like Diesel and such are going to be next up, but hopefully there is something else similar, or some of the many boutique stores spread all over the city like Wish, Todd's Place, or Edin might consider moving down there.

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Very very exciting. However, I wonder exactly who the clientele will be? Houstonians have a tendency to do things out of convenience. After the initial couriosity visits, we tend to only shop in our backyards. Will this store's product consistently draw those from outside of downtown, or does it need those from outside of Downtown? Personally, I will shop there because I want downtown to succeed, but since teens and hipsters in Clear Lake and Sugarland and Katy and the Woodlands, can't hop onto a train in their communities and conveniently get downtown, will it mostly be downtown employess shopping during lunch?

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This could be a step in the right direction. Pretty soon downtown Houston could look like downtown Seattle.. then downtown Montreal.. then downtown Chicago.

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Oh, well, they have porn magazines. They are certainly "hip" and "edgy". :lol:

Seriously, this is great. This is probably the first opening of a new clothing store downtown in 20 years. The location doesn't seem obvious now, but when (or if) the Houston Pavillions project goes up, this will be a wonderful location. Maybe now other retailers will start venturing downtown.

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Well, its one of those "the next Gap, Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Hitch, Hollister" type stores. 5 years from now every kid in America will have at least 2 pieces of American Apparel in their closet. This is good for Houston. The last thing we need is to get another Gap or other played-out store downtown. This will definately help bring in other urban chains to the area.

No thanks, I'll stick to my Eddie Bauer. I'm not really much into "hip". anyway. From what I've seen, these guys have more smut than Abercrombie ever had.

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American Apparel is more like the anti-Abercrombie. They go out of their way to avoid logos, they're 100% American made (quick, name another clothing store that can claim that), and their stores try to avoid extra frills, unlike Abercrombie stores or Hollister stores which try a little too hard to convince you that you're in a surf shack or an alpine lodge. I read in a magazine recently that the new concept for Abercrombie mall stores is to try to re-create the look and atmosphere of a New York brownstone. How they'll manage that I don't know but I have more respect for American Apparel for authentically contributing to urban environments instead of re-creating them in the suburbs.

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Looking at the website it doesn't look like there are any in Texas. Theres a bunch in LA, NY and assorted other places. Man that rendering is getting me real excited about this. Can't wait!

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Be carefule Eddie Bauer lovers. The homes stores are all closing in August and clothing stores are up in the air for how long they may stay open.

The stores in the Woodlands have clothes because the mall didn't get a lease renewal from Eddie Bauer.

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Surely it goes without saying that racial remarks shouldn't be posted here. Not to mention that the race or appearance of models has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

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If we could become the Chicago of the south, I would be content. In a way, I always feel like Houston is like a younger sibling to the older Chicago.

Chicago is only a few months older, so it's more like they're twins or cousins.

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It's not online yet, but the front page story in the Houston Business Journal this week is about this store.

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The stores in the Woodlands have clothes because the mall didn't get a lease renewal from Eddie Bauer.

Did you mean "closed"?

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For whom don't know who American Apparel is, here is the website.

http://www.americanapparel.net/index.html

They have a section where you can sign up to be notified if they open a store nearby. Perhaps if everyone was to sign up with their Houston zip codes, it would get their attention? Or not, LOL, since it probably just goes into a database never to be communicated to mgmt.

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Their clothes remind me of Units or "Multiples" from the 80s... does anyone remember those?

*shudder*

All of their clothes look like they are cotton knits!

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ABC News did a piece on this company over the weekend. It's run by a Canadian immigrant who says he saves tons of money by making clothing in America for Americans because shipping is cheaper and faster, and the clothing is far better quality than anything you get by sending it to another country. It was quite interesting.

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10harass.jpg

The American Apparel store at 712 Broadway, with the trademark photographs.

July 10, 2005

His Way Meets a Highway Called Court

By MIREYA NAVARRO

LOS ANGELES

THERE is no question that Dov Charney is an unconventional chief executive.

As the founder of American Apparel, the T-shirt and casual wear chain sometimes called an alternative Gap, Mr. Charney decorates stores with covers of Penthouse and Oui magazines from the 70's, admits in interviews to engaging in sexual relationships with women who work for him, and once exposed himself for an ad in a gay magazine, all in the name of personal freedom.

Read More...

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That's a shame. Here, you have a guy and a company telling all of the 'Fortress America' types that you don't have to import everything from China to get a product made well at a competitive price, and then the messenger overshadows the message.

Hopefully, the story of the company survives the man who runs it.

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Fortunately, it is Dallas St. in HOUSTON.  :P

There website says that one is coming soon to Dallas, but does not mention Houston.

Here is one in Boston's Newbury Shopping district. If I had the money, I would build an area like this in Houston.

boston_03.jpg

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Here are some photos taken by WesternGulf @ SSP who claims these were taken Monday.

10013847ze.jpg

10013859fg.jpg

I really didn't think AP would open up in Downtown I hope AP attracts more retail because this is exacly what downtown needs in order for people to visit Downtown. Maybe with Downtown Foley's becoming a Macy's and the Houston Pavillions in a year or two Downtown will boom.

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I hope you know that you just can't build areas like this.

Why not? If I had the money??? Say I was Bill Gates with billions of dollars, I sure would develope an area like this in Houston, and a smaller in my home town Bryan/College Station. You can't say because of zoning, because Houston does not have it. Just imagine developing an area in the style of old rowhouses with big windows displaying whats in side. It would be very cool. I would also try to get high end stores that are not in the Galleria to come to my development. I am telling you this could work! What I want to know is how do developers get the money to fund projects like this? Because this is exactly what I want to do with my life be a developer.

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Why not? If I had the money??? Say I was Bill Gates with billions of dollars, I sure would develope an area like this in Houston, and a smaller in my home town Bryan/College Station. You can't say because of zoning, because Houston does not have it. Just imagine developing an area in the style of old rowhouses with big windows displaying whats in side. It would be very cool. I would also try to get high end stores that are not in the Galleria to come to my development. I am telling you this could work! What I want to know is how do developers get the money to fund projects like this? Because this is exactly what I want to do with my life be a developer.

I guess you have never been to Newbury Street in Boston. Places like that evolve and are not built overnight. The way you are speaking, you sound like you would build an Atlantic Station type development which is something I was looking to see the outcome of but looks very sterile and one of those built overnight communities. Retail along Newbury Street was incorporated into actual neighborhoods that were already there, kind of like what downtown Houston is doing now, not built at one time to make for a generic, souless, cookie cutter type atmosphere. That's why I am sometimes afraid of what you want to see done in Houston sometimes, because it may not be the outcome that you are looking for.

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Yes I have, about 2 years ago was the last time. Being there, I like it but everytime I some where like Boston or NYC I always miss Texas and end up liking Houston even more.

If I were to develope something like this I would do it the same as you see Newbury, I would not take any short cuts the only thing that will be missing is the history.

boston_03.jpg

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Well I am not talking about the entire area around Newbury, I was just talking the street, and not even that big.

My uncle and his wife live not to far from there in a suburb of Boston. For some reason they hate it and can't wait to move to Houston as soon as they sell their house.

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I guess you have never been to Newbury Street in Boston.  Places like that evolve and are not built overnight.  The way you are speaking, you sound like you would build an Atlantic Station type development which is something I was looking to see the outcome of but looks very sterile and one of those built overnight communities.  Retail along Newbury Street was incorporated into actual neighborhoods that were already there, kind of like what downtown Houston is doing now, not built at one time to make for a generic, souless, cookie cutter type atmosphere.  That's why I am sometimes afraid of what you want to see done in Houston sometimes, because it may not be the outcome that you are looking for.

Tis pointless, eh?

And yes, ATL station does look quite sterile, especially some of the lofts/THs. In fact, some of the auto-centered lofts in midtown look better than the ones in ATL station. In fact, ATL station is not what I would consider an "insta-Street"- its more of an "Insta town". I mean, you have your ugly townhomes (clad in shingles, in fact) your generic, bland looking apartments, your little office buildings, and a town square.

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The first floor of the former Sakowitz department store is being renovated.  Excellent location on Main Street adjacent to Macy's and the Houston Pavilions.  On the LightRail line, with access to the tunnel.  

EST. SQUARE FEET / 1,000 - 25,000

 

http://www.downtownhouston.org/retail/available-space/30/

 

 

 

how strange.  isn't this the same retail edifice that one of our members recently stated would be renovated / transformed into a bloomingdales?  wow, go figure.  also, why on earth would any entity waste money renovating just the first floor of this massive building... truly strange indeed.

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As per Monarch's question, renovating the first floor would provide the vaunted Ground Floor Retail.  Bloomie's could still go upstairs (if that's in the works) - think of it as a vertical mall.

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