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Specwriter

Activity at Finger's Furniture on Gulf Freeway

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Yesterday about 9:15am I was driving north on the Gulf Freeway and noticed a motor coach parked under the canopy at the Finger's Furniture store. There were several pickup trucks nearby as well but nothing I could identify as belonging to a particular company or municipal entity. The fence is still up around the parking lot. Does anyone have information regarding what may be happening with this building? Talk about potential!

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@Specwriter, I've seen those same coaches parked there in the mornings on my commute in. Last I knew, Frank Liu bought that property and is planning to build a bunch of townhouses. (The Finger building would be torn down, naturally.)

 

http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2014/02/finger-furniture-parcel-of-gulf-freeway-bought-by-houston-developer/

 

A private student dorm might be built across Cullen from that site.

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Frank Liu bought the property earlier this year. From the Lovett commercial website looks to be redeveloping to retail, a grocery store specifically with the 156k sq ft old Fingers store as the anchor, and 3 standalone pad sites along the I-45 frontage road. If all develops according to plan and coupled with the new student apartments being developed across Cullen, this will be a HUGE game changer for Eado along with the rapidly developing UH campus nearby.

 

Link to more information below, click on the pdf flyer and zoom in on the door front of the large retail site, notice the "GROCERY VESTIBULE & CART STORAGE" *fingers crossed its an HEB*

http://www.lovettcommercial.com/Detail.aspx?idwebarea=36&webid=234

Edited by 2005UHCougar
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Thanks for posting that link! I thought the whole property would be scraped.

 

Selfishly, I'd love it if that anchor becomes one of the new-format HEBs (like the Montrose Market). That would not only make my life easier, but it would spell the doom for that Kroger on Cullen, which really needs to go. 

 

 

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Link to more information below, click on the pdf flyer and zoom in on the door front of the large retail site, notice the "GROCERY VESTIBULE & CART STORAGE" *fingers crossed its an HEB*

http://www.lovettcommercial.com/Detail.aspx?idwebarea=36&webid=234

The other vestibule says GM VESTIBULE. Is it possible this could be a general merchandise/grocery store hybrid, like a Super Target, and not solely a grocery store? Coincidentally, there was a big hoopla last week on Swamplot when they announced development plans Lovett had drawn up for its nearby Harrisburg/Lockwood plot. Their plans had included a Joe V's grocery store, shops, office space, pad sites and a garage. Only to find out later that those plans had fallen through and have since been deleted from their website. So take this current Fingers plan with a grain of salt. If the Harrisburg plot is any indication, I wouldn't bet on Lovett developing the Fingers property anytime soon, though I can foresee them demo'ing everything for the time being. Edited by intencity77

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Well, typically that might indicate Walmart, but they already have that one at the Oshman's site and Target doesn't typically build SuperTargets anymore. An HEB Plus seems likely at this point: big, but not too fancy.

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Great plan for the reuse of the Fingers property. I hope to see it actually developed soon by some company. I've read so many posts about the need for updated grocery stores in the area. 

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HEB would be awesome, but I think unlikely since there's the one at gulfgate already. It would be nice though.

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Gulfgate HEB is a good ways away. I could see another one being built, especially with the UH status change/ growth and EE development.They should do it. The good thing about HEB is that they poll neighborhoods of each targeted area, to see what they want in a future store. 

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Maybe a Kroger Marketplace, replacing the nearby Kroger on Polk? There are none within the city, but if we are to consider HEB Plus, who have no inner city stores either and frankly haven't built any in a while, then a Kroger Marketplace could also be a possibility.

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Gulfgate HEB is a good ways away. I could see another one being built, especially with the UH status change/ growth and EE development.They should do it. The good thing about HEB is that they poll neighborhoods of each targeted area, to see what they want in a future store. 

 

Well, HEB didn't poll anyone in EaDo or the close-in East End neighborhoods when they reset the merchandising of their Gulfgate store a couple of years ago! Seems like the HEB Big Bosses wanted that location to compete with nearby Sellers Bros., Fiesta and all the small Hispanic supermercados..The resulting lack of selection in every department means that many of us who live in the East End now drive to Midtown or Montrose for weekly grocery shopping.

 

As far as quality produce, meat, seafood at the new Walmart on I-45@Wayside -- no thanks!

 

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Didn't this place burn up a few weeks ago??

 

I believe the fire was next door, or very close to the Finger property.

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The fire was at an adjacent property. Thanks to everyone for the information and input. Whatever goes in I hope the medallion, now (or previously) located in the basement on the spot of home plate for the old Buffs stadium is preserved in some form.

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I don't know why they threw that in there. It's a Wal-Mart that's going to be built in Katy. You can see the street name is Falcon Landing Blvd, and on the top half, you can barely make out Westheimer Pkwy.

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I don't know why they threw that in there. It's a Wal-Mart that's going to be built in Katy. You can see the street name is Falcon Landing Blvd, and on the top half, you can barely make out Westheimer Pkwy.

 

Thanks, JM. That makes me feel much better. I did see the Falcon Landing wording on the site plan and it just didn't register in my mind.

 

Also, I sent you a PM on another topic.

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Liu brings us sh&t once again. Big Box stores and pad sites! Yay!

 

Are you familiar with Houston's East End and what Frank Liu's companies have built recently in the area?

 

What do you think would be the best redevelopment plan for the former Finger's site?

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Yes and Yes. I am also aware of what he put up at UH. 

 

Anything other than a massive big box complex with mounds of surface parking in the shadows of downtown and near a rail stop. 

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Liu's been buying up a lot of big and small properties around the East End for years now and from what I've seen, has done absolutely nothing with the majority of the properties except sit on them and let them deteriorate or become overgrown weed lots. I'm not holding out much hope for his other big property at Harrisburg and Lockwood. Even though that particular lot calls for something mixed use or dense, since it fronts the rail line, I'm betting when it's finally developed it will be some type of crappy suburban strip.

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I liked it better when it was Buff Stadium.

 

Yeah, but our Old Guy Memory Lane opinions only matter to just  a few of us older HAIFers that can even remember such things.

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So much for the medallion marking home plate at the old 'Buffs stadium, I guess.

 

The plate was gone by 2008, when everything that had been on display in the Sports Museum was removed and placed into storage due to Finger's impending closure. 

 

15744412634_6b1f3b7216.jpg

Edited by mkultra25

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Dare we hope that a grocery store (HEB or Kroger) is included in the retail mix?

 

Their neighbors who are developing Gateway at Cullen say your hopes will be fulfilled. 

 

 

 

The area near The Gateway on Cullen is in the midst of an exciting redevelopment, with a grocery anchored retail center planned for across the street at the former Finger Warehouse property by Houston-based Lovett Commercial, and the redevelopment of the I-45 underpass that will include a new onramp to I-59 that will replace the aging Bestway Motor Inn.

 

Link

 

The replacement of the Kroger That Time Forgot may yet be at hand!

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I doubt they'd open one so soon after closing almost 300 nationwide.

 

Walmart seems to regard their stores to be as disposable as the junk they sell that's engineered down to a price.

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A Swamplot commenter says it will be another Walmart. Ehhhhh...

 

I'll believe it when I see it. There's one already less than 2 miles from that site.

 

I went through that comment section, and it still doesn't make sense. one commenter mentioned that most of the traffic in the current walmart is from across the freeway, so why exacerbate the problem by building another walmart on the same side of the freeway? 

 

Assuming the people shopping at walmart come from the other side of the freeway, I'd very easily believe that a walmart around 288 and 610 was in the works. Or even if they told me that walmart was taking over the palm center, I could believe that too.

Edited by samagon

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As others have said, doesn't make sense to build a Walmart so close. Would make more sense for Krogers to move out of their older location.

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well, whatever gets built there will be strictly utility, kroger, walmart, target, heb, I'd prefer heb, but you can count on a starbucks, some fast food, probably a subway. it'll be convenient for the students at UH, I'll still go to fiesta though.

 

whoever goes there, they'll have the closest access to roughly 15,000 housing units on UH, plus all the students that will live right across the street.

 

The old foley's outlet is probably the next closest and next biggest space available. although, for walking, the lockwood underpass sucks, lighting is worse than cullen, sidewalks don't exist, there's roads coming and going everywhere and no crosswalks anywhere. it's especially bad for cyclists coming east/north since there's no consistent outside lane.

 

On a complete other note than fingers, I'd like to see the city and UH work together to make this safer for peds and cyclists.

Edited by samagon
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Some rep on NPR this morning said it would be 191 units, ready for fall semester 2017. Major excavation starting next week.

No mention of a grocery story anchor but the story was focusing on the housing.

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On 6/16/2016 at 1:31 PM, Mab said:

http://www.lovettcommercial.com/pic/dwnFeatures.aspx?webid=234  

 

new site plan have

-one big box store 152 SF

-retail fuel station

-the site plan have SBUX (Starbucks?), RC (Raising Cane's?), and a quick service restaurant 

-15K SF retail pad

 

So the plan calls for a retail big box store with a retail fuel center. I don't know if this means it'll be a big oil branded station like Shell or Chevron, or if it'll be a brand tied into the big box retail. If it's the latter, Walmart has been ruled out because there's already one about 3 miles down the road. Costco, Sam's Club, Kroger, HEB, and Randall's fit the mold as big retailers who sell fuel. Perhaps it'll be a Kroger Marketplace or Costco since it's such a large store?

 

Did you notice the Chick-Fil-A looking QSR with the double drive-thru and umbrella covered tables below the RC and fuel station ?

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Quote

The last time I checked, [Walmart] were still working toward finalizing an agreement. The rumors that Kroger or ALDI were in any way interested were incorrect. Neither has any interest whatsoever. The local HEB folks are interested, but corporate has given a solid "no" due to the store at Gulfgate. Some groups have wanted it to be a locally-owned small business. There are none that could generate the revenues to pay for it. The only viable alternative would be to keep it as is and use it for storage. 

 

facebook thread about Swamplot's post

 

The other Walmart is 2.25 miles away. Bentonville don't care, apparently. 

 

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The walmart on wayside is always packed. So maybe they figure they can sustain two stores that close to each other.

 

If it is walmart, at the very least they are guaranteeing no competition will land on freeway frontage there. Never mind that isn't exactly prime freeway frontage.

 

Personally I don't think we need another walmart in the area, some competition would be great though.

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Uhhh... so why are we so sure this is a Walmart rather than a new Kroger?

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8 hours ago, Triton said:

Uhhh... so why are we so sure this is a Walmart rather than a new Kroger?

They're basing it on the square footage of the proposed building and the shape of it, which is in line with a Walmart Supercenter. Though I don't know how reliable the sketch up is. It could be like that to throw people off for whatever reason.

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If I recall correctly, isn't Kroger expanding in Houston. I think I read they were supposed to build new stores and renovate existing ones? 

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