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Site being cleared at Northwest Mall area

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I don't know if this topic has already been discussed. But they have been leveling and tearing down buildings at the site just west of Dacoma Street just north of 290. I talked to a pretty trustworthy  source just yesterday, a construction worker, who said they are totaling leveling the entire area and Northwest Mall will be torn down. I asked him what they were planning on building in its place and they he said there will be some time of mini-malls being built (whatever that means). 

 

I'm thinking that this must be related to the Houston-Dallas bullet train site. Could they be building a some sort of TOD?  I asked him if it was related to the Bullet train proposal and he said he did not know anything about that.

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That's the former ExxonMobil Brookhollow Campus that's being turned into retail. I don't think it has anything to do with the high speed rail.

 

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Photos taken today (nov 12)

 

So I'm wondering, were this and the adjacent buiding (already demolished) too outdated or non-economic to renovate? Or is there just no demand for office space in that area?

 

 

20171112-0007-1600.jpg

20171112-0013-1600.jpg

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25 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

All of the above

@j_cuevas713

 

Any new word on Thompson's Antiques? I understood they were leasing the old Penney's box and weren't going anywhere, after being pushed out of their longtime home down on Old Katy Rd. for the freeway expansion. Could it be that the mall and the old Foley's meet the wrecking ball, while the Antique Center remains in place with a new "Northline Commons concept" in the rest of the mall's current footprint?

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57 minutes ago, Purpledevil said:

@j_cuevas713

 

Any new word on Thompson's Antiques? I understood they were leasing the old Penney's box and weren't going anywhere, after being pushed out of their longtime home down on Old Katy Rd. for the freeway expansion. Could it be that the mall and the old Foley's meet the wrecking ball, while the Antique Center remains in place with a new "Northline Commons concept" in the rest of the mall's current footprint?

I think the Antique Center is sticking around last time I heard. I don't mind it. I'm just glad this eyesore of a mall will be gone.

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That would be eerily reminiscent of Town & Country's last days, with the mall gone and Marshall Field's building becoming the only remnant of what once was there. Having grown up with Northwest, it would be yet another loss of something from the childhood days, but so is the price of progress. I documented my last trip to the mal here on the HAIF, and I'm sure the pictures are floating around here somewhere. It wasn't even worthy of being deemed a shell of its former glory at that point in time. Quite depressing. It's really a shame that Almeda and Northwest are identical. Someone with a vision saw fit to save Almeda, yet Northwest (and its nearly identical footprint to Almeda) has seemingly been deemed unworthy of a revamp.

 

Oh well, the wrecking ball will never demolish all of the memories that I hold for Northwest Mall. R.I.P. old friend. I will never forget the butt whipping I received for running away from my mother in a mad dash away from Penney's and in to Foley's so I could get on that kid's shoes department's boat more quickly than the old lady could get across that mall.

 

It was worth every welt. :D

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The demolition going on here looks like the Exxon Brookhollow site (NE corner of Northwest Freeway and Dacoma) that was vacated for their Woodlands campus a few years back (Google Maps shows an "ExxonMobil Customer Services" at this building), with this being the last building. Just based on the way that the buildings were constructed, it looks like they were all constructed as a larger campus (including a lovely courtyard with lots of trees which sadly didn't survive). My resources say that they were constructed for Humble Oil in the early 1970s.

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1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

The demolition going on here looks like the Exxon Brookhollow site (NE corner of Northwest Freeway and Dacoma) that was vacated for their Woodlands campus a few years back (Google Maps shows an "ExxonMobil Customer Services" at this building), with this being the last building. Just based on the way that the buildings were constructed, it looks like they were all constructed as a larger campus (including a lovely courtyard with lots of trees which sadly didn't survive). My resources say that they were constructed for Humble Oil in the early 1970s.

Yep, that was the ExxonMobil Brookhollow campus. Buildings were built in the "Brutalist" style, with lots of concrete. It was built in the early to mid-70's, and at one time had the card center that handled all of the credit card processes. I think the later occupants were IT and back office staff for some accounting processes, according to folks I know who worked there. 

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7 hours ago, cspwal said:

Still looks better than the Days Inn downtown

Post of the Year candidate is what we've got right here, folks.

 

Well said, cspwal!

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18 minutes ago, Ross said:

Yep, that was the ExxonMobil Brookhollow campus. Buildings were built in the "Brutalist" style, with lots of concrete. It was built in the early to mid-70's, and at one time had the card center that handled all of the credit card processes. I think the later occupants were IT and back office staff for some accounting processes, according to folks I know who worked there. 

4400-4550 Dacoma St. 24 acres in total. Demolished building was 254,566 square feet, built in 1976 by Exxon. Latest appraised value of land that I could find through HCAD was $31,905,156. The entire complex apparently took 5 years to build, with 1971 showing as the initial ground breaking.

Edited by Purpledevil
clarification of the post's wording.

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1 hour ago, Purpledevil said:

4400-4550 Dacoma St. 24 acres in total. Demolished building was 254,566 square feet, built in 1976 by Exxon. Latest appraised value of land that I could find through HCAD was $31,905,156. The entire complex apparently took 5 years to build, with 1971 showing as the initial ground breaking.

I was relying on the scan of "Houston Today", a 1970s volume of the "modern" developments in the suburbs and the downtown at the time (while it's great that there's a complete scan, some of the maps like Brookhollow are sort of illegible). It was listed as Humble Oil & Refining probably because they were the ones that started it, though by the time it was built, the Humble name had been discarded in favor of Exxon.

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2 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

4400-4550 Dacoma St. 24 acres in total. Demolished building was 254,566 square feet, built in 1976 by Exxon. Latest appraised value of land that I could find through HCAD was $31,905,156. The entire complex apparently took 5 years to build, with 1971 showing as the initial ground breaking.

 

The site sold for $11 million, so that's one HCAD valuation that's way off. The previous owner was the Rodeo(I have no life...)

 

35 minutes ago, IronTiger said:

I was relying on the scan of "Houston Today", a 1970s volume of the "modern" developments in the suburbs and the downtown at the time (while it's great that there's a complete scan, some of the maps like Brookhollow are sort of illegible). It was listed as Humble Oil & Refining probably because they were the ones that started it, though by the time it was built, the Humble name had been discarded in favor of Exxon.

The signs at the entrances still say "Brookhollow Campus", but the "Exxon" symbols are all gone.

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3 hours ago, IronTiger said:

I was relying on the scan of "Houston Today", a 1970s volume of the "modern" developments in the suburbs and the downtown at the time (while it's great that there's a complete scan, some of the maps like Brookhollow are sort of illegible). It was listed as Humble Oil & Refining probably because they were the ones that started it, though by the time it was built, the Humble name had been discarded in favor of Exxon.

1972, I do believe, was when Humble became Exxon. So, you'd be right on about the Humble listing. Nice find, Tiger.

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13 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

1972, I do believe, was when Humble became Exxon. So, you'd be right on about the Humble listing. Nice find, Tiger.

 

January 1, 1973

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Humble acquired the property in April 1969 from Brookhollow of Houston, Inc, who had acquired the property from the Rodeo in 1967. The rodeo acquired the property from the Lamair family in 1964. According to the 1940 census, E H Lamair owned an insurance company and they lived on Rosedale, where the 288 feeder is now on the West side of the freeway. Here's the block book map.AE1997_99-2_0030.jpg

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Neat map, Ross. Thanks for posting that. The inquisitive side of me wonders what the HLSR had in mind for use of that property originally? Headquarters, I presume?

 

Just to keep the good Tiger up to speed, Northwest Freeway is actually U.S. 290 not Texas 288. Looks like a simple typo by our fellow HAIFer Ross, but I thought that might need a little clarification.

 

Edit to add: As an aside, it's interesting to me to see the map use the term "Northwest Freeway" and to see the freeway laid out in full over Dacoma. The Northwest Freeway was merely a stub that terminated at Dacoma (perhaps it was at Mangum?) up until I was in my late teens. Interesting to note that this map, which would predate the expansion of U.S. 290 past the original stub by some 15 years, shows a full fledged freeway already planned out, documented, and mapped in 1967, when it didn't actually exist at the time.

Edited by Purpledevil
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1 hour ago, Purpledevil said:

Neat map, Ross. Thanks for posting that. The inquisitive side of me wonders what the HLSR had in mind for use of that property originally? Headquarters, I presume?

 

Just to keep the good Tiger up to speed, Northwest Freeway is actually U.S. 290 not Texas 288. Looks like a simple typo by our fellow HAIFer Ross, but I thought that might need a little clarification.

 

Edit to add: As an aside, it's interesting to me to see the map use the term "Northwest Freeway" and to see the freeway laid out in full over Dacoma. The Northwest Freeway was merely a stub that terminated at Dacoma (perhaps it was at Mangum?) up until I was in my late teens. Interesting to note that this map, which would predate the expansion of U.S. 290 past the original stub by some 15 years, shows a full fledged freeway already planned out, documented, and mapped in 1967, when it didn't actually exist at the time.

The 288 reference was for the house where the folks who sold the property to the rodeo - 2115 Rosedale in 1940

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2 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

Neat map, Ross. Thanks for posting that. The inquisitive side of me wonders what the HLSR had in mind for use of that property originally? Headquarters, I presume?

 

Just to keep the good Tiger up to speed, Northwest Freeway is actually U.S. 290 not Texas 288. Looks like a simple typo by our fellow HAIFer Ross, but I thought that might need a little clarification.

 

Edit to add: As an aside, it's interesting to me to see the map use the term "Northwest Freeway" and to see the freeway laid out in full over Dacoma. The Northwest Freeway was merely a stub that terminated at Dacoma (perhaps it was at Mangum?) up until I was in my late teens. Interesting to note that this map, which would predate the expansion of U.S. 290 past the original stub by some 15 years, shows a full fledged freeway already planned out, documented, and mapped in 1967, when it didn't actually exist at the time.

In 1967, the interchange would've already been built but would've just terminated at the frontage roads and ended at Mangum (as of January 1965), much like 225 and 610 today. Big interchange...quickly goes to frontage roads...ends at another road and not at a right angle. The highway between Mangum and Beltway 8 didn't exist, but the frontage roads from roughly where Beltway 8 is (and beyond) had been upgraded to a divided highway with a large median, because planners had predicted that urbanization would come fast and quick to Northwest Houston. It really didn't...there was plenty of activity along Interstate 10 heading west out of town toward Katy, but even in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it still felt that you didn't really reach the "Houston" area until around FM 1960. (This is of course, no longer true.)

 

If the platting map is correct, Brookhollow of Houston had it replatted to its current state before selling it to Humble. I just remembered that despite my scan of Houston Today I got from another source is quite garbage when it comes to the Brookhollow map unfortunately but I did remember to take a picture of the page with my phone, seen here. The striped area is the hotel (Sheraton, but a Marriott in the 1980s), and that seems to confirm that maybe what happened is that Brookhollow bought the land, and redrew the plats to the future tenants of the business park, which were then actually sold to them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ross said:

The 288 reference was for the house where the folks who sold the property to the rodeo - 2115 Rosedale in 1940

I see now. Looks like I'm the one who needed some clarification, Ross.

1 hour ago, IronTiger said:

In 1967, the interchange would've already been built but would've just terminated at the frontage roads and ended at Mangum (as of January 1965), much like 225 and 610 today. Big interchange...quickly goes to frontage roads...ends at another road and not at a right angle. The highway between Mangum and Beltway 8 didn't exist, but the frontage roads from roughly where Beltway 8 is (and beyond) had been upgraded to a divided highway with a large median, because planners had predicted that urbanization would come fast and quick to Northwest Houston. It really didn't...there was plenty of activity along Interstate 10 heading west out of town toward Katy, but even in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it still felt that you didn't really reach the "Houston" area until around FM 1960. (This is of course, no longer true.)

 

If the platting map is correct, Brookhollow of Houston had it replatted to its current state before selling it to Humble. I just remembered that despite my scan of Houston Today I got from another source is quite garbage when it comes to the Brookhollow map unfortunately but I did remember to take a picture of the page with my phone, seen here. The striped area is the hotel (Sheraton, but a Marriott in the 1980s), and that seems to confirm that maybe what happened is that Brookhollow bought the land, and redrew the plats to the future tenants of the business park, which were then actually sold to them.

 

 

Could you PM me a link of where you went to obtain this information on 290's infancy, Tiger? I distinctly remember a divided highway after Mangum, and I want to say it ran clear up to Cypress. After Cypress, the median went away and that old section of 290 (now business 290) is what it became afterwards. 290 in Houston, as I recall, was built in the median directly between the two double lane roads around 1981, maybe 1982. Now, I'm a little nuts, but I don't think I've taken the dive off into the deep end of crazy yet. My folks used this route to get to my grandparent's place in Bellville, and this would have been in the 70s. I didn't start taking the I-10 to Texas 36 route to get to granddaddy's until I was driving myself in the mid 80s.

 

Gracias, mi amigo.

 

Edit to add: Never mind, I see you linked the map in your post above. Have you ever found anything further on the more northern portions of the Northwest, between 8 and 34th? I know you have become quite the encyclopedia of knowledge on that particular highway since the construction began.

Edited by Purpledevil

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12 hours ago, Purpledevil said:

I see now. Looks like I'm the one who needed some clarification, Ross.

Could you PM me a link of where you went to obtain this information on 290's infancy, Tiger? I distinctly remember a divided highway after Mangum, and I want to say it ran clear up to Cypress. After Cypress, the median went away and that old section of 290 (now business 290) is what it became afterwards. 290 in Houston, as I recall, was built in the median directly between the two double lane roads around 1981, maybe 1982. Now, I'm a little nuts, but I don't think I've taken the dive off into the deep end of crazy yet. My folks used this route to get to my grandparent's place in Bellville, and this would have been in the 70s. I didn't start taking the I-10 to Texas 36 route to get to granddaddy's until I was driving myself in the mid 80s.

 

Gracias, mi amigo.

 

Edit to add: Never mind, I see you linked the map in your post above. Have you ever found anything further on the more northern portions of the Northwest, between 8 and 34th? I know you have become quite the encyclopedia of knowledge on that particular highway since the construction began.

 

The information on US-290's history is actually derived from Houston Freeways, which I would call require reading on Houston's history ([url=http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/pdf/CH4_spokes_pp184-271_72.pdf]"The Spokes" chapter, which includes a picture of the 1965 setup...page 99 of the PDF[/url]). The book includes when the frontage roads were added, and mentions that the frontage roads for US-290's original right of way had been built out to Cy-Fair High School, even in the 1960s!

 

You're not crazy...the Northwest Freeway stub from the highway terminated near Mangum for years, but Hempstead Highway had been upgraded with a divided frontage road also during that time. The highway wasn't even contiguous until 1975, and the "freeway" as we know it wasn't even done until the late 1970s and early 1980s, and that was just the part inside Beltway 8. With slow development like that, you can tell why even in 2003 it seemed like near Beltway 8 was the "real" start of Houston!

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The frontage roads were extended several times during the 70s, first to 34th, then to Pinemont, etc., with the freeway following a few years later.  The freeway merged into Hempstead Highway at Jersey Village, underneath what is now the 290/8 interchange.  Originally 8 was mapped to go through Jersey Village; local opposition (probably mixed with some "development opportunities" put together by the right people) caused it to be rerouted to the east.

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19 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Is it possible the property was donated to the Rodeo?

It's possible. The documents for the transfer to the Rodeo aren't online. If I get a chance when I am on vacation in December, I will go down to the courthouse and see what it says. The Lamairs must have done well in their business to acquire 80 acres in that part of town, even if it was "way out" at the time.

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