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Dakota79

Midtown Sears to Become Houston's Innovation District

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Driving to the office this AM, I can help but wonder why that midtown Sears is still there. If that was redeveloped, the entire area would change. Sears can't be making money there, and the land is worth a fortune.

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If it wasn't there there wouldn't be a department store for miles.

Why are we concerned about a lot with a building on it when that building is surrounded by empty lots.

No wonder We develop so sparsely. We have 100 lots, ten with buildings on there, instead of trying something on the other 90 we just keep rebuilding on the occupied 10.

Why not build a Target next door first and when they put Sears In financial trouble then ask why Sears is still there.

You should be thankful Sears is there. After Macy's closed they are the only ones accessible to a lot of people using public transit

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If it wasn't there there wouldn't be a department store for miles.

Why are we concerned about a lot with a building on it when that building is surrounded by empty lots.

No wonder We develop so sparsely. We have 100 lots, ten with buildings on there, instead of trying something on the other 90 we just keep rebuilding on the occupied 10.

Why not build a Target next door first and when they put Sears In financial trouble then ask why Sears is still there.

You should be thankful Sears is there. After Macy's closed they are the only ones accessible to a lot of people using public transit

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Just because something is there doesn't mean it should be. That Sears is in horrible condition, and has a huge amount of land that is under utilized. In addition, Sears is hemorrhaging money. I am not saying it should be torn down. Just redeveloped. Did you know underneath the cladding there is Art Deco detailing? Imagine the possibilities for that space!

Edited by Dakota79
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wait a minute....

 

That Sears in Midtown is still OPEN ?!?

 

I thought it had been closed for years!

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Just because something is there doesn't mean it should be. That Sears is in horrible condition, and has a huge amount of land that is under utilized. In addition, Sears is hemorrhaging money. I am not saying it should be torn down. Just redeveloped. Did you know underneath the cladding there is Art Deco detailing? Imagine the possibilities for that space!

If it us under utilized how would you clasify the parking lot directly east or that huge grass tripple lot to the south? Or the empty lots to the Southwest? Or those lots west around the plaza? Or that empty lot to the north. This thing is surrounded by nothingness on all points of the compass. Its not like we are pressed for space in that location.

On a side note, does metro own that lot the wheeler station is located on? The tracks kinda bisects the lot

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With Sears having bought a Kmart a decade ago, you'd think they could've remerchandised it to better serve the community. It certainly is an old building, and if it survives the year, it would've been operating for 75 years as a Sears! Incredible!

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This was discussed several years ago in another thread.

from what I remember, it is a highly profitable location.

As someone had just mentioned, since mac's closed I have seen an uptick in business there.

They could spruce it up a bit though.

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When I saw this new thread I had a glimmer of hope they were going to do something with this building. I think this one is beyond renovation. Similar to someone's comment above, I was driving down main the other day with a friend and they were shocked the Sears was actually functioning.

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The problem is that Sears Holdings is continuing to circle the drain, and it's a fair bet they won't be around all that much longer.  They are certainly not going to want to spend the money to restore it.  When and if Sears fails, a location like this one isn't going to be a valuable part of the restructuring package.  Unfortunately the omens for this building are very bleak. 

 

 

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I read that the building was no longer owned by Sears and they're leasing it (hence, not a lot of investment in the building). If Sears pulls itself back together (unlikely but possible), the Midtown Sears would probably be updated on the inside. If Sears not only pulled itself back together but bought the building, they would likely sell it (land value's high) or at best, renovate the exterior to something modern/boring. If Sears died and the store closed entirely, the Art Deco facade would be restored and it would be torn down for yet another boring development.

 

Sears and this building probably don't have a lot of years left, but the demise of both will probably be hand in hand.

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I read that the building was no longer owned by Sears and they're leasing it (hence, not a lot of investment in the building). If Sears pulls itself back together (unlikely but possible), the Midtown Sears would probably be updated on the inside. If Sears not only pulled itself back together but bought the building, they would likely sell it (land value's high) or at best, renovate the exterior to something modern/boring. If Sears died and the store closed entirely, the Art Deco facade would be restored and it would be torn down for yet another boring development.

 

Sears and this building probably don't have a lot of years left, but the demise of both will probably be hand in hand.

 

You've posted this bad information about the Sears property ownership before and I've corrected you before.  (On the earlier occasion you told us the property was owned by Rice University.)

 

The midtown Sears property is owned by Sears.

 

Sears has not been investing in any of their stores for quite some time, whether owned or leased (I think they own most of their stores).  That is just one of their many many problems.

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You've posted this bad information about the Sears property ownership before and I've corrected you before. (On the earlier occasion you told us the property was owned by Rice University.)

The midtown Sears property is owned by Sears.

Sears has not been investing in any of their stores for quite some time, whether owned or leased (I think they own most of their stores). That is just one of their many many problems.

I remember having that discussion. What I find more interesting from your link, though, is that the physical condition of the building is considered "unsound".

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The building is valued at $42,556, but the land is valued at $5,175,000.

 

That's $0.21 per square foot of building, but $46.00 per square foot of land.

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Given that houses in far better condition in the Loop are being knocked down for new townhomes, unless this Sears is a huge success, it really makes a lot of economic sense to close this location, knock down the building, and sell the land.

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I dig this Sears. I pass by it everyday on 59. The fiesta sign at night really throws in the pizazz.

No, I don't have anything against it. If they remerchandised it and restored the facade, well, that'd be awesome. But between the woes of Sears Holdings and the poor condition of the building, it isn't likely it will be around for much longer.

Edited by IronTiger

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Better yet, Sears should rehab the building back to it's original Art Delco design and use it as an anchor for a area wild remake of the area!

 

just a through or two

 

Rick

Houston

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Reading about how the Sears in Six Corners, Chicago, recently celebrated 75 years last year (it opened 1938). Could a similar event happen for the Midtown Sears this year? I hope so.

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To Pragmatist: Thank you for sharing those great photos. I haven't seen them before. Someone (even Sears) could do something great with that building.

Edited by Dakota79

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Sears renovating by taking off cladding from great art deco architecture---GREAT IDEA!

The Renovation (Great paint job) of old Cleburne Cafeteria--Great idea

More Great ideas are needed for this section of Midtown.

I'm hoping that Half-price Books will move into this area "If and When" the location on Westheimer and Montrose gets booted.

Edited by trymahjong

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Sears is pretty much occupied trying to figure out whether they can make their stores relevant in the 21st century.  I wouldn't expect them to devote any effort to renovating individual locations (especially individual locations where they don't have any competition), anytime in the near future.

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Given that houses in far better condition in the Loop are being knocked down for new townhomes, unless this Sears is a huge success, it really makes a lot of economic sense to close this location, knock down the building, and sell the land.

 

Something very tall would have to go here... Perhaps mixed use.

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Something very tall would have to go here... Perhaps mixed use.

Yes, we certainly wouldn't want it to be hidden behind all the very tall buildings that surround it.

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Given that houses in far better condition in the Loop are being knocked down for new townhomes, unless this Sears is a huge success, it really makes a lot of economic sense to close this location, knock down the building, and sell the land.

I don't know how well this location is doing---but in my experience of visiting the store . . . the parking lot  usually has a lot of cars and there is always a line to check out.  The downstairs where the tools are always seems to have  people in the aisle.

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What I find interesting about this discussion is that there seems to be an assumption that this is a community decision. Sears gets to make the decision about how they operate that location and whether they think that they need to do any renovations.

This is a classic example of how lack of competition causes entropy. They aren't doing anything with the store because they have no competition. People shop there because it's close and they don't have a better alternative. Sears doesn't do anything because they are getting good revenue and they have no reason to invest in the property.

If you really want Sears to either upgrade their store or vacate the premises, then someone should open a power center with a Target and a Kohl's 1/2 a mile a way and watch how quickly changes come to the Sears property.

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What I find interesting about this discussion is that there seems to be an assumption that this is a community decision. Sears gets to make the decision about how they operate that location and whether they think that they need to do any renovations.

This is a classic example of how lack of competition causes entropy. They aren't doing anything with the store because they have no competition. People shop there because it's close and they don't have a better alternative. Sears doesn't do anything because they are getting good revenue and they have no reason to invest in the property.

If you really want Sears to either upgrade their store or vacate the premises, then someone should open a power center with a Target and a Kohl's 1/2 a mile a way and watch how quickly changes come to the Sears property.

 

If someone opened a Target 1/2 mile away watch how quickly Sears Midtown will close.  

 

 

Probably the only possibility for restoration of the building is if another buyer decided to make it some sort of showcase renovation.  Into what, I don't know.  Like the Astrodome, this is a case where adaptive reuse is really a difficult concept.

 

As for Sears, they have no particular incentive to do anything but milk it for whatever cash flow it is providing until the corporation curls up and dies. I can't see how additional competition in the neighborhood would cause them to do anything different.  What bank would finance expensive renovations of an old-fashioned two-story department store for a corporation that is on its last legs?  It doesn't make sense.

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If someone opened a Target 1/2 mile away watch how quickly Sears Midtown will close.  

 

 

Probably the only possibility for restoration of the building is if another buyer decided to make it some sort of showcase renovation.  Into what, I don't know.  Like the Astrodome, this is a case where adaptive reuse is really a difficult concept.

 

As for Sears, they have no particular incentive to do anything but milk it for whatever cash flow it is providing until the corporation curls up and dies. I can't see how additional competition in the neighborhood would cause them to do anything different.  What bank would finance expensive renovations of an old-fashioned two-story department store for a corporation that is on its last legs?  It doesn't make sense.

 

Let me clarify my point.  If Target opened down the road, one of two things would happen.  Sears would either close the property because it couldn't compete, or it would have to upgrade the property in order to compete.  Given Sears current financial situation I agree that they probably wouldn't upgrade and would probably close which then opens the property for better use.

 

I don't see that as a bad thing at all.  The area gets better shopping options and the property is now available for renovation that won't happen as long as the status quo exists.

 

 

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With Sears having bought a Kmart a decade ago, you'd think they could've remerchandised it to better serve the community. It certainly is an old building, and if it survives the year, it would've been operating for 75 years as a Sears! Incredible!

 

Actually KMart bought Sears. KMart Holdings then changed it's name to Sears Holdings. Not that it makes a difference now, they are both endangered species.

 

I've shopped at both this Sears and the one in Texas City. I find everything I need. It is convenient to park and pay.

I've been inside a Target a time or too. Never found anything I wanted to purchase. They don't have tools, automotive, hardware, appliances, or anything that I want to but..............except for their popcorn. So go ahead and build your Target store, so that one more middle aged guy can drive by it on his way to Sears.  

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Sears relevance is based upon appliance and gardening tools, don't see where they would lack relevance in the 21st century. Maybe nobody needs a lawnmower in Midtown but a washer and dryer yes. I think if the sears were remodeled it would spark development around it. Overall after my weekly drive through various parts of the city, I am pleased with how nice Houston is becoming.

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If ever there was a place for Sears to reinvent itself, midtown Houston would be it. Let's start an email campaign to them!

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You guys are 100% correct. Sears is completely healthy. Their business is so strong that they reported -7% top line growth for 2013 and -9.4% for Q4. Those are great numbers! Much better than the +8.2% that losers like Home Depot showed.

No question that they're going to look to into immediately reinvesting those strong earnings into renovating the Midtown store. I expect them to start construction any day now, keep watching this thread for updates.

BTW, their stock is a hot buy. I'd invest heavily in it.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-22/business/chi-sears-close-loop-flagship-20140121_1_sears-holdings-traditional-department-stores-sears-and-kmart

http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20140124/NEWS/140129916

Edited by livincinco

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We aren't saying Sears is doing well. But they must make changes to survive. They should either sell the land or renovate to survive. It looks like it should be on the side of I-30 in El Paso at this point. Tired, and resigned to crumble.

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You guys are 100% correct. Sears is completely healthy. Their business is so strong that they reported -7% top line growth for 2013 and -9.4% for Q4. Those are great numbers! Much better than the +8.2% that losers like Home Depot showed.

No question that they're going to look to into immediately reinvesting those strong earnings into renovating the Midtown store. I expect them to start construction any day now, keep watching this thread for updates.

BTW, their stock is a hot buy. I'd invest heavily in it.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-22/business/chi-sears-close-loop-flagship-20140121_1_sears-holdings-traditional-department-stores-sears-and-kmart

http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20140124/NEWS/140129916

 

Are you not aware of the golden rule?

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Here's an idea: convert the Sears into "Sears Hometown" store, which would keep the Sears name and merchandise but disconnect it from Sears Holdings' ownership. Hopefully being semi-independent would allow the new owner to renovate the building inside and out.

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We aren't saying Sears is doing well. But they must make changes to survive. They should either sell the land or renovate to survive. It looks like it should be on the side of I-30 in El Paso at this point. Tired, and resigned to crumble.

 

That was my point earlier in the thread.  The store is apparently profitable and faces no competition.  Sears has no incentive to renovate it. 

 

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Nobody said that Sears as a whole was profitable, but this single location apparently is. I'll continue to shop there as long as it is open. It's convenient and has the merchandise I need at a reasonable price.  When it closes I'll be forced to go somewhere else. 

 

Pssst, but won't be Target!

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Actually KMart bought Sears. KMart Holdings then changed it's name to Sears Holdings. Not that it makes a difference now, they are both endangered species.

I've shopped at both this Sears and the one in Texas City. I find everything I need. It is convenient to park and pay.

I've been inside a Target a time or too. Never found anything I wanted to purchase. They don't have tools, automotive, hardware, appliances, or anything that I want to but..............except for their popcorn. So go ahead and build your Target store, so that one more middle aged guy can drive by it on his way to Sears.

Folks like you are what always made Sears tick - practical, not swayed by image or advertising campaigns. If they had played their cards right I think they might have benefitted from the recession. Look how it helped Dollar General and other discounters.

Sad story - I registered at Sears for my wedding a few years ago and got almost nothing from there. Everyone flocked to the other places we registered like Crate & Barrel. We had relatives saying "You're not supposed to register at Sears." Why? Because, well, it's just not, you know, we want the best for you, etc., etc.

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Folks like you are what always made Sears tick - practical, not swayed by image or advertising campaigns. If they had played their cards right I think they might have benefitted from the recession. Look how it helped Dollar General and other discounters.

Sad story - I registered at Sears for my wedding a few years ago and got almost nothing from there. Everyone flocked to the other places we registered like Crate & Barrel. We had relatives saying "You're not supposed to register at Sears." Why? Because, well, it's just not, you know, we want the best for you, etc., etc.

 

I went to Sears about 6 months ago to look at buying kitchen appliances -- they were more expensive than any other place I went (Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy etc) and the salesmen knew absolutely nothing about them and couldn't be bothered with helping me make a $6000+ purchase (I even asked them to check the inventory at their outlet store on Griggs Road and they had no idea what I was talking about)  -- I hadn't been to Sears for years before that and I won't be back...very bad experience

Edited by HoustonMidtown
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surgehomes.com 

 

Shows that 4001 Main may have plans for condos/townhomes.

 

They also show condominium plans for 103 N. Jackson St. in downtown but I don't know if they have added any signage to that site...

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Did anyone else think of Serge?

 

Serge.bmp

 

 

(Side note: What is the deal with uploading images on here? Over and over, "that image extension is not allowed on this community." Jpeg, bitmap, etc.)

Edited by H-Town Man
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When I looked at the Ventana a few years back I walked past this block and it was like a huge homeless lot. Not that it bothered me, but I'm glad to see it be occupied. Also glad to see more blocks getting filled in. The more units the better.

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