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Dakota79

Midtown Sears to Become Houston's Innovation District

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We are impossible to please on here.

We always cry: "we want retail! We want retail"

Sears has stood in that area for decades. It's surrounded by a ton of empty lots and no other similar department options for millions of miles but we are anxious to get rid of it.

When i lived in that area I would bike to Sears all the time.

I could understand if the area was filled with attractive buildings and tons of shopping options and sears was just sticking it's ugly middle finger up at us then yeah the pitchforks would be justified, but why are we so anxious to see the only major department store in both the midtown and downtown area go away?

I hope it hangs on for dear life

The company's dying and the building is in bad shape...

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It strikes me as ironic that a company that got started as a mail order catalog is now getting creamed by online retailers.

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She ain't dead yet though :D

I wish Sears the best, I really do, but prognosis is still bad at this point.

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We are impossible to please on here.

We always cry: "we want retail! We want retail"

Sears has stood in that area for decades. It's surrounded by a ton of empty lots and no other similar department options for millions of miles but we are anxious to get rid of it.

When i lived in that area I would bike to Sears all the time.

I could understand if the area was filled with attractive buildings and tons of shopping options and sears was just sticking it's ugly middle finger up at us then yeah the pitchforks would be justified, but why are we so anxious to see the only major department store in both the midtown and downtown area go away?

I hope it hangs on for dear life

Because it's nasty, lifeless and brings down the neighborhood. Let it go!

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Because it's nasty, lifeless and brings down the neighborhood. Let it go!

Let what go? It is none of that. And why would a functional department store bring down a neighborhood, that is basically, a church, barber school, an okay looking apartment building, Fiesta, jack in the box, some parking lots, and a plethora of homeless people?

If you ask me, Sears and Fiesta are currently the best things in that part of midtown right now.

I wish Sears the best, I really do, but prognosis is still bad at this point.

She has lived through worse, she will hang on for some more years
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Hmmmmmm

I think there are plenty of wealthy Montrosians DIYers who would be very disappointed that the Sears Craftsmen tool department was taken away. It's always crowded down there.

How do I know these people have money? Well I'm only guessing but there always seems to be a couple of Mercedes or BMW's when I shop there.

Edited by trymahjong
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William Marsh Rice owned the land, willed it to Rice University. Sears has a 50 year lease. 

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Honestly, if there are people salivating for Sears' closure and demolition, they probably hate the Fiesta too, especially once Whole Foods gets up and running. Between Randalls and WFM, who needs Fiesta? [/Midtown yuppie]

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Well no one "needs" any particular store, but Fiesta is much cheaper than whole foods and provides items that WFs do not.

Closing Fiesta because Whole Foods opens is like shutting down a Taco Cabana because Red Lobster is opening a mile away

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William Marsh Rice owned the land, willed it to Rice University. Sears has a 50 year lease. 

 

Sears has been there more than 50 years. When was the lease renewed?

 

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William Marsh Rice owned the land, willed it to Rice University. Sears has a 50 year lease. 

 

Then why does the County show it as being owned by Sears?  We keep seeing people make this statement about Rice owning the property but nobody has ever come up with any actual evidence of it.  Meanwhile the county records say Sears owns the property.  This Rice ownership seems like an urban legend.

Edited by Houston19514

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Well no one "needs" any particular store, but Fiesta is much cheaper than whole foods and provides items that WFs do not.

Closing Fiesta because Whole Foods opens is like shutting down a Taco Cabana because Red Lobster is opening a mile away

The last sentence was supposed to be sarcasm, though sadly I'm sure there are some in Midtown who actually feel that way.

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http://www.houstondeco.org/1930s/sears.html

 

I stand corrected... Rice University now owns the land. link/ web site was year 2014. 

 

Cite 67 has a nice article on the building, as well. Says the original structure was built with a granite exterior, backed with concrete on the bottom floor, stucco exterior for the second floor.

Edited by NenaE
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http://www.houstondeco.org/1930s/sears.html

I stand corrected... Rice University now owns the land. link/ web site was year 2014.

Cite 67 has a nice article on the building, as well. Says the original structure was built with a granite exterior, backed with concrete on the bottom floor, stucco exterior for the second floor.

That's the website where the rumor started (though with the new REIT Sears spun off recently, not 100% sure). I know for a fact that they also own(ed) the land that Fiesta sits on, newspaper archives mention that it was developed as a sort of supermarket component of Sears, with the main store getting an interior facelift during that time.

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Sears is in a dump, with its earnings report in the dumpster and the announcement of closing more then 50 stores. This spot has no chance of surviving

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I agree, but midtown is such an anomaly.  Honestly, I've attended the church across the street for 30 years (I'm 30), and I have never set foot in that Sears.  And I now live in midtown.

 

I'm not sure what kind of retail could replace it and Fiesta or what kind of retail would want to.

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Only go in about once a year, but it's like the Sears that time forgot.  Staff seem super friendly, but perhaps they're just surprised and glad you're there. It'd be great if they pulled off the outside sheet metal one day to see if it was worth saving.  My guess is that it probably is.

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When I lived in the area I frequented Sears regularly. The Macys/Foley too.

Would gladly have those types of department stores over stores like H&M and Forever21. Having both clothing and general goods stores are nice, but I would go for the general goods.

A target would fit the bill. Northern Midtown or Southern Downtown would be perfect for a target. Especially if Sears closes and with Macys gone.

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I live halfway between the Garden Oaks and Main Street Sears stores.  Agreed that the Main Street store is better; unlike most Sears stores you don't have to hunt down an employee and beg for help.  

 

It's ironic that a store that started out with mail order is getting clobbered by Amazon and other current mail order equivalents.

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wait a minute....

 

That Sears in Midtown is still OPEN ?!?

 

I thought it had been closed for years!

Surprise to me too because I thought I heard years ago it was closing. I thought it was. Wow how does it stay open. It can't possibly be the same old Sears it was say 20 years ago, with every floor and different departments still open, is it? 

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http://www.houstondeco.org/1930s/sears.html

 

I stand corrected... Rice University now owns the land. link/ web site was year 2014. 

 

Cite 67 has a nice article on the building, as well. Says the original structure was built with a granite exterior, backed with concrete on the bottom floor, stucco exterior for the second floor.

Yes it was. There was another one almost identical to this one on Harrisburg between Wayside and Marcario Garcia. Used to go shopping there for school clothes with my parents a lot in the 70s and early 80s. I still remember that place and remember that design, including the red neon Sears sign. It was closed by 1983 and demolished not long after. Interestingly the strip center thats there now still has a long piece of the old granite at its base behind the building on the Wayside/Capital side of the building. I always thought that was cool that they did that.  You can see for yourself here: 

https://goo.gl/maps/JKbcGZDYpuF2

Edited by djrage
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Interesting. I had thought the strip center now residing there was the old Sears building repurposed along the lines of the old Katy Fwy @ Dairy Ashford K-Mart. I was always dragged to the North Shepherd store, for Mom's Sears shopping needs. She grew up on the East End on Adams. Absolutely despised the Harrisburg Sears, and she'd never say why. I remember the old building was quite grand as we'd pass it in route to visit my Aunt's on Ave Q & 103rd, down past Manchester, and assumed that the building had been altered to the current cheap looking strip it is now.

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Just visited the Midtown Sears. Yes, all three floors are open. It's a bit dreary inside and the outside is sketchy but it seemed to be reasonably staffed and has customers on a Monday at 2.

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Just visited the Midtown Sears. Yes, all three floors are open. It's a bit dreary inside and the outside is sketchy but it seemed to be reasonably staffed and has customers on a Monday at 2.

Can you get me some overalls next time you are there? (Kidding)

The only thing I ever bought there were tools for my dad for Christmas etc.

Edited by Dakota79

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Funny you mention tools for your dad....... I frequent this store a lot just for that reason.....tools. The tool department is very well stocked and the sales associates seem to be knowledgable. It's a short drive from Montrose. Lots of my neighbors seem to go to Sears for same reason. When living in a one hundred year old house there is always something coming up for repairs or maintenance. If a craftsman tool breaks- you can take it back to Sears for replacement.

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Let's not forget appliances.  Lord only knows how many things I've had that say "Kenmore" on them.

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Tools and appliances....... Sears was my exclusive provider for decades. The last time I purchased an appliance at Sears (different State), the store looked miserable, the salesman was miserable, and the washing machine leaked on delivery.

Now, if I need an appliance, it's most likely Home Depot or Lowes.

If I need a tool it's either HD or Lowes or the quality suppliers on the Internet.

I hope Sears survives in mid-town. It fills a need for many. Unfortunately, I think that it's current corporate management team is not capable of returning the chain to even a pale ghost of what it once was.

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Funny you mention tools for your dad....... I frequent this store a lot just for that reason.....tools. The tool department is very well stocked and the sales associates seem to be knowledgable. It's a short drive from Montrose. Lots of my neighbors seem to go to Sears for same reason. When living in a one hundred year old house there is always something coming up for repairs or maintenance. If a craftsman tool breaks- you can take it back to Sears for replacement.

 

this of course is only true if they remain in business  :unsure:

 

I've got a full chest of craftsman tools, they've gotten me through a lot.

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I was inside this store yesterday. Needed a tie for a meeting. Even impulse bought some socks and t shirts. This store is perfectly located, easy to park, easy to get to, and easy to shop.

I can't even have imagine trying to go the Galleria in the middle of the day to buy a tie and get back to my office without killing someone.

Edited by plumber2

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I was inside this store yesterday. Needed a tie for a meeting. Even impulse bought some socks and t shirts. This store is perfectly located, easy to park, easy to get to, and easy to shop.

I can't have imagine trying to go the Galleria in the middle of the day to buy a tie and get back to my office with killing someone.

Is your office in mid-town?

Jos. A Banks serves the same purpose downtown (Park Shops), albeit likely a bit more expensive.

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Nah, my office is in the Medical Center. I like Jos. A Banks, and have been in another one a couple of times to get a suit and pants. I did not know they had a downtown store, but still, the mid town Sears is so much more convenient. You can park right at the front door, and I mean right in front of it (burglar bars and all).

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Nah, my office is in the Medical Center. I like Jos. A Banks, and have been in another one a couple of times to get a suit and pants. I did not know they had a downtown store, but still, the mid town Sears is so much more convenient. You can park right at the front door, and I mean right in front of it (burglar bars and all).

Absolutely true. Just an FYI for you though..... Jos A bank is in the Parkshops and you can park in the attached garage and then enter the mall. File that one away in case you need it (or its pouring rain outside!).

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I never in a million years would have thought to go to sears for a tie though. Thought it was just tools and appliances. 

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The Wendy's just under the freeway across the street from the Sears is now closed and boarded up.  The spray paint on the new ply wood ads to that area's charm that the final four crowds will get to see on the light rail to the stadium.  

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On 3/6/2016 at 10:05 AM, terra002 said:

I never in a million years would have thought to go to sears for a tie though. Thought it was just tools and appliances. 

unfortunately, this is why they haven't been doing well. they have a marketing department more horendous than my spelling.

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On March 6, 2016 at 10:05 AM, terra002 said:

I never in a million years would have thought to go to sears for a tie though. Thought it was just tools and appliances. 

They used to be so much more. Used to do our Christmas, back to school and various other shopping at the old Harrisburg location, well there and Globe on Woodridge, but that's for another thread. Such great times

 

Edited by djrage

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On 3/15/2016 at 9:10 AM, htownproud said:

The Wendy's just under the freeway across the street from the Sears is now closed and boarded up.  The spray paint on the new ply wood ads to that area's charm that the final four crowds will get to see on the light rail to the stadium.  

Thank God, that Wendy's was terrible. I hope that plot of land becomes something to add to the area. 

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It's difficult to get to from the freeway exits that are there, it's not super on the way for people going to/from the med center, it's not the nicest walk from Wheeler to that location, and remember a McDonald's that was at Richmond and Main closed too a while back

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

It's difficult to get to from the freeway exits that are there, it's not super on the way for people going to/from the med center, it's not the nicest walk from Wheeler to that location, and remember a McDonald's that was at Richmond and Main closed too a while back

The city needs to really do something about that area. It would be nice if they used the space under the freeway for a nice park. I also envision the Wheeler TC to be more exciting. Like why not build a large bus depot type building with the trains entering. I could see that station being a major interchange for transfers. Idk just my opinion. 

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A lot of that land is owned by Metro.  I agree that they should do something about it - though I suspect that some of the land is being banked for commuter rail station platforms and the University line station platforms.  However, right now it should be one of the busiest interchange terminals in the system and instead it feels like a place you want to leave asap.  It probably affects the ridership of the New Bus Network(tm)

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Just now, cspwal said:

A lot of that land is owned by Metro.  I agree that they should do something about it - though I suspect that some of the land is being banked for commuter rail station platforms and the University line station platforms.  However, right now it should be one of the busiest interchange terminals in the system and instead it feels like a place you want to leave asap.  It probably affects the ridership of the New Bus Network(tm)

I mean honestly its not as bad as it seems. I take the 25 sometimes from there and there are a lot of families, etc, that enter and exit that station but yeah its a rough patch.

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