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Dakota79

Midtown Sears to Become Houston's Innovation District

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If these locations are getting even less business than the Midtown Sears, I'm surprised they've been open this long

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I feel like a troll - people will see Midtown Sears comments and hope for the best - stuck with her for a little while longer.

 

I'd like to see art deco back on the buildling and make it a Alamo Draft House and attach a large outdoor beergarden

 

 

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I would like it to actually be a useful place to buy just about anything - like hardware to put up shelving on thursday after work, when you're too tired to venture out to the big box stores and be mired in all that traffic.  I've gone to that Sears multiple times looking for something that any Home Depot, Wal Mart, or even a large HEB would have, only to be disappointed.  The hardware selection is hit and miss, there's whole departments missing (you can tell from the empty floor space), and even the clothing area does not draw my attention.  I hate having to go to the Galleria or to box stores to shop for basic stuff, but it's either that or amazon for so many things when the only general goods store in your neighborhood sucks so much

 

 

Though I did get a cool 3 inch brass caliper from Sears

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1 hour ago, Chi-Char-Hou-Dal said:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/05/sears-kmart-stores-closing/96195504/

 

Damn - immediately looked and was disapointed the Midtown Sears didn't get the AXE

 

It's mentioned in the video linked in that piece that Sears is selling their Craftsman brand of tools to Stanley Black & Decker (I wasn't even aware that those two companies had merged, presumably creating a Power Tool Colossus). There goes just about the last reason to set foot in a Sears store. 

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The Midtown Sears survived this round...might be gone in six months, might last until the very end of the line.

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14 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

It's mentioned in the video linked in that piece that Sears is selling their Craftsman brand of tools to Stanley Black & Decker (I wasn't even aware that those two companies had merged, presumably creating a Power Tool Colossus). There goes just about the last reason to set foot in a Sears store. 

Sears will continue to have the rights to sell Craftsman at Sears.  However, Craftsman will now also be sold elsewhere.

 

 

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7 hours ago, IronTiger said:

The Midtown Sears survived this round...might be gone in six months, might last until the very end of the line.

I continue to marvel at the resiliency of that Store.

 

 

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A "lifetime" warranty on Craftsman hand tools was very important to me when I was 20.  Given my now advanced age, it's not that important to me.  What is important to me now is the "lifetime" they refer to may be the shorter of my life or Sears's life.  I'll bet on me outliving Sears.  So all those flawless tools I bought when I was 20 (and still own and use) better hurry up and break of they're gonna!

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On 1/5/2017 at 11:01 PM, IronTiger said:

The Midtown Sears survived this round...might be gone in six months, might last until the very end of the line.

 

 

the three things that will survive the Apocalypse: Cockroaches, Keith Richards, and the Midtown Sears. :)

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On 1/8/2017 at 8:32 AM, Tumbleweed_Tx said:

 

 

the three things that will survive the Apocalypse: Cockroaches, Keith Richards, and the Midtown Sears. :)

Too bad they don't sell Twinkies

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Longtime rivals like Wal-Mart and Target are spending heavily to revitalize stores and they're intensely focused on a new consumer that goes online before stepping into a store.

 

The difference between Wal-Mart or Target and Sears is that both Wal-Mart and Target long ago started having "super stores" that have grocery items.  The probably goes a long way to keeping the customers coming in - groceries seem the least resistant to online shopping.  I haven't been in a K-Mart in years, but I know that Sears doesn't have groceries.  The question is whether or not it is possible to have a general purpose store nowadays with out a food component.  It is looking like no

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Sears exists more as a real estate holding company that happens to have a lot of empty Sears and Kmart stores occupying the real estate.  I don't think they are really that interested in operating retail and much as unloading the real estate.  At some point the Midtown location will be sold for some other use.  

 

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42 minutes ago, Subdude said:

Sears exists more as a real estate holding company that happens to have a lot of empty Sears and Kmart stores occupying the real estate.  I don't think they are really that interested in operating retail and much as unloading the real estate.  At some point the Midtown location will be sold for some other use.  

 

 

I don't think Sears owns that Midtown property, but I could be wrong.

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2 hours ago, Subdude said:

Sears exists more as a real estate holding company that happens to have a lot of empty Sears and Kmart stores occupying the real estate.  I don't think they are really that interested in operating retail and much as unloading the real estate.  At some point the Midtown location will be sold for some other use.  

 

 

They've already unloaded a bunch of their real estate (more than 40% of their owned locations and an even higher percentage of their valuable owned locations); that's part of why even they have finally been forced to admit they have little to no future.  And they don't have many unencumbered assets left to sell off or borrow against.

Edited by Houston19514

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6 hours ago, terra002 said:

I dream of the day Sears and Fiesta close in midtown...

For the love of GOD it can't happen soon enough.  It's holding down that whole section of Midtown.

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This part of midtown holds so much promise for the future with the wheeler station in the middle of it. This six block area has the potential for a major mixed use project. Now if they could buy out Fiesta. 

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I agree with ALL of the comments about closing down the Fiesta and Sears. I live a block away from both. I only go south of Cleburne unless I'm riding my bike to Hermann Park. 

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I think that the Hines Caroline/ Southmore high rise and adjoining apartments will make this a more desirable area for growth.

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Why does everyone think Sears is the problem and not the massive pariah filled housing project across the street and the Men's Center?

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Nah it's the large open area under the freeway, unused surface lots, and unsupervised Wheeler Station.

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41 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

Nah it's the large open area under the freeway, unused surface lots, and unsupervised Wheeler Station.

 

This is largely out of date.  They've now fenced off most of the open area under the freeway there.  And Wheeler Station is heavily supervised now, with at least one HPD vehicle (and frequently multiple) there every time I go there.  I agree that the multitude of largely-unused surface lots (thanks to the Sears that rarely has anyone shopping there) are not a good thing, though.

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1 hour ago, rechlin said:

 

This is largely out of date.  They've now fenced off most of the open area under the freeway there.  And Wheeler Station is heavily supervised now, with at least one HPD vehicle (and frequently multiple) there every time I go there.  I agree that the multitude of largely-unused surface lots (thanks to the Sears that rarely has anyone shopping there) are not a good thing, though.

I've been out of town the past few weeks.  Is the tent city under the freeway still there?  

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8 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

I've been out of town the past few weeks.  Is the tent city under the freeway still there?  

Everything west of Fannin was cleaned out months ago.  West of Main it was completely fenced in, and between Fannin and Main there has been strong enforcement to keep it clean (sometimes one of the Metro cops even leaves his car parked there).

 

The block east of Fannin may still have some people hanging out on occasion but it's nothing like it was, and if anyone is still there I don't even notice because it's far enough from Wheeler station.

 

That said, I've seen a few more people under the Pierce Elevated lately than in the past.  Perhaps that is an additional incentive to eliminate that then IH-45 is rerouted (along with trenching IH-69 near Wheeler) in the near future.

 

Back to the topic at hand, once 69 is trenched by the Sears, there is sure to be some related work done at surface level, so perhaps that would be the incentive necessary to push through this redevelopment of the Sears blocks.

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Wait, they are trenching it when?

 

Right now there is a massive tent community on Caroline so all they did was move in that direction. City needs to fence off asap

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55 minutes ago, iah77 said:

Wait, they are trenching it when?

 

Right now there is a massive tent community on Caroline so all they did was move in that direction. City needs to fence off asap

 

It's all part of the big http://www.ih45northandmore.com/ project.  There was an article posted recently that indicated that the timeline has been pushed up for this project, maybe as early as 2021, if I remember right.

 

Since the freeway would then be below grade, Main and Fannin and the light rail will all be on bridges, and the Fannin exit ramp by Sears will disappear without replacement.  That would probably reduce high-speed traffic in the area, making a large mixed-use district like the one proposed above even easier for pedestrians to get around.

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1 hour ago, rechlin said:

 

 

It's all part of the big http://www.ih45northandmore.com/ project.  There was an article posted recently that indicated that the timeline has been pushed up for this project, maybe as early as 2021, if I remember right.

 

Since the freeway would then be below grade, Main and Fannin and the light rail will all be on bridges, and the Fannin exit ramp by Sears will disappear without replacement.  That would probably reduce high-speed traffic in the area, making a large mixed-use district like the one proposed above even easier for pedestrians to get around.

 

I think the plan is to let bids for this portion in 2020.

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On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:14 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

They've already unloaded a bunch of their real estate (more than 40% of their owned locations and an even higher percentage of their valuable owned locations); that's part of why even they have finally been forced to admit they have little to no future.  And they don't have many unencumbered assets left to sell off or borrow against.

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/how-sears-ceo-lampert-cashes-in-as-stores-cash-out.html

 

An interesting read for anyone who cares to know a bit more of the financial dealings of Sears.

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9 hours ago, Sparrow said:

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/how-sears-ceo-lampert-cashes-in-as-stores-cash-out.html

 

An interesting read for anyone who cares to know a bit more of the financial dealings of Sears.

 

Current ownership was the high bidder for the rotting carcass of a company. Sounds like they pre-arranged the outcome of the eventual bankruptcy, without those structures, the end would have come much sooner and courts would have managed the asset sales that have occurred since this bunch took over, presuming that there is not someone out there that can resurrect that business model or find some other use for the brand.   

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6 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Looks like Midtown Sears is close to being finished.... Finally

Perhaps. But I don't think that we should conclude that a potential bankruptcy will be a chapter 7.  It may be or it may be a chapter 11 (reorg) - in which case there may be a means by which Some Sears stores --- including our very own midtown location - remain open with new equity owners.

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Business bankruptcies generally start out as 11s, even if it's going to be a complete liquidation - there will be a plan put in place for liquidating the assets while the business's management keeps cash flow going as long as possible, rather than having the bankruptcy court operating things.  Once in a blue moon they get converted to an operating 7, but that generally occurs only when management is so completely disfunctional that you need a trustee appointed by the court to do the winding up.  (thus endeth today's exercise in being pedantic)

 

Regardless, Sears is pretty much toast; the thought process (or lack thereof) that got it there rather than remaking itself is pretty academic.  

 

It would be nice, though, if the mid century steel sheeting could be removed, the brick taken out of the ground floor windows, and the building opened to multi tenancy - it would make a decent alternative to the strip centers that seem to be overrunning Midtown.

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Can't believe all the celebration at the potential loss of retail.

 

When I lived in the area I used the Fiesta quite frequently to pick up a few things. 

 

What irks me is that huge surface lot between the Sears and the Fiesta and the underutilised green space around Wheeler Station. The area on both sides of the highway seem poorly used. 

 

A Ventana sized complex on that surface lot between Sears and Fiesta might help out the area a lot.

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The Sears Auto Shop is closing. May 26 is the last day they'll be open. 50% off what's left in the store. Spoke with one of the guys that worked there, Carl (perfect definition of great customer service, btw) and he said they might do something on the lot the auto shop is on and the big empty parking lot between fiesta and the sears. Sears own that empty lot and the auto shop and Rice owns the Sears building. VERY interested in what's to come with this development!

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The Sears Auto Shop is closing. May 26 is the last day they'll be open. 50% off what's left in the store. Spoke with one of the guys that worked there, Carl (perfect definition of great customer service, btw) and he said they might do something on the lot the auto shop is on and the big empty parking lot between fiesta and the sears. Sears own that empty lot and the auto shop and Rice owns the Sears building. VERY interested in what's to come with this development!

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:17 AM, drecey said:

The Sears Auto Shop is closing. May 26 is the last day they'll be open. 50% off what's left in the store. Spoke with one of the guys that worked there, Carl (perfect definition of great customer service, btw) and he said they might do something on the lot the auto shop is on and the big empty parking lot between fiesta and the sears. Sears own that empty lot and the auto shop and Rice owns the Sears building. VERY interested in what's to come with this development!

YES!!!!!!! I noticed this weekend that business seemed no existent. Great news!!! Place was a dump!

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More from the article:

 

Quote

Last week, Rice Management Co. bought out the remaining 28 years of Sears' lease and acquired about three contiguous acres owned by Sears.

Rice now owns 9.4 acres, including the original department store, its parking lots and the Sears Automotive Center on Eagle Street between Fannin and San Jacinto.

Now that Rice has control of the property it will begin studying options.

"Removing the long-term lease obligation from Rice's Midtown property will allow the university to initiate a process of thoughtful planning for the future use of this land," Rice President David Leebron said in a statement.

"The Rice Management Company will initiate a yearlong study to consider options that contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the surrounding community as well as the city's broader economic strength. In this process, we'll consult with many actors and experts, including the Urban Land Institute, city officials and our own Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

"This is another dimension of Rice's enthusiastic engagement with the city of Houston, while at the same time assuring a return to the university's endowment in support of our missions of education, research and community service."

 

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Actually after I think about it I’d want them to restore the original Art Deco look and the murals

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36 minutes ago, Sanjorade said:

Fiesta only has 2 years left on it's lease as well. This area is going to change dramatically!

Yes, that and with the 59 rebuild, this area is going to look quite different in the next decade.

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Interesting, agree about time.  I was aware of the  demolition of the Pierce Elevated and reconstruction of US 59 (now I-69) and I-45 in downtown but wasn't aware the 59 elevated in midtown was also going to be trenched.  And Fiesta's lease being up in a couple of years, no kidding, this area certainly is going to look different in about a decade.  So very needed.  It is quite depressing to go into that Sears and see the state it is now in.  I can remember being a kid and how it was then.  You couldn't shop there without having some popcorn.  The display windows that are now bricked up, the restaurant sitting empty and the deplorable condition of the restrooms, very, very depressing.  Good riddance to the end  of this place! 

 

Edited by EspersonBuildings
was not through typing

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