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1990 Old Spanish Trail (formerly Kroger): New Mixed-Use Project for the Texas Medical Center

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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of any plans to renovate/rebuild the Kroger at Cambridge/OST?  I live right down the street from it and find it really convenient, but really outdated and the layout a bit cramped.  I'm hoping something similar to the Montrose (near Westheimer) renovation could happen at this location.  An expanded "prepared meals" section and dairy section would be really nice.  Also, a bigger entrance would be good too...My far-fetched wish is that they would buy some of the land next to them and build a brand new store like the Studemont location, and convert the existing into more parking and a Kroger gas station...I went to the Kirby store the other day and it looks like they could handle a larger store in the area.

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That store is way overdue for an update. It was built as a Safeway in the 80s, and they did little refreshes in the 90s and 00s, but nothing major. Funny you should mention the entrance. Until the late 90s, the store had two entrances on either side. One side was completely closed off. The other side was converted to bring in shopping carts only and the current entrance was put in.

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Ah yes, that's the one with the hot deli that serves breakfast and also oxtails and gravy. Always wondered how it tastes...

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Ah yes, that's the one with the hot deli that serves breakfast and also oxtails and gravy. Always wondered how it tastes...

 

I didn't know they had oxtails and gravy. I might have to stop by there one day for lunch to see what it's like.

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I received this info from an e-mail that I received from District D Councilman Dwight Boykins' e-mail list. There's no date listed for the closure, but Boykins is taking the closure into consideration when he'll vote on the tax abatement that Kroger wants in order to stay in and expand their distribution facility on Gellhorn, which is used to stock Kroger stores in TX and LA. Boykins is expected to vote against the deal because of the proposed closure, and the fact that Kroger doesn't plan to replace the closed store. If Kroger doesn't get the tax abatement, they'll instead increase capacity at a facility in Shelbyville, IN, which they claim is cheaper than expanding the Gellhorn location.

 

While it's not the flashiest Kroger, it serves a purpose and I really hate to see it go. But, the handwriting has been on the wall for a while now. You can see that it hasn't been receiving the same updates as other Kroger stores in the city. I bet the Medical Center is licking its chops for that parcel of land.

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Kroger is in the business of making money.  If it is cheaper to have a supply source elsewhere, then they should move there. They aren't holding anything over anyone's head.  They are telling it like it is.  

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I'm not a big fan of tax abatements either, unless the tax abatement directly pays for some type of municipal infastructure, like sewer updrades or street improvements around the facility. If it actually makes sense for Kroger to distribute from somewhere else, then let them go. Why subsidize one business, when the others around it don't get the same subsidy.

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Good decision by Krogers in my opinion. Several people shopping there through the years have been victims of Councilman Boykins constituents. As a former resident of that area it was risky being in that parking lot after dark. Maybe lives will saved because of this.

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I realize they are business, I'm not naive. It's bullsh!te that they would force the city to give them tax breaks (do you honestly think they need them) just to save a couple of bucks. It's a business decision, but the people who work there will lose their jobs. 

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This sucks. I wanted to visit, check out the decor on the inside (any old AppleTree remnants??) and maybe get a chance to try those oxtails I've heard they served certain days.

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Good decision by Krogers in my opinion. Several people shopping there through the years have been victims of Councilman Boykins constituents. As a former resident of that area it was risky being in that parking lot after dark. Maybe lives will saved because of this.

 

Nonsense. I've been going there all my life from its days as Safeway and Apple Tree and it's not dangerous. If it's dangerous, you should want it to stay open so the criminals won't hop down the road and start targeting people at stores in your zip code (77025). As if stores in all parts of town don't have instances of crime. Please! <_<

 

This sucks. I wanted to visit, check out the decor on the inside (any old AppleTree remnants??) and maybe get a chance to try those oxtails I've heard they served certain days.

 

 

I think all of the old Safeway and AppleTree remnants are gone. I remember part of the trim near the entrance still had red paint, but it's been long painted over.

 

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Wasn't there a rumor about a residential high-rise at this location awhile back? Maybe I'm confusing it with the Vantage just up Cambridge, but I could have sworn that there were plans to replace this Kroger with resi.

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Wasn't there a rumor about a residential high-rise at this location awhile back? Maybe I'm confusing it with the Vantage just up Cambridge, but I could have sworn that there were plans to replace this Kroger with resi.

The adjacent abandoned Nat'l Guard Facilities would lend itself to have the whole block redeveloped. So, what's the odds on the business replacing this?

 

Fiesta? There's one a little over a mile west, but then again, there was a Kroger a mile west, too. Fiesta's not known for store overlap though.

Randalls? Not outside the realm of possibility that they'd remodel and reopen, but just a year and a half earlier, there were rumors the entire chain would disappear, and while it seems to be out of danger, it's still not in expansion mode, so...unlikely.

H-E-B? I can't see it happening without total demolition and redevelopment. 

Food Town? Probably the most likely to happen if the building will be grocery again and not demolished for redevelopment.

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I just heard from a neighbor that the real estate for this Kroger has been sold to MD Anderson and will close at the end of the month. Can anyone confirm this?

 

Edit: Confirmed from employees. This store is closing on the 24th.

Edited by Scrubber
Update Info

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10 hours ago, kennyc05 said:

I love this Kroger please don't close :.(

I have something to tell you and it's going to make you sad...

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Sad for me as well. There's basically no reason to drive down Cambridge anymore unless I need a quick route to the south loop. There used to be a pretty nice neighborhood down there.

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It would be cool if they could have a multipurpose building with a grocery store on the first floor and offices and/or staff residences on the others. I think having more multi-use buildings would make things more efficient.

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https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/06/12/former-rockets-star-investor-sell-tmc-area.html

 

1990-old-spanish-trail.jpg

 

Quote

 


Former Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon and local real estate investor John Ballis have sold a 4.64-acre site near the Texas Medical Center to a local developer, according to a press release from Houston-based Transwestern.

 

Transwestern Commercial Services has been hired to advise the new owner on its plans to develop a mixed-use project at the site, 1990 Old Spanish Trail, per the release. TCS Vice President Robby Winston is providing advisory services for the new owner, an entity called Americus OST LLC. Houston developer Andrew Schatte is the principal of Americus OST.

 

John Ballis Jr. represented both the buyer and the seller in the land deal, which closed in March, according to Harris County records.

“The new owner is looking to create a mixed-use development that would complement the highly respected health care, educational and research institutions that are adjacent to the site,” Winston said in the release. “As one of the last undeveloped parcels in the Texas Medical Center, this site presents the unique opportunity to bring additional supportive capacity to this rapidly growing innovation district. Our property will enhance those larger master plans taking shape.”

 

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Transwestern press release.

https://transwestern.com/news-detail/transwestern-tapped-to-lease-one-of-the-last-undeveloped-land-parcels-in-texas-m


 

Quote

 

Transwestern to Assist in Developing Masterplan for 1990 Old Spanish Trail

June 13, 2019

 

HOUSTON – Transwestern Commercial Services (TCS) today announces it has been retained to provide advisory services for Americus OST LCC for a prospective new mixed-use medical development at 1990 Old Spanish Trail in Houston. Americus OST purchased the property from long-time owners Hakeem Olajuwon and John Ballis. TCS Vice President Robby Winston is providing advisory services for the property. John Ballis, Jr. represented both buyer and seller in this transaction.

 

“The new owner is looking to create a mixed-use development that would complement the highly respected healthcare, educational and research institutions that are adjacent to the site,” said Winston. “As one of the last undeveloped parcels in the Texas Medical Center, this site presents the unique opportunity to bring additional supportive capacity to this rapidly growing innovation district. Our property will enhance those larger master plans taking shape.”

 

The University of Texas South Campus Research Facilities, the Baylor/CommonSpirit Health™ campus and TMC3 master-planned development have major expansion plans in the immediate vicinity of the site. Transwestern Development Co. has been retained as the development manager for the transformative TMC3 project.

 

“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with The Texas Medical Center and member organizations in developing this property in keeping with the master plan of the TMC3,” said Andrew Schatte, principal of Americus OST.

 

The 1990 Old Spanish Trail property is situated within a Certified Opportunity Zone, which is designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors.

 

The TCS Houston healthcare real estate team has executed 522 healthcare transactions during the last 24 months and more than 2,000 transactions during the past five years. This project brings the team’s healthcare leasing and management portfolio to 69 properties totaling more than 5 million square feet on behalf of some of the largest healthcare institutions in the country.

 

 

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Alternately (and much more recent than the Press piece): https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Breaking-down-the-many-nicknames-of-Houston-s-13354507.php

 

I'm guessing that "Hot Mom Kroger" was an editorially-imposed euphemism, as I can't see the Chron allowing the more well-known acronym. 

Edited by mkultra25
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I've heard the West Gray Kroger called something more inappropriate than "Hot Mom Kroger, Cougar Kroger".🤪🔩:wub:

Edited by hindesky
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