Jump to content

Greenspoint


Recommended Posts

I was in Greenspoint over the weekend and thought a little about this forgotten area. Driving in I noticed how nice all the lawns were around the office buildings with trees lining the roadways. My wife commented, "Houston really does have nice trees." It occurred to me what a shame it was that all of this was going to waste. Office occupancy for that submarket is about 45%. A group of office buildings sold there a couple of years ago for around $30/SF - they would have been worth more in Amarillo. The whole area kind of said "80's" to me, and of course, the 80's is pretty down right now. But it won't be forever. In 10 or 15 years, people are going to say "Ahh! The 80's!" the same way that 15 or 20 years ago they started to say, "Ahh! Mid-century!" And then Greenspoint will be a really hot commodity, assuming it's still there and hasn't been totally disfigured by renovations. The place has a pretty decent skyline for a suburban office complex, taller than most suburban skylines, thanks to the money and power of oil. If Houston could just find some office user that would look on these buildings as the gems that they are.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For being a suburban office complex, it actually has decent transit access (and will have even better transit access if an IAH BRT gets built). I think if something ever happens with the mall (I know there are talks about it), then Greenspoint can definitely see a brighter future. Oh and they need to get the flooding under control...but that is a work in progress. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Greenspoint area has been depressed for so long that many people don't have any memories of it ever thriving. It used to be very nice when the mall first opened in 1976, and all the development that followed (multiple hotels that made the most of their proximity to IAH, as well as all of the office buildings) seemed to be the harbinger of a  sustained regional boom. Unfortunately, the oil bust kicked in a few years later, and the area never recovered (although if your only frame of reference was Facebook, you'd be led to believe that the proximate cause of all of Greenspoint's problems was Metro extending bus routes out to the area, thus bringing in the "riff-raff" that destroyed everything that was Good and Decent). 

Having grown up nearby, I'd love to see Greenspoint undergo a renaissance, but it probably will take something significant happening with the mall for any sort of revitalization to gain serious traction. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, mkultra25 said:

The Greenspoint area has been depressed for so long that many people don't have any memories of it ever thriving. It used to be very nice when the mall first opened in 1976, and all the development that followed (multiple hotels that made the most of their proximity to IAH, as well as all of the office buildings) seemed to be the harbinger of a  sustained regional boom. Unfortunately, the oil bust kicked in a few years later, and the area never recovered (although if your only frame of reference was Facebook, you'd be led to believe that the proximate cause of all of Greenspoint's problems was Metro extending bus routes out to the area, thus bringing in the "riff-raff" that destroyed everything that was Good and Decent). 

Having grown up nearby, I'd love to see Greenspoint undergo a renaissance, but it probably will take something significant happening with the mall for any sort of revitalization to gain serious traction. 

Exxon added its last highrise there in 1994 and it was a nice one, so the office district still had legs into the 90's. For the mall, the "Gunspoint" reputation had already set in by the early 90's. Whoever thought of that little nickname really did a number on the place, let me tell you. It said something when even your parents knew the slang term. The blame I've always heard is on all the cheap apartment complexes that were built around the office district. That's what brought the bus routes.

 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Exxon added its last highrise there in 1994 and it was a nice one, so the office district still had legs into the 90's. For the mall, the "Gunspoint" reputation had already set in by the early 90's. Whoever thought of that little nickname really did a number on the place, let me tell you. It said something when even your parents knew the slang term. The blame I've always heard is on all the cheap apartment complexes that were built around the office district. That's what brought the bus routes.

 

Wasn't that Andarako's HQ before going to the Woodlands?

I work adjacent to Greenspoint (lucky me), and the area was looking well prior to the pandemic. Going to Ichibon - against my will, the area's new patios were filled with people eating lunch outside, multiple buses zipping by, it was kind of pleasant. Greens Road, despite the condition, is a beautiful drive until the Hardy. The mature trees and crape myrtles are gorgeous. Some of the apartments have been repainted and look groovy from the road.

There's a handful of decent places to eat, but not much. FM 1960 is a bit of a drive, so anything special like Korean BBQ is a +2hr lunch. When my colleagues come to visit, there isn't much to do in the area. Maybe 1 decent car wash and 2 barbers. 2 good Vietnamese places. Speaking of FM 1960, that area looks worse every time I go there. 

Personally I'd rather be Downtown or Upper Kirby, but I don't make the decisions. Until then I'll try to not complain about my 21 minute commute on the Hardy and explore more of the small businesses/restaurants in the area. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Montrose1100 said:

Wasn't that Andarako's HQ before going to the Woodlands?

Yes, the building was completed in 1992 for Anadarko's HQ. When Anadarko moved to The Woodlands circa 2002, ExxonMobil moved in.  Of course ExxonMobil moved out when they completed their campus in Spring.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

8 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Yes, the building was completed in 1992 for Anadarko's HQ. When Anadarko moved to The Woodlands circa 2002, ExxonMobil moved in.  Of course ExxonMobil moved out when they completed their campus in Spring.

Someone must have told the architect to make new building in The Woodlands look like its predecessor for continuity, but the original is much better, I guess because it doesn't look like it tried so hard.

I grew up in The Woodlands in the 1980s, Greenspoint was the location of the nearest Target, Foley's, JCPenney, etc. and was where we went to shop.  It seemed to have been "revitalized" with that Ed Wulfe Commons development in the early 1990s that has been some sort of a tech/warehouse hub for a long time now.  (In retrospect that must be an interesting story!) 

(BTW, Greenspoint is 100% planned by urban planners.  I know the default response of urban planners is "but they didn't do it right," which is the definition of a self-own.) 

Edited by mattyt36
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

It seemed to have been "revitalized" with that Ed Wulfe Commons development in the early 1990s that has been some sort of a tech/warehouse hub for a long time now.  (In retrospect that must be an interesting story!) 

There are several major data centers located there (CenturyLink, Sungard, CyrusOne, probably a few others).  I'm not sure what led to it originally transitioning from another shopping center development to a data center hub, but it must've happened some time in the mid-to-late 1990s, as that's where the Houston point of presence for Enron's broadband network was located for a year or two before Skilling and Fastow managed to drive the company into the ditch. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That area would look a whole lot better if they tore down the mall, even if they replaced it with nothing(honestly, any kind of "mixed use town center" in that location would be a non-starter). However it wouldn't change the general surroundings being unpleasant. I have a hard time imagining that area ever coming back. The long-term trend is going to be less demand for those buildings and the remaining oil industry moving out.

My prediction: In 20-30 years several of those high rises will be imploded and a lot of apartments and older retail centers will be vacant lots.

Edited by zaphod
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, zaphod said:

That area would look a whole lot better if they tore down the mall, even if they replaced it with nothing(honestly, any kind of "mixed use town center" in that location would be a non-starter). However it wouldn't change the general surroundings being unpleasant. I have a hard time imagining that area ever coming back. The long-term trend is going to be less demand for those buildings and the remaining oil industry moving out.

My prediction: In 20-30 years several of those high rises will be imploded and a lot of apartments and older retail centers will be vacant lots.

I have to fully agree. I think we also need to realize that at the time this was developed, driving to an area to work was the thing to do. In reality, had Houston built smart and not allowed the car to dominate development, this area would be nothing but open country. So with everyone moving back to the city, this area is going to return to what it should be. I can see homes, some apartments, and a few business parks remaining but there’s no reviving that mall. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I have to fully agree. I think we also need to realize that at the time this was developed, driving to an area to work was the thing to do. In reality, had Houston built smart and not allowed the car to dominate development, this area would be nothing but open country. So with everyone moving back to the city, this area is going to return to what it should be. I can see homes, some apartments, and a few business parks remaining but there’s no reviving that mall. 

The car was always going to dominate development, because that was the standard nationwide, and federal and state policies encouraged it. And even if it didn't, that area wouldn't have been open country, anymore than the suburbs of Paris are open country. The mall is unsalvageable because it doesn't need to be; there are more than enough malls in the area to pick up the slack, between Willowbrook, Woodlands, and Deerbrook. Too much competition to make it viable. But the skyscrapers are quite viable for their continued usage. Not everybody is moving back into the city; in fact, the suburbs are still adding tens of thousands every year. Most people are still moving out to the suburbs, not the inner city (not to say nobody is moving back to the city) and with rising crime in many American inner cities, the trend towards suburban development may only accelerate.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Fortune said:

I think the current Greenspoint Mall owner is planning to tear down the mall and build an industrial park like Hines built across the freeway. 

Seems like a mighty small industrial park.  FWIW, there is an apartment complex coming on the southeast corner of the property (where the Sears auto center was).  https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/07/16/houston-city-council-approves-15m-affordable-housing-complex-in-greenspoint/

 

Edited by Houston19514
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...