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Galleria Expansion, Ritz Carlton Hotel & Residences at Sage / W. Alabama

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6 hours ago, Trae said:

 

After River Oaks District and BLVD Place, Houston really exploded with luxury retail. Houston has increased it's profile as a luxury shopping destination fairly quickly and a lot of that was because it didn't have the setup that attracts the clientele until ROD.

 

There's a little place called the Galleria that has for many years been doing  a very good job of attracting the luxury retail clientele (and probably has the biggest concentration of luxury retail in the state).  

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34 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

There's a little place called the Galleria that has for many years been doing  a very good job of attracting the luxury retail clientele (and probably has the biggest concentration of luxury retail in the state).  

 

Lmao well obviously the Galleria has existed but walkable districts such as the River Oaks District was non-existent in Houston and this is what attracts the luxury clientele nowadays. It's not circling around a mall. The Galleria has luxury retail for sure but the real high-end stuff is locating in ROD. Why do you think it was so easy for ROD to pull so many luxury retailers? Look around the nation at where luxury retailers setup shop. You're more often than not in a walkable area like River Oaks District, Rodeo Drive, Michigan Ave, 5th Ave., Brickell, etc..

Edited by Trae

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28 minutes ago, Trae said:

 

.... It's not circling around a mall. The Galleria has luxury retail for sure but the real high-end stuff is locating in ROD...

The Galleria is a great mall, but malls are a dying breed.  It won’t happen overnight but I’ll wager in the next 20+ years we will see the big box centers along Westheimer disappear and convert into walkable districts like the ROD.  These will continue to pull tenants from the Galleria.  Eventually it too will be redeveloped.  

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2 hours ago, Trae said:

 

Lmao well obviously the Galleria has existed but walkable districts such as the River Oaks District was non-existent in Houston and this is what attracts the luxury clientele nowadays. It's not circling around a mall. The Galleria has luxury retail for sure but the real high-end stuff is locating in ROD. Why do you think it was so easy for ROD to pull so many luxury retailers? Look around the nation at where luxury retailers setup shop. You're more often than not in a walkable area like River Oaks District, Rodeo Drive, Michigan Ave, 5th Ave., Brickell, etc..

 

Then why would Tom Ford move from ROD to the Galleria.  Why would Akris (apparently) move from ROD to the Galleria. Why would Balenciaga choose to locate in the Galleria?   How do you explain Gianvito Rossi  and The Golden Goose choosing to locate in the Galleria?  Explain to us all of the stores added to the Galleria just in 2019?  (And note how many high-end stores were added to ROD in the same time period.) How does the Galleria continue to have probably the largest concentration of luxury retail in the state?

1 hour ago, arche_757 said:

The Galleria is a great mall, but malls are a dying breed.  It won’t happen overnight but I’ll wager in the next 20+ years we will see the big box centers along Westheimer disappear and convert into walkable districts like the ROD.  These will continue to pull tenants from the Galleria.  Eventually it too will be redeveloped.  

 

Not all malls are dying.  Generally, the higher-end malls (like the Galleria) are doing well.  I agree we'll probably see more walkable development along Post Oak over the next 20 years. But I don't think that equates to the death of the Galleria.  If that was in the cards, at some point, surely we would start to see some evidence; like stores moving out of the Galleria and into one of the outdoor walkable developments, rather than the other way around.

Edited by Houston19514
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22 hours ago, Trae said:

Houston has really become a top luxury market especially in the Central Time Zone. I know Dallas used to be thought of as a more luxury shopping destination for this part of the country but I don't think that's the case anymore. This is especially true when you consider Houston receives many leisure travelers from Latin America. This shows what a few mixed-use developments and marketing will do to a city. Many stores now opening their first Texas or US locations in Houston more often lately than ever before.

 

Amen to that!  I'm glad someone else mentioned the obvious here about the current and future status of shopping in Texas between these two markets and the very obvious fact that Houston's is now second to none here in Texas, PERIOD.  It's time for the marketers, advertisers, and media outlets to realize this and run with it, instead of continuing that old tired adage that dallas is somehow bigger (it's not by a long shot) better (nope once again (a truly BORING city to visit)) and more popular (if it is, and that's a big IF these days, it's only because of their own shameless self promotion for decades using false information as the basis of their "superiority" and all that is just so laughable now for the past 10 years, and probably longer.  Having been in both places and visited the "other place" many many times because of friends and business issues, I can safely say Houston is NUMBER 1 in Texas on just about every major listing of top ten (fill in the blank).  And, more recently in the top 10 way past dallas (which is no longer in very many top 10 lists even) nationally.  So, yeah, maybe I'm a bit partial, but Houston totally ROCKS!

 

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ROD is nice and since I live nearby, I walk there a lot.  It seems to be drawing more people now than it was initially, but mostly because of the restaurant business.  The high-end clothing shops still look pretty empty.   I was told that Chase Bank took ownership a while back after the original developer from San Diego exited.  My gut feeling is that the whole project would have been more successful if the developers had completed it a couple of years earlier, so it would have gotten established before the local economy slowed down.

 

Since Houston's economy has been going up and down with the price of oil, timing is important.

Edited by ArchFan

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22 minutes ago, ArchFan said:

ROD is nice and since I live nearby, I walk there a lot.  It seems to be drawing more people now than it was initially, but mostly because of the restaurant business.  The high-end clothing shops still look pretty empty.   I was told that Chase Bank took ownership a while back after the original developer from San Diego exited.  My gut feeling is that the whole project would have been more successful if the developers had completed it a couple of years earlier, so it would have gotten established before the local economy slowed down.

 

Since Houston's economy has been going up and down with the price of oil, timing is important.

 

I don't know about any repossession (one would think that would have been mentioned in one of our newspapers), but the developer was purchased by Brookfield a couple years ago.

 

Just did a very quick Google search.  It was not anything like a repossession, as was seemingly implied, and the original developer did not "exit."  Back in2016, JPMorgan Asset Management purchased the River Oaks District, in a partnership with Oliver McMillan  (the property's developer).  The cash transaction was more than $550 million, and Oliver McMillan retained an ownership stake in the property and a management role in the partnership.  Then in 2018, Brookfield bought Oliver McMillan, so presumable took over their interest in the ROD partnership.  https://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/River-Oaks-District-fetches-550M-plus-in-cash-7973054.php

Edited by Houston19514
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Thanks for the additional information.  I was just passing along a tidbit that a local developer mentioned to me.  I think the article you linked was from 2016 and $550 million is a lot more than I would have guessed.  In any case, I think that in the long run, this development will be good for Houston, especially if the 1 or 2 high-end hotels adjacent get built.   However, I think it would also benefit by addressing one of my pet peeves, which is improving pedestrian access from the other side of 610.   Better sidewalks on the inner-loop side would help, but the death-defying trek across 610 is daunting.

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1 hour ago, ArchFan said:

Thanks for the additional information.  I was just passing along a tidbit that a local developer mentioned to me.  I think the article you linked was from 2016 and $550 million is a lot more than I would have guessed.  In any case, I think that in the long run, this development will be good for Houston, especially if the 1 or 2 high-end hotels adjacent get built.   However, I think it would also benefit by addressing one of my pet peeves, which is improving pedestrian access from the other side of 610.   Better sidewalks on the inner-loop side would help, but the death-defying trek across 610 is daunting.

 

Agreed. I wish ROD had gone on Post Oak Boulevard.

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Apologize in advance for misspelling as I was typing quickly in between conference calls lol.

 

Additionally: I am interested to see the new Zadok Jewelers flagship boutique (2 stories, 20,000 sq. ft.) off Post Oak. They hired Michael Hsu to design a beautiful small luxury mixed used development and their boutique will be designed to feature watch and jewelry boutiques for individual luxury brands- similar to what you might see in Zurich or the Middle East. This will put pressure on the fine jewelry departments at Neiman Marcus (which is seriously struggling financially), Saks, Deutsch, Lewis and others. 

 

One final point: I believe the addition of luxury and/or boutique hotels near mixed used developments is important. ROD has forthcoming Equinox Hotel as well as at least one additional hotel nearby. Highland Village might be working on a new RH flagship with a hotel component similar to what they've done in NY and Dallas. The twin Westin Hotels were a big part of the appeal for international visitors over the years. People and to stay at certain hotels over and over and explore that neighborhood. I wish ROD had gotten the Ritz Carlton deal done prior to opening because it would have added another 250 people a day of a certain demographic to its restaurant and retail landscape.

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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Then why would Tom Ford move from ROD to the Galleria.  Why would Akris (apparently) move from ROD to the Galleria. Why would Balenciaga choose to locate in the Galleria?   How do you explain Gianvito Rossi  and The Golden Goose choosing to locate in the Galleria?  Explain to us all of the stores added to the Galleria just in 2019?  (And note how many high-end stores were added to ROD in the same time period.) How does the Galleria continue to have probably the largest concentration of luxury retail in the state?

 

Not all malls are dying.  Generally, the higher-end malls (like the Galleria) are doing well.  I agree we'll probably see more walkable development along Post Oak over the next 20 years. But I don't think that equates to the death of the Galleria.  If that was in the cards, at some point, surely we would start to see some evidence; like stores moving out of the Galleria and into one of the outdoor walkable developments, rather than the other way around.

 

I feel like you just enjoy debating. ROD clearly stepped up Houston's game in the luxury retail department. It doesn't take anything away from the Galleria. All you have to do is look at the list of luxury retailers within each. The ROD has ones commanding the most dollar.

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On 2/27/2020 at 1:27 PM, gene said:

 

Oh nice!!! The portion of Topman upstairs looked pretty permanent for that new shop (save the escalator)...but the downstairs portion being that PopUp Shop place definitely looked temporary! So that is good news that Uniqlo will indeed go there as it makes the most sense... thanks for that info!

 

 

I was shocked when I saw TopMen leave. I sport a more European look, so now I only have H&M and Zara that I know of, unless others know other places. It was a great store between an H&M and Zara in terms of price. I bought a long black jacket from there last winter and I continue to get compliments on it, so was sad to see it go. The location it was in though is a tough spot to survive in that mall. Very few venture into that area of the mall, so good luck to this new place. If Top Men were in the main area of the Mall I think it would have done a lot better.

 

5 hours ago, arche_757 said:

The Galleria is a great mall, but malls are a dying breed.  It won’t happen overnight but I’ll wager in the next 20+ years we will see the big box centers along Westheimer disappear and convert into walkable districts like the ROD.  These will continue to pull tenants from the Galleria.  Eventually it too will be redeveloped.  

 

Not really dying, just transforming. I think I've stated multiple times in other threads that internet markets killed the "generic mall", but not malls in general. There will always be a place for a closed in conditioned mall environment especially in this town. They just built a brand new mall in NYC at Hudson Yards. Before I left Berlin in Germany, they were building several. If you look at their profiles though they are anything but "generic" when it comes to design. Design is becoming a lot more important for malls now in order to compete with online markets. You just can't get by with "generic" anymore. You need to sell yourself as a destination or place or experience which you can't get online. Especially with the updated interiors for The Galleria it really does feel like a place. Its constantly busy, and is in one of the best spots in town, and has a long legacy to pull from. What I like about places like ROD and new ones coming up is that it will help ramp up competition which will keep indoor malls and outdoor malls fresh.

 

3 hours ago, ArchFan said:

ROD is nice and since I live nearby, I walk there a lot.  It seems to be drawing more people now than it was initially, but mostly because of the restaurant business.  The high-end clothing shops still look pretty empty.   I was told that Chase Bank took ownership a while back after the original developer from San Diego exited.  My gut feeling is that the whole project would have been more successful if the developers had completed it a couple of years earlier, so it would have gotten established before the local economy slowed down.

 

Since Houston's economy has been going up and down with the price of oil, timing is important.

 

I agree with this. I like walking around ROD, but its pretty evident when you look at the restaurants and then the retail why one is working and why one is not. Each restaurant from the outside and inside looks like a destination or place tailored for whatever experience they are trying to sell, but then I walked into one clothing retailer, and it was just....bland, and way over priced. If I'm going to spend money on something over priced then at least dazzle me a bit or have a little bit of fun, or have a since of style to go with your collection. These little retailers are making the same mistakes that big malls used too, they are too generic. Just because you are in a new trendy open air urban core doesn't mean you are going to get business if your product is bland. It needs to grab peoples attention. You want to see what is grabbing peoples attention then start taking a walk down Westheimer and how the new vintage shops are grabbing people. They have a style, they have a feel, they do special launches/drops with people lining out the door, they push their stuff, and they are very selective with what they sell that will separate them from others.

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I never said The Galleria was dying, merely that change is inevitable.  In 20 years it’ll be vastly different from what it it today - it will have to adapt (or be adapted).  Those big box stores and the sea of parking lots on pretty much every side of TG will eventually be redeveloped into places like ROD or any of the others we’ve got springing up all over town.  I’m not saying it will be demolished, but it will be different.
 

I foresee a more interactive indoor/outdoor component, and an actual street scene.  At least I hope that these changes happen by 2040!

Edited by arche_757

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1 hour ago, DevelopmentX said:

ROD has forthcoming Equinox Hotel as well as at least one additional hotel nearby.

Hey there. Which hotel nearby?

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I enjoy going to ROD. My attitude towards a trip to the Galleria is “Oh crap, I have to go to The Galleria.”

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1 hour ago, DevelopmentX said:

Apologize in advance for misspelling as I was typing quickly in between conference calls lol.

 

Additionally: I am interested to see the new Zadok Jewelers flagship boutique (2 stories, 20,000 sq. ft.) off Post Oak. They hired Michael Hsu to design a beautiful small luxury mixed used development and their boutique will be designed to feature watch and jewelry boutiques for individual luxury brands- similar to what you might see in Zurich or the Middle East. This will put pressure on the fine jewelry departments at Neiman Marcus (which is seriously struggling financially), Saks, Deutsch, Lewis and others. 

 

One final point: I believe the addition of luxury and/or boutique hotels near mixed used developments is important. ROD has forthcoming Equinox Hotel as well as at least one additional hotel nearby. Highland Village might be working on a new RH flagship with a hotel component similar to what they've done in NY and Dallas. The twin Westin Hotels were a big part of the appeal for international visitors over the years. People and to stay at certain hotels over and over and explore that neighborhood. I wish ROD had gotten the Ritz Carlton deal done prior to opening because it would have added another 250 people a day of a certain demographic to its restaurant and retail landscape.

 

Just trying to clarify and get some information.  I know it has been rumored and talked about for years, but is RH really building a hotel (or Guesthouse, as RH is calling them) with their upcoming new Knox Street store in Dallas? I thought that was no longer happening.

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I like ROD. I could see it becoming to the Galleria something like what Rodeo Drive/Little Santa Monica Blvd. is to the Century City mall in LA. I suppose Highland Village fulfills some of that function as well but it doesn't have a layout that is very pedestrian-friendly.

 

What I miss in Houston from more obviously tourist-oriented cities like LA and Miami (with Lincoln Road, Brickell, Wynwood, etc.), are the number of walkable, outdoor shopping/eating/people-watching areas. ROD, along with CityCentre, goes some way to rectifying though it's small by comparison and it's more high-end. As a pedestrian, though, I just wish there were more of it to explore.

 

 

Edited by BillyBreedlove
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Screen-Shot-2018-09-24-at-1.00.37-PM_180

 

^^^ jesus christ!  all of this talk concerning ROD and the such, is making me want to quickly head over to AMORINO GELATO.  i simply cannot venture forth to ROD without stopping in and indulging myself completely.  additionally, @DevelopmentX much obliged, per all of the invaluable insight concerning our top retail establishments.  it would be utterly MAGNIFICENT if RH could bring their totally cool and trendy "GUESTHOUSE" concept to H-TOWN.  PLEASE POST MORE!

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I don't think the walk from east to west under 610 is difficult at all. I walk to Target, ROD, Central Market and Highland Village from my base in Four Leaf Towers. It would be nice if the space under the freeway was occupied by flower stalls , but this isn't Paris or Amsterdam or Mexico City and people in their cars in Houston are in inert bubbles and rarely acknowledge that there is a world outside the interior of their SUVs. 

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Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2020 at 1:53 PM, DevelopmentX said:

The truth is not quite as dramatic as some here have expressed. The Galleria is still the retail behemoth for the area of the State. However, security issues and the nature of a shopper population that might just walk the mall to escape bad weather or to celebrate a Quincenara is not the target market for most of the exclusive brands. Simon, which owns the Galleria still has deep pocket books and has actually "poached" Tom Ford and Akris from not only ROD but also their sister property in Atlanta - Buckhead Atlanta- by opening the check book and building new stores and offering free or discounted rent. I have spoken to sales staff and management at both stores as well as several other luxury stores that opened in the Galleria over the last two years- no one wantsa to be in the Galleria. Unless you're luxury business is based upon perfume, sunglasses and handbags- the majority of the clientele (including international visitors) are not focused don high-end clothing.

 

Reality suggests otherwise.  No one is being forced to be in the Galleria, and yet, there remains the largest concentration of luxury retail in Texas.

 

On 2/28/2020 at 1:53 PM, DevelopmentX said:

The challenge from what I've heard about luxury brands weighing whether to open at ROD or The Galleria has to do with "conversion" rates. What % of consumers who visit a shop at ROD convert into an actual sale vs. stores at the Galleria. The Galleria still wins this battle- primarily because it is the established game in town. Business travelers form overseas know that they can pick up a luxury watch at the Galleria easily. One stop shopping. The brands at ROD have worked hard to establish their own clientele. Obviously, HERMES is an excellent example of a brand that does not rely upon foot traffic. True destination retail. That is what ROD does best. Security is also much more controlled at ROD. I think the success or failure of brands at both ROD or The Galleria depends upon the strength of the brand.

 

Contrary to Trae's theory that the luxury retail customer doesn't go to the Galleria. They clearly do.  Thank you.

Edited by Houston19514
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On 2/28/2020 at 1:53 PM, DevelopmentX said:

If I were Simon- I would purchase ROD and co-market the two properties and own the market long term. It happened in Atlanta- remember Phipps Plaza which was the luxury competitor to Lenox Mall. Simon took them over and formatted accordingly- driving traffic between properties. Long term it makes the best sense. Or JP Morgan strikes a deal for Simon to manage property at some point. I know of at least 6 luxury stores that would exist the Galleria ASAP and move to ROD is they could and if they could increase conversion rate of foot traffic.

 

 

Again, no one is forcing them to stay in The Galleria, and..  they want to leave the Galleria and move to ROD . . .  "if they could increase conversion rate of foot traffic"??  Are you saying they would like to move from the Galleria to ROD but don't because they won't do as good of business in ROD?  If that is the case, in what sense do they "want" to relocate?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Again, no one is forcing them to stay in The Galleria, and..  they want to leave the Galleria and move to ROD . . .  "if they could increase conversion rate of foot traffic"??  Are you saying they would like to move from the Galleria to ROD but don't because they won't do as good of business in ROD?  If that is the case, in what sense do they "want" to relocate?

Hi 😀, I used to work at a luxury store in the Galleria. While the galleria does have a lot of foot traffic and obviously good for business, a lot of stores have trackers that count the amount of people in the store and corporate uses these numbers to see if their product is selling relative to the amount of people in the store. It was always BAD in terms of some of the other stores in the nation (yes those stores were in big cities too) with hundreds of people coming into the store just to take pictures and mess up merchandise. Also, from personal contact with the store managers of Carolina Herrera, Fendi, and Valentino, I can tell you that they considered moving to the ROD. The idea that some of these stores have is "most of their clientele specifically come to shop at their store, why not personalize the experience by taking the mall aspect out of the equation." A lot of clientele avoided coming to our store because of parking issue, how busy it is, and the safety of walking back to your car with your stuff. A trip can easily take half an hour just to get into the store vs literally minutes at ROD. These specific reasons are the reason why the store I used to work at and stores like Versace, Prada, etc used to do "showcasing" where we'd take all our new products and go to some of the clients homes. This and many more reasons is why some stores looked to ROD. I know Tom Ford moved to the galleria from ROD, but that could be because it doesn't have frequent clienteles to buy suits. 

Edited by Amlaham
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Amlaham said:

Hi 😀, I used to work at a luxury store in the Galleria. While the galleria does have a lot of foot traffic and obviously good for business, a lot of stores have trackers that count the amount of people in the store and corporate uses these numbers to see if their product is selling relative to the amount of people in the store. It was always BAD in terms of some of the other stores in the nation (yes those stores were in big cities too) with hundreds of people coming into the store just to take pictures and mess up merchandise. Also, from personal contact with the store managers of Carolina Herrera, Fendi, and Valentino, I can tell you that they considered moving to the ROD. The idea that some of these stores have is "most of their clientele specifically come to shop at their store, why not personalize the experience by taking the mall aspect out of the equation." A lot of clientele avoided coming to our store because of parking issue, how busy it is, and the safety of walking back to your car with your stuff. A trip can easily take half an hour just to get into the store vs literally minutes at ROD. These specific reasons are the reason why the store I used to work at and stores like Versace, Prada, etc used to do "showcasing" where we'd take all our new products and go to some of the clients homes. This and many more reasons is why some stores looked to ROD. I know Tom Ford moved to the galleria from ROD, but that could be because it doesn't have frequent clienteles to buy suits. 


Yes, of course a bunch “looked” at moving but from the Galleria to ROD.  But at the end of the day, how many made the move? Did anyone?

 

 As for showcasing, that is not unique to Galleria stores.  That is done by high end stores all over the country (and no doubt the world) for their best customers, and I’m quite certain at least some of the stores at ROD do it too.

Edited by Houston19514
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Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2020 at 3:17 PM, jgriff said:

I enjoy going to ROD. My attitude towards a trip to the Galleria is “Oh crap, I have to go to The Galleria.”

 

It has been expressed, by the Uptown management group, to a client of mine in the galleria area that the BRT is supposed to alleviate that "Oh crap" feeling almost completely during the normal course of the year, and quite a bit during Christmas. My initial thought tho is that all these entities, Uptown Park, Galleria, the Whole Foods Development, the Dicks strip, etc, are possessive enough about their parking that I don't know how happy they will be that people will park at their place, initially go into their store, do some shopping, put stuff in the car, and then get on the bus to go to another development. If the BRT can somehow elevate the general experience of going to the galleria, primarily by helping congestion or parking, it would be a big boon. And those businesses, including the Galleria, that sat through the construction deserve it. 

Edited by X.R.
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40 minutes ago, X.R. said:

 My initial thought tho is that all these entities, Uptown Park, Galleria, the Whole Foods Development, the Dicks strip, etc, are possessive enough about their parking that I don't know how happy they will be that people will park at their place, initially go into their store, do some shopping, put stuff in the car, and then get on the bus to go to another development.

 

The idea is that people will park at either of the transit centers bookending the BRT line. 

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On 3/11/2020 at 9:39 AM, X.R. said:

 

It has been expressed, by the Uptown management group, to a client of mine in the galleria area that the BRT is supposed to alleviate that "Oh crap" feeling almost completely during the normal course of the year, and quite a bit during Christmas. My initial thought tho is that all these entities, Uptown Park, Galleria, the Whole Foods Development, the Dicks strip, etc, are possessive enough about their parking that I don't know how happy they will be that people will park at their place, initially go into their store, do some shopping, put stuff in the car, and then get on the bus to go to another development. If the BRT can somehow elevate the general experience of going to the galleria, primarily by helping congestion or parking, it would be a big boon. And those businesses, including the Galleria, that sat through the construction deserve it. 


The traffic issues aren’t why I dread going to the Galleria. The whole place has a flea market vibe these days. 

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Just now, jgriff said:


The traffic issues aren’t why I dread going to the Galleria. The whole place has a flea market vibe these days. 

The bottom floor from Nordstrom to Banana Republic is a gypsy market. "Have you heard of the Dead Sea in Israel"? "you must try this product"! "Excuse me, SIR, yes, you, come this way I'll show you my sale".

 

Heck off, buckaroos..

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Posted (edited)

"Excuse me, Sir? Sir!? SIR?!!?? Can I ask you a question?! Where did you get those shoes?! Sir? Are you married (see above)?! SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIR!!!????!!!

 

the worst part is my condo is pretty much directly across from Forever 21 so i enter there and as soon as i travel out the Forever 21 door into the mall, BOOM there is that dang setup/kiosk for 200.00 hand scrub that i can get at Marshall's for 12 dollars! HA!

They TRY to stop me everytime not remembering me (maybe?!)...and i just say "no i can get all that crap at Marshall's at a 90 percent discount!"

Edited by gene
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