Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re checking out an old Eckerd that is now hosting a tiny Walgreens along with a few other tenants. The history of 12620 FM 1960 is a bit odd. The corner originally hosted John Eagle Honda, opting to move closer to the highway, leaving this corner for redevelopment. Despite hosting two drug stores, the building has spent most of its life vacant. As an Eckerd drug store, the location was only open for a few weeks. The store’s grand opening took place in early 2004 and would quickly be overshadowed by the purchase of half of the company’s stores by CVS, including those in Texas. Almost immediately, CVS announced their plans to close at least 200 locations in proximity to CVS stores. Just down 1960, and Fallbrook, one of Houston’s older CVS locations, had opened two years prior. This proximity caused CVS to axe the Eckerd location, closing by August 2004. The building would sit vacant for over a year until Washington-Based gym Sound Fitness moved into the space in mid-2006. The gym, however, would shut down in 2013, leaving the building empty until 2020. After undergoing renovations, the building was subdivided into four spaces, with three occupied.
The most interesting tenant by far is Walgreens. Originally located diagonally across the intersection, in their own full-sized store, this new Walgreens represents a push for smaller stores. Some of their new smallest locations feature only a pharmacy counter and some essential OTC medicines. This location has a bit more than those micro-stores, but I wouldn’t find myself stopping here unless I had a prescription to pick up. The Walgreens was able to reutilize the Eckerd drive-thru for its purposes but is less than 1/4 of a typical store. Their old store has also been repurposed as a WSS Shoe Store. The other tenants include Vision Concept, an eyeglasses store, Charley’s Cheesesteaks, and a vacant space. While I didn’t check out Vision Concept, I did try to visit Charley’s. The store is way too small and was quite busy. They were unable to keep up with orders or provide enough seating.