Retail News: Tears for the Demolition of Garden Oaks Sears

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Drone Photos Courtesy of David (hindesky)

The former Garden Oaks Sears on North Shepherd is being demolished to redevelop the approximately 12-acre plot where the former store sat. The massive chunk of land was part of an expansion technique in which Sears would pick up oversized parcels, build a store, and sell off the rest of the land to other retailers. While portions of this Sears property were sold off over the years, the remaining amount of land on this plot was considerably larger than any of the other stores, which made it to the end. As such, it was also one of the first Sears locations targeted for redevelopment. In 2015, when Sears was starting to look weak, Weingarten Realty approached them with a plan to turn the plot into a town-center style development including a smaller Sears. During construction, it was planned to move Sears to the former Kroger, which has been demolished, allowing the location to remain open the entire time. This never panned out, and reactions at Weingarten ranged from this plan being part of an internal dream book to being pitched but shot down by Sears. However, in 2020, Sears closed, and in 2023, Sugar Land-based Lamasar Capital picked up the property. Lamasar has been tight-lipped about their plans for the land. However, we know the property is being proposed as mixed-use, meaning a mix of both retail and residential buildings would end up on the land. Materials from Lamasar indicate that a full-size grocery store is on the list of desired items, along with some small shops and restaurants along the ground floor, with residential on top. The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be, what will the fate of the iconic Sears sign be? Vocal community members have called for it to be repurposed like Montgomery Plaza or The Gibson Apartments, but Lamasar has yet to release any details. Since the store has closed and power is no longer on, METRO has moved its bus stop a few yards up the street. Through the grapevine, it seems like a movement is trying to save it, so let’s hope they succeed.