Northwest Mall July 2018 Update

Well, we’re coming to the end of July, which means it’s finally time for another biannual trip to Northwest Mall, before you read any further not much has happened. However, everything is still there, at present there are no plans for demolition. The last stated plans were to remodel and redevelop the inside with a possible grocer taking the space of a former anchor. I have since been contacted by the group wishing to purchase and redevelop the land, my update is at the end of this post.

Nothing much has changed with Palais Royal. They are using the former mall entrance as sales floor, as opposed to keeping it open. The exterior plants and grass are all well kept.

I wanted to include a picture to show that not only are the lawns and hedges trimmed, but the edging is even nice!

The stage is still assembled, which you figure they might try to sell if they were completely serious about selling the mall.

Some of the stray items left behind at Thirsty’s former location have been removed.

This cart is the final visible cart in the mall. I’m not sure if the carts have been sold yet. Prior to closing most of the carts were moved to the former Movie Theatre hallway.

The Dryer’s signage remains attached to the building. Sticking my fingers between the glass I could tell that the A/C temperature inside the mall was either higher than Palais Royal or completely off.

Looking down towards the former JC Penny’s entrance you can see that everything in the hallways has been removed. The former movie theater hallway no longer had carts or kiosks in it when it was converted to an emergency exit.

This is the final exterior mall entrance with any access. The movie theater hallway is open to allow access to the emergency exit for the club. However you’re not able to access the rest of the building.

The former Foley’s remains untouched. Even the original F door handles remain attached. You would think that someone might attempt to make off with them, however security seems to primarily patrol this side of the mall.

The 610/290 interchange construction has died down enough that Entrance 7 could easily be reconnected with the feeder. However, it seems highly unlikely this will happen at this point. I truly believe this mall has its days numbered.

This construction lot honestly, may be one of the few things preventing redevelopment. It’s likely that this government acquired contract has some sort of lease stipulation preventing breaking of the lease without a penalty.

The Northwest Mall is open for business along with 3 of the 4 business signs have been removed. These are on the former Macy’s building. The only remaining store from this sign has bene Palais Royal for the past few years.

The former front entrance, or “Entrance A” has been completely covered for a while now, construction dumpsters which were in the service courts have been removed.

Again, all but the Palais Royal Sign has been removed. This was on the former JC Penny’s/Antique Mall building. I wonder why they have never made any attempts to cover the non-existent stores.

Unfortunately, I really think we’ve hit the end of any kind of full mall restoration. We may see retail based redevelopment, if the idea of placing the high speed rail station there pans out. Otherwise we must play the waiting game to see what happens next. If you enjoyed this update check out my past entries on the same topic.

7/24 Update: I was contacted by Michael Moore Regional Vice President of External Affairs for Texas Central Partners (The Company which is building the bullet train between Dallas and Houston) who informed me that Northwest Mall has officially been selected as the location for the Houston Station. He also said “Texas Central has an option on the land and will close after we finish our environmental review by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)”

This will prove to be a fitting use for the old mall. As opposed to another new shopping center they have chosen a unique modern design, which matches the nearby HISD buildings. Mr. Moore also provided a video showing what the proposed station will look like. https://texascentral.sharefile.com/d-s72321f159d842aaa

Northwest Mall December 2017 Update

As it had been nearly 6 months since my last visit to Northwest Mall, I figured it was time for me to stop by. From the outside it looks like not too much is going on, and the views from the inside support that as well. All the stores with exterior entrances are still open, including Thompson’s Antique Center, Palais Royal, The College of Health Care Professionals, The Post Oak Club, and Chapa. Upon speaking to an employee at Palais Royal it appears that the mall may be up for sale, and as a result the renovation is on hold.

Looking to the A-Entrance you can see that all tables, chairs, ropes, etc.. have been removed from the food court.

 

The plants next to the stage have been removed, but the soil is still there.

 

The cart advertising the opportunity to have your own cart at the mall is still there.

 

The former Dryer’s is oddly still intact, however it closed prior to the mall.

 

Looking toward the old JC Penny, all carts have been removed. I noticed that one of the permanent booths was actually for sale at the antique center soon after closing.

 

While I didn’t get it in this picture, an emergency exit arm has been affixed to one of the four doors to the outside.

 

It looks like the temporary wall, is a bit further back than I originally thought.

At this point it doesn’t look likely that the mall will reopen, and if it does it won’t be anytime soon. If anyone has any information please feel free to leave it in the comments below, and we’ll see where we are in the next 6 months!

Northwest Mall June 2017 Update

Northwest Mall closed the interior of the mall March 31st, 2017. It was a sad and unexpected occasion. I made a final visit to the mall to try to talk to some of the shop owners. I found that everyone was unaware of the closure, until Mid-March, and for the most part lacked concrete plans of where to go or what to do next.

Once the mall closed, the interior sat untouched for a few months. During May the exterior doors were walled off and covered. With the exception of, The entrance near The Post Oak Club, which had a wall built further  back, and a door installed to accommodate entrance into the interior of the mall. The entrance near Chapa Club, the former movie theater, had a similar recessed wall built to accommodate the building’s interior emergency exit.

All stores with exterior access have remained open. The Antique Center of Texas, former JC Penny, closed their gate to the mall, and it has been walled off. Including a plastic covering to prevent dust getting into the store. Palais Royal, has not covered any of their windows or entrances.

The Food Court as viewed from Palais Royal

 

Zooming in on the doors, the original “Entrance A”.

 

A shot of the Macy’s Wing through the Palais Royal gate.

 

A view of the JC Penny’s Wing.

 

A Final Panoramic View of the mall.

 

As you can see little to nothing is going on. There are some construction dumpsters out front, which are loaded up. However only time will tell if Northwest Mall’s revitalization will actually be put into place. If interested you can find the rest of the album and higher resolution photos here.