Gulfgate Center, also known as Gulfgate Shopping City or Gulfgate Center, is a shopping center located in the East End, Houston, Texas, United States. The mall is located northwest of the intersection of the Gulf Freeway and Interstate 610. This is not an indoor shopping mall, it is a center of individual retail stores.
It was the first regional mall in the Houston area, opening as Gulfgate Shopping Center on 20 September 1956 with Joske's, Sakowitz, Weingarten's, J.J. Newberry and W. T. Grant. The architects were John Graham & Company.
Many remember this being the first Air Conditioned mall in America
Gulfgate Kiddieland opened in the mall on 21 March 1957.
In the early-1960s, while the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) was under construction in the Clear Lake area, NASA personnel opened temporary offices in center in about 3,000 square feet (280 m2) of floor space donated for the purpose by the Gulfgate management. MSC had a continuing operation there until additional office, engineering and laboratory space could be leased and made ready for occupation. Operations at the Gulfgate offices were largely concerned with procurement, personnel and public affairs.
The shopping center was enclosed around 1967 and, after years of decline and competition, shuttered in 2000. In 2001 the original mall and the former Mervyns (across Woodridge) were demolished and redeveloped into a strip mall configuration, anchored by H-E-B, Best Buy, Office Depot, Marshalls, and Lowe's.
- Best Buy
- Old Navy
- Ross Dress for Less
- Lowe's (Gulfgate West across Woodridge)
- Panda Express
- The Children's Place
- Party City
- Chuck E. Cheese
Former mall anchors
All stores demolished in 2001
- Joske's 228,900 sq. ft. (became Dillard's Clearance Center in 1987)
- Sakowitz 128,900 sq. ft. (closed in 1985, remained vacant)
- J.J. Newberry 69,400 sq. ft. (became HJ Wilson Catalog Showroom on unknown date)
- W. T. Grant (closed in 1976)
- Weingarten's (closed in 1983, became Pic 'N' Save, then MacFrugal's in 1991)
- H. J. Wilson Co. (became Service Merchandise in 1985)
- Dillard's Clearance Center (closed in 1997, remained vacant)
- Service Merchandise (closed in 1999, remained vacant)
- MacFrugal's (closed in 2000)
- Anna's Linens (closed in 2015)
Former Gulfgate West anchors
- Globe Shopping City Membership Store (closed in 1978 and became FedMart)
- FedMart Membership Store (closed in 1982 and became Mervyns in 1984)
- Mervyns (closed in 1991 and remained vacant for several years until it was demolished and rebuilt as Lowe's in 2001)
- "Map Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine." East End Management District. Retrieved on March 8, 2010.
- Chang, Yushan (2006). Newcomer's Handbook Neighborhood Guide: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. First Books. p. 129. ISBN 0-912301-70-8.
- Billboard (ISSN 0006-2510). Nielsen Business Media, Inc., April 20, 1957. p. 68 ("Gulfgate Bows With 3 Rides, Adding Two").
- "JSC Origins" JSC at 40 (NASA) Retrieved March 25, 2011.