Memorial City Mall
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|Location||Memorial City, Houston, Texas, United States|
|Address||303 Memorial City Way|
|No. of stores and services||145|
|No. of anchor tenants||5|
|Total retail floor area||1,700,000 sq ft (160,000 m2).|
|No. of floors||1 with partial upper level to Cinemark|
|Public transit access||METRO Routes 26, 39, 46, 70, 160, 161, 162|
Memorial City Mall is a large shopping mall in Houston, Texas, United States. It is approximately 11 miles (18 km) west of downtown Houston at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Gessner Road. The mall is in the Memorial City Management District, whose official legal name is the "Harris County Municipal Management District No. 1" under Chapter 3810 of the Texas Special District Local Laws Code. The mall is adjacent to the large Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. Constructed in the mid-1960s, the mall was renovated extensively in the early 2000s. It has since become one of the city's most popular malls.
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When the Memorial City Mall was completed in 1966, it was a middle-market shopping venue that included a Sears store as its first anchor. The Memorial Theater, which was a single-screen cinema in operation since June 1962, was connected with the interior of the mall. A Montgomery Ward store opened in 1972 as the mall's second anchor store. Foley's opened a store in 1974 in the mall's new East Wing. Lord & Taylor opened a store in 1977 in the western side of the mall. With these additions, the mall had 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of leasable space.
Rivalry with Town & Country Mall
Town & Country Mall opened in 1983 at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Beltway 8, only one mile west of Memorial City Mall, The new mall featured more upscale stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Marshall Field and Company, and Saks Fifth Avenue. For a time, the Town & Country Mall was considered more fashion-conscious.
To regain market share, Memorial City Mall underwent renovations and added "Fame City," which was a multi-faceted family entertainment complex with an indoor mini golf course, kiddie ride area, video game arcade, teen disco, roller skating rink, and an eight-screen Loew's Theatre. These attractions opened in 1989. The mall also began hosting specialty conventions for items such as model trains. Fame City was not successful, howevee, and the mall continued to decline. In 1989, Lord & Taylor closed its store and was replaced by a Mervyn's store.
Neiman Marcus announced in 1997 that it was moving its store from the Town & Country Mall to the Memorial City Mall. During the construction of the Sam Houston Tollway, the visibility of the Town & Country Mall declined and access became difficult. In addition, the 1980s oil glut had a severe impact on Houston's economy and marked the beginning of the end of Town & Country Mall. The mall became less popular with shoppers as its interior became dated and important tenants like anchors Dillard's and JCPenney moved to the Memorial City Mall. Town & Country Mall closed in 2004 and was demolished shortly thereafter.
By the early 2000s, the area surrounding Memorial City Mall had returned to prosperity thanks to a US$500 million renovation project that took place from 2001 to 2005. During this period, over 100 retail shops were added to the complex, including five anchor stores.
In January 2001, Montgomery Ward closed its store. In November, Foley's moved into a larger, two-level store. Lord & Taylor returned to the mall in March 2002 with a two-level store. The eight-screen Loew's Theater closed in 2002 after its owner, Trammell Crow Co., filed for bankruptcy in early 2001.
In October 2003, an extended east concourse and a Dillard's store replaced Foley's original store, which had been demolished. Two parking garages were constructed as well. That same month, Target opened its newly constructed store on the site where the now-demolished Montgomery Ward store had stood. With the goal of "creating a total family experience", large-scale renovations of the mall continued through 2004 with the construction of a large 2,600 square feet (240 m2) play area for children and a NHL-standard sized ice rink.
In 2005, Lord & Taylor closed its anchor space, which JCPenney moved into in February 2006. Mervyn's stopped operating in Texas in 2006, and its mall store was demolished soon thereafter. During 2009 and 2010, a skyway was constructed across Gessner Road that connected the mall to a 267-room Westin hotel under construction next to the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. The hotel opened in March 2011.
On August 22, 2018, it was announced that Sears would be closing as part of a plan to close 46 stores nationwide. The store will close in November 2018. After the store closes Target, Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney will be the remaining anchors left.
- "Retailers banking on after-Christmas sales" — Houston Chronicle, December 27, 2007
- Dallas Morning News, local and regional briefs — Dallas Morning News archives. Published October 25, 1997.
- "MetroNational undertakes $500 million urban community project in Houston" — National Real Estate Investor, August 23, 2001
- "Memorial City Mall" — Houston Chronicle, November 18, 2005
- Development Digest — Retail Traffic Magazine, March 1, 2001
- "Defunct River Oaks theater to get starring role as new retail center" — Houston Business Journal, March 8, 2002
- "Malls create 'lifestyles' in making comeback" — Houston Chronicle, June 3, 2004
- "New Cinemark theater to open in Memorial City Mall" — Houston Business Journal, July 27, 2005
- Memorial City — Latest Development Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Memorial City Mall website
- Westin Houston Hotels: The Westin Houston, Memorial City, Westin Hotels and Resorts