Sharpstown Mall to be sold

January 11, 2008 4:35:21 PM PST
Sharpstown Mall has been a staple for shopping in Houston for years and now its owners have filed for bankruptcy.Nearly all the malls that have fallen on hard times once catered to upper middle class suburban shoppers and neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods changed and so did the malls. Now so are some of the owners. Sharpstown is the latest example of the changes underway in the area's retail landscape.

If you look you can see the signs that Sharpstown Mall has seen better days. Finger's Furniture is leaving its longtime mall location and Macy's is moving out this year as well.

These days there are a lot of kiosks, clothing stores and jewelry outlets catering to a younger urban clientele. One of them is owned by Dean Kokhar who's now worried.

"We have a business, if they close the mall, what can we do," he asked.

Sharpstown's future would be up to the buyer, but a lot of older malls around Houston have gone through a transformation. When you look at other malls around the area some are thriving, some have been sold, some torn down and redeveloped like Town and Country Mall. The latter is now a collection of ground level retail.

Gulfgate Mall, Houston's first air conditioned mall, now is a thriving shopping area. Its developer was Ed Wulfe.

"The thing about Sharpstown is it fulfills the requirement of real estate and that's location," Wulfe told us.

Wulfe is heavily in high end mixed use development. He has a model of what will be the new Boulevard Place on Post Oak in his office. He's also behind the concept of power centers, the new term for community shopping areas.

"There's still a huge population base that can be served," Wulfe said. "Sharpstown as it is now doesn't work, it needs to be reinvented."

"I do hope they do something that's good for the neighborhood," wished Patty Pizzitola who is a mall customer.

Sharpstown takes up just under 40 acres of land beside the Southwest Freeway. The owners reportedly claim it's valued at $70 million.

Join other Houstonians in remembering the places that have closed over the years across town.

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