Task Force Aimed at Adding, Enhancing Retail Options for Downtown Houston
Mayor Annise Parker today announced the formal creation of a downtown retail task force in cooperation with the Houston Downtown Management District. The first task will be to research all available options for a new downtown Macy’s, as well as additional department stores and major retailers.
“I am charging a small group of experienced marketing and real estate professionals with aggressively seeking all options to increase the amount of retail and supporting parking in downtown,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “With two hotels, multiple residential projects, new ownership of the Houston Pavilions, expanded light rail and other key projects on the horizon, downtown is booming, and retail is critical in making it a desirable mixed-use activity center. As the fourth-largest city in the U.S., Houston needs, and should have, more retail options downtown.”
The Macy’s real estate group in Cincinnati elected to close the downtown Houston location because of future plans for the store block, but they continue to believe that the Houston downtown area is a highly desirable location for an urban store. Since early this year, the Downtown District has been working closely with Macy’s, the property owner 1110 Main Partners LP and the Mayor’s Office to identify potential sites downtown for redevelopment or new construction.
“After further investigation by the building’s owner, no financially feasible scenario was found for maintaining a smaller store in the old structure,” said Bob Eury, Executive Director for the Houston Downtown Management District. “A new location is our only option, and quite frankly, a new, smaller store will bode better for downtown in the long run.”
The task force will report to Andrew F. Icken, Chief Development Officer for the Mayor, and will be chaired by Fred Griffin of Griffin Partners. Members include Eury; Jonathan Brinsden with the Midway Companies, owner of Houston Pavilions; George Levan, President of Crosspoint Properties; Doug Kelly with 1110 Main Partners LP; The Finger Companies’ Marvy Finger; Dawn Ullrich, President of Houston First Corporation; Ed Wulfe of Wulfe & Co; and Xavier Pena and Deborah Keyser of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.