Mall of the Mainland; Texas City, Texas

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX

The Houston, Texas metropolitan area is both massive and diverse.  In terms of population, at over 5 million people, it’s in the top 10 in the United States.  In spatial extent, the Houston area stretches over 60 miles from Katy in the west to Baytown in the east, and over 100 miles from Conroe in the north to Galveston in the south.  Everything’s bigger in Texas, it seems. 

In terms of retail destinations, the Houston area has many ancillary or neighborhood malls with varying degrees of success, several successful super-regional malls and one dominant mega-regional, The Galleria, which draws from a local as well as visitor base.    

For our purposes, we’ll start at the bottom.  Mall of the Mainland is the Houston area’s southernmost mall, located at I-45, TX 1764, and Mall of the Mainland Parkway.  It opened in the mid-1990s, functionally replacing the failed Galvez Mall in Galveston which closed in 1996. 

Mall of the Mainland Palais Royal in Texas City, TX

Mall of the Mainland’s location plays an important role in its success, or rather lack thereof.  It is the southernmost of 4 shopping malls on the 50-mile stretch of I-45 between downtown Houston and Galveston, which lies on the Gulf of Mexico.  Mall of the Mainland is the first mall along this route coming from the south, approximately 10 miles north of Galveston and less than 10 miles south of the immensely successful super-regional Baybrook Mall in far southeast Houston.  Due to this positioning, the mall really only serves Galveston, Texas City, La Marque, Santa Fe, and the immediate area.  Anyone to the north would go to the more popular Baybrook Mall, and it’s also pretty obvious that people from the area around Mall of the Mainland go up to Baybrook and the rest of Houston to shop, because Mall of the Mainland is suffering.

The design of Mall of the Mainland is a basic dumbbell connecting Sears and Dillards with a long corridor in between.  Along the corridor are Macy’s, Palais Royal, and a 12-screen movie theatre with a food court near the middle of the mall. Unfortunately, however, the interior of the mall is only about 20 percent occupied and has never enjoyed more than a 75 percent occupancy.  JCPenney also operated at the mall but closed in 2006, favoring a location up the road at Baybrook Mall.   

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TXThe majority of stores in the mall are located near the middle of the corridor by the food court and movie theatres, with a dearth in the radial wings.  In fact, many of the stores are boarded up with temporary plaster while they decide what to do next.  Rather humorously, some of the plasterboard features advertisements for the mall such as “Where shopping’s a vacation!” and others which caught my eye.  Reading like a postcard between two ladies, Nikki and Gloria, who clearly share delusional shopping values, the text emphatically promotes the mall being ‘in the middle of everything’ and having ‘so much to do’ – even promoting mini-concerts and car shows.  Hmmm.  We’ll have to take their opinions with a grain of salt, judging by the relatively spartan shopping amenities.  At the opposite wing of the mall near Dillard’s, fake stores were actually painted onto the plasterboard to give the appearance of actual tenants.  Now, this has to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, and for that we love Mall of the Mainland.  Of the rather cartoon-like faux stores featured are a bike shop, camera store, and a sailing supply shop. We hope that the fake stores aren’t confusing any shoppers, most notably Nikki and Gloria who seem to think there’s so much to see and do here.  We’re guessing they might not get out much.

Jokes aside, the mall was built too big for its britches and cannot fill all its space due to competition from the super-regional Baybrook Mall less than 10 minutes up the road, as well as a lower-income residential base in Texas City and Galveston.  The people of Galveston and Texas City alone cannot support this large a mall and those who could prefer to drive a short distance farther to shop at Baybrook and further afield.  The pictures featured here were taken in April 2007. 

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX

Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, TX


89 thoughts on “Mall of the Mainland; Texas City, Texas”

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about the faux storefronts. On one hand, it’s a pretty humorous way to deal with the problem of an empty mall, and it’s slightly less depressing than Owings Mills’ approach, which was to leave the storefronts semi-intact as if the manager had to close up shop for the day but would be back. But on the other hand, I don’t know who they thought they were kidding, other than perhaps themselves.

  2. Also, is it me, or has Bath and Body Works become the new GNC in terms of being “last man standing” at a lot of dead/dying malls?

  3. Yikes! This mall brings back vivid memories for me of the former Paradise Mall in West Bend, WI.

    Like this one, it was never 100% occupied, and had its heathiest period in its first few years (1988-1990). After that, it was just all downhill from there.

    Here’s the ironic twist. Paradise Mall was a build-out onto a much smaller mall called Washington Mall (Opened 1979), which WAS 100% occupied. The mall across the road, Westfair Mall (Open 1970 / Closed: 1992), was also still 100% occupied before the ‘Paradise Mall’ buildout.

    The sparseness…..the stores spread out or clustered in one spot, and all the temporary drywall is what reminded me of this.

    Charlestowne Mall in St Charles, IL too…..also has the same problem as this one. I went through there a couple years back, and it’s only 50% occupied, at most.

    All those examples are ‘Overmalling’ at its finest.

    Kind of stinks too. All these malls I remember, while plain looking, were clean and well kept.

  4. I was just about to submit this mall as well, it is getting really pathetic there and not much has ever happened there. Your pictures are excellent and the article is dead on.

  5. Are you sure this mall wasn’t built in the late 80s?! Neons, whites, oh my!

  6. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too – must have definitely been toward the end of the period of neon rule.

  7. Yeah, DayGlo! B&B Works is one of the remaining 5 stores at a dead mall nearby me too

  8. Oh, man, this mall just makes me depressed! Well captured, though.

  9. Actually, I’ve also noticed too that in a lot of dying malls I’ve googled myself online(particularly the Halls-Storey malls in some of the small-midsize towns/markets in the Southeast), Bath and Body Works seems to be often used as a dead mall anchor too!!

    Yeah, I’m that much of a geek, and always like to research and figure out(by doing online browsing) which malls are healthy, and to also find ones that are dying. I’ve also noticed that JCPenney, not surprisingly too, seems to be often a ‘last anchor/store standing’ at many dying malls, too(as I remember one commenter commented on Anita’s article about Becker Village Mall in Roanoke Rapids, NC, where JCPenney is THE ONLY store left).

  10. I’ve been to this mall a few times but the only reason why I go to this mall while I’m on vacation in Galveston is because of the unbeatable movie ticket prices at the movie theater with tickets being $2.25 before 6pm and $4.25 after 6pm and with also first run movies that have just been released in theaters. In my area which I live in the Beaumont area, movie ticket prices are as high as $5.75 before 6pm and $7.50 after 6pm.

    If it was not for the movie theater, this mall would of never even made it to this year.

  11. This mall actually opened in 1991, and parts of it have always been drywall. I remember how Galvez Mall withered away after that, to be eventually razed and replaced by Home Depot and Target. Galvez was around a lot longer and was way more successful… and to hear of Mainland in this sorry state now, after it sucked the life out of Galvez, is vindication indeed (bittersweet as it may be).

  12. Yeah, the drywall and the fake storefronts have been there since the mall opened in 1991. They used to say stuff like “Toys Coming Soon” and other things, with a picture of a similar store at a good mall as a backdrop. Galvez was already on a downfall when Mainland opened, but Mainland basically put the nail in the coffin. I’m not sure how, other than people must have shopped there in the first couple of years, but later went to Baybrook after realizing the failure of Mainland to appeal to the masses. It’s sad, since the mall is very clean and well kept, and there isn’t much, if any crime in the mall or it’s area. The main anchor is Sears, and a crappy Palais Royal location, which never has much from what I’ve heard. The movie theater kicks ass, too, as one poster said. The first movie I saw (in a movie theater) was The Lion King at this one.

  13. I live 5 min from Baybrook Mall and would much rather go to Mall of the Mainland. It is better kept and the stores are cleaner and at least this mall has entertainment at GREAT prices! Yes it is pretty bare, but you don’ t have the crowds, your kids can safely walk out in front of you without worrying and if your husband is like mine he will go to this mall with you anytime you want him to! It has all of the major stores that most adults would care about. No it does not have those so called hip stores that today’s youth want, they are so blinded by those stores anyway someday they will learn they are just paying for a name!

  14. So what are the anchors of this mall? The tiny picture shows Dillard’s on east end, Sears on west end, “Movies 12” to the north, a small possibly vacant store near Sears, Macy’s, Palais Royal, and a decent-sized vacancy.

  15. Sears to the west, Dillard’s to the east, Movies 12 and Palais in the middle, Macy’s (former Foley’s) off the Sears wing. The smaller “vacancy” in the Sears wing is actually Jo Ann Fabrics, which is still open — the larger vacancy by Dillard’s was JCPenney.

  16. I am not even sure why they built this mall. I remember Galvez Mall as a teen and even though it was a small mall it should have been refurbished. I don’t think this mall will last. Its too far from Galveston for their tourists and probably most people in that area go to Baybrook since it received a recent renovation.

  17. Love the fake storefronts and postcard! Maybe Nikki and Gloria know something about this mall that the rest of us are missing…

  18. I have to agree with Jonah N., you really should’ve taken a LOT more pics of the fake postcards! Those really made me laugh, for some reason.

  19. My family is going to Galveston this Spring Break, and I was thinking if we could stop here. However, I don’t know if the postcards are still there, and the food court doesn’t look promising…

  20. The only good thing about this mall is the movie theater, EB Games, and Waldenbooks. I also like that it is never crowded. I’m not a big mall fan, but as cruddy as MotM is, there are a few good things. Did someone mention the cheap prices for tickets at the movies?

  21. I actually did take pictures of the place and go inside. While the full exposé and photos are yet to come on my blog, I will say this place is depressingly vacant and full of hoodlums.

  22. One plus is that a dead storefront had recently been taken down, exposing a vintage J. Riggings storefront! Wow!

  23. Nikki and Gloria are crazy! The only decent thing left in this mall is Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sears and Palais Royal, check the adress on that postcard, i think is the insane asylum! :O

  24. Mall of the Mainland just opened 5 new tenants and has begun a transformation to the non-duplicating model use by the large corporations to take advantage of the high fuel costs killing strip centers in the near future.

  25. I live about 5 minutes from MOM, and I can tell you I haven’t seen any “transformation” going on. This mall is as dead as any mall can be before the doors actually close for good. It always has been. It never lived up to its expectations. And I believe its because of the clientele. In my opinion, the only reason this mall is open today is because of Macy’s and maybe Dillard’s.

    I don’t know who Greg is in the post above, but I haven’t seen any new activity going on at MOM. Could be, because I don’t shop there.

    As far as crime goes… ask any Texas City police officer… this mall is very popular for auto thefts. Vehicles are stolen from this mall all the time. Also, purse snatching is becoming more prevalent. Don’t dare go shopping here after dark! There are a lot of hoodlums trolling the mall just waiting for the right opportunity to rip someone off.

    No thanks, MOM! I’ll drive 10 minutes up the road and shop at Baybrook.

  26. Oh, I forgot to mention…. yeah, the theater may be one of the least expensive ones around, but do you really want to sit in a dark place with roaches and mice crawling around your feet?

    Yeah, I had a friend go there over a year ago and a giant roach crawled up her leg!

    Still wanna go?

  27. Well it seems like you guys; Jones, Dayglo and Jonah know a lot about this mall. You must visit it every week. In actuality this mall has almost no crime respecting to other malls, because it is hidden behind Hampton Inn, Fairfield hotels, Olive Gardens and Gringo’s . The statistics that your are referring to for crime are probably for Baybrook mall. You should not mention what is not true. Also you mentioned stores that left several years ago such as JCPenny. By the way JCPenny is leaving Baybrook mall, they just built their own space on I-45. in this case, Baybrook would then have two empty anchors; JCPenny and Mervyns, which did close in 2006. Mall of the Mainland just has one anchor closed– JCPenny, and Kohl is interested in that space. And if you think B&B is an anchor, well you need to study malls and shopping centers in more detail. Macy’s, Dillards, Palais Royal and Sears are the anchors at the Mall of the Mainland and not B&B. With Phobia which is hidden behind your favorite postcard makes the mall to be almost 80% occupied and not 20%. By the way Phobia was great last year and I think they will be even better if you guys are not afraid of the dark. You guys should go back and refresh your math, if the mall was 20% occupied then it must be 5 million Sqft mall or double Galleria Mall in Houston, I think not.
    Just in case you wanted to talk real facts!!!

  28. OK, just for the record, I don’t visit the mall every week. I visited only once, and got an impression. And secondly, the 25% occupancy rate was just an estimate, in actuality, I’d say 50% (and most of those were no-name). Kohl’s may be “interested” in the JCPenney space, but it closed nearly three years ago.

  29. Aloha Hawaii, Paradise, Unique Silk Designs, Sammy’s Relaxation Retreat, dippin dots, Silverleaf Inc., and some other covered signs must have gone up after the 1 visit. Driving any further just for people watching is not what hometown malls are about. Comparing crime, sales, traffic, and even location gives any community mall an advantage over those with hundreds of thousands living a mile away. Shopping is convenient, sales are comparetivly higher, and prices average lower, giving community malls serving many cities better percentages of traffic to sales from average citizens trying to budget foreign oil out of their daily apparel, dining, and entertainment dollar. Personally I would rather spend the same dollar I spent last year for those items than budget fifty dollars more just to see a lot of people. If name brands are all it takes to make some one happy, the shopping channels are still on the tube.

  30. Another nail in the coffin…

    Dillard’s just announced they’re permanently closing their Mall of the Mainland location, after sustaining damage from Hurricane Ike. At this point, I think the mall would be better off by moving everyone out of the corridor east of the food court, and either sealing that part of the mall off to save on utilities or converting it to some other use, like office space or educational.

  31. I own a specialty western interior store at MOM called Wild Bill’s selling several lines of furniture, decor and our brand of food products called Texas Select Seasonings.

    Some store owners like us do care about moving our business forward and work hard to promote the Mall to our customer base that has followed us throughout the years and help fellow merchants. There are many other stores that feel the same way and maintain nice storefronts for visitors just like you.

    Thomas made an accurate point above regarding Dillard’s closing and that will surely hurt all businesses inside MOM. I don’t agree with closing any part of the Mall but do strongly believe the Mall lacks leadership in making it a better place for store owners and customers alike.

    Several stores are still closed after Ike and others closed shop last week for good resulting in more dead space. Almost all stores were affected by water damage to some degree with Dillard’s being the worst case. We lost thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and just recently opened our store back for business.

    There are some really great stores remaining at MOM and depending on what you are shopping for it is worth the drive to at least look at the great values. At Wild Bill’s we have a low price guarantee with our 9 lines of furniture and I am sure other stores have similar programs in place.

    YES the Mall has many problems and allot of dead space. As a customer I could see where it would be frustrating to see so many stores close and all the dark empty spots. Trust me when I say it hurts us store owners as well and even more frustrating is having little or no communication with management to promote our case for change.

    Hopefully one day soon a team of forward thinking. business driven individuals will be assembled that will get MOM moving forward again and you all will be writing some positive notes like “WOW, check out all of the new stores and the fresh look at Mall of the Mainland”!!!

    Until then, we welcome you to take another look at the really nice stores available and give us a chance at your business.

  32. I worked in this mall back in the early 90s for a while, and it seemed to be almost 75% occupied back then. But having recently visited it just before Ike, it seems like management there is completely and totally inept. I remember a small shop owner remarking that he was going broke due to the high rent and utilities, when DiBartolo sold it to whoever it was that bought it, the rents went up a lot- completely out of line with what the shops could afford. The smaller shops went under first, the big-box stores presumably had their corps of lawyers renegotiating their contracts to remain as anchors. The retail industry is very fickle, and change is the only constant. I don’t think Dillard’s pulling out will kill the mall, but if Sears pulls the plug, they’ll be hard-pressed to not demolish the building and sell the land for condo/apartment use.

    I can see why it is known colloquially as “Morgue of the Mainland”. So depressing to have the few stores remaining so spread out. You have to walk a half a mile to get from one end to the other, the only things at the DIllard’s end that i remember were EyeMasters and a recruiting office. Used to be more in there, but with the advent of the Interwebs, all the music stores closed, those started when i was still working out there.

    Wild Bill, I’ll try to make an effort to visit your store, I’m all for small business, so I’ll try to get over there, maybe as soon as today.

  33. Hurricane Ike and The General Peartnership that owns the Houston FAB malls just decided it for everyone. Shame those with the money get to make the decisions, and those who know so much, know so wrong. Businessmen and promotions don’t run malls, market changes and deep pockets do. It’s all academic now. The history that populated Houston in 1901 has repeated. Only this time, Texas City had the industrial economy that built a model levee system which actually worked. Congradulations to the new largest city in the county.

  34. Another bit of interesting information… I was recently told from a reliable inside source that Mall of the Mainland is going bankrupt. I don’t know if they will actually close the doors but I do know that a large portion of the mall’s tenants are paying an adjusted rent on leased space, some as much as 50% less than there “normal” monthly rent due to a natural disaster damage clause in the lease they hold. Though this is good for the small business owner it has turned out to be devastating for the mall it’s self. I also know that once again they have CUT STAFF by firing some 10 or so employees including housekeeping, maintenance, office staff and management. If upper management would actually put a little money and effort into this sight it may have a fighting chance instead they continue to collect rent, ignore obvious problems and complaints from store owners and customers alike, make excuses and point fingers, leaving office staff to make excuses for there absence even when they are on the property. They continue to be unavailable rather than fix a problem. Their actions continually fail the mall, the store owners, the customers and even their own staff. This is really a sad situation that is out of hand. Just another quick note… Kohls is not coming to Mall of the Mainland, the JcPenny space is and always has been owned by JcPenny’s not Mall of the Mainland and the mall can not lease that space to anyone. Although Kohl’s was contacted by Mall of the Mainland they turned down the offer to come and even visit the site along with many other major retailers. Here are some rumors that are also floating around… NY&Co is closing? Footlocker is closing? Palais Royal is closing?

  35. LW,

    NY&CO is gone. Their space was used during a recent taste of the town event sponsored by the TC/LM Chamber. It was good to see our local Chamber actually have an event there because their primary focus is on the big industrial dollars from Dow, BP, etc., not retail. They could be a big part of a MOM turnaround but I do not see that happening.

    Other stores are contemplating closure because the roof continues to leak in almost all of the stores after every rain. Foot Locker and Foot Action both remodeled to remove mildewed carpet/walls, etc. Rave remodeled then had another major setback after this last rain system passed. We lost additional inventory also and had to move our entire back inventory off-site at an additional operating expense for us. I am sure many others will do the same to protect their inventory. We had 12 buckets on the showroom floor and warehouse catching rain a couple of weeks back!!!

    I was really hoping to see many new stores B4 the holiday season to compliment the remaining stores. One new gift shop is opening 2 doors down from us and a new beautiful silk arrangement company. That is pretty much it for in-line stores. There are a couple of new eating spots including the re-opening of the old Garfields bar.

    MOM needs a motivated leasing consultant and a marketing staff that will actually communicate with store owners. The owners will also need to invest in a new roof and keep the interior dry. They hired back a marketing consultant that makes forward progress for MOM but that was short lived after having enough of inadequate staff to support her.

    It is sad to see what is happening at MOM knowing it could so much better for merchants and shoppers alike. This blog is great to vent but what you could do is voice your opinion by phone to the owners, that is what will make a difference.

    There are still allot of great stores and as mentioned in my earlier post we welcome all of you to stop by and visit. The store owners work hard for your business. MOM management needs to follow our lead and work to BUILD business, not just maintain what is left.

  36. Instead of battering this mall with foundless rumors, which you can be sued for, focus on the positive. The devastated families in Galveston have nowhere to go for their Christmas season. I know, since I live there, and have had to ferry people back and forth to the mainland. Wild Bill, if you are so disgruntled with the mall, how about you move back to pawdunck Santa Fe and conduct your business there. Oh yeah, because it didn’t work the first time. One suggestion, please take Marketing 101 or Retail Sales 101 then come back with effective suggestions. Otherwise, shut up or move your crap out of the mall and go sell it on the side of the road in Houston! These stupid rumors have been around since before the mall opened for business. If you are brave enough, state you name and contact information so the mall can have it’s attorney’s sue you for libel and or slander. STEP UP OR SHUT UP!

  37. New stores, larger food court, and chamber events, sounds pretty good for the total destruction of retail experienced by all other upper Texas coastal communities. With the mass layoffs and entire retail chains of stores and malls going out of business or in bankrupcy, it seems to me that adding even one place to shop is great. I went to Mall of the Mainland Saturday and there are a lot of new places. Kudos for the small businessmen and women. They are the real winners when large money hording retailers retreat to the big cities as hard times hit. Small town malls are going to flourish as the next wave of adjustible rate forclosures hit the economy. The housing market will seem like goodtimes when the wave of business forclosures take hold. The area Mall of the Mainland is in seems to be industrial, and even better, oil industrial. That will stablize the area as in past recessions. The only problem is going to be weeding detractors to that stability, and replacing them with optimistic, agressive individuals that put all their efforts into business and less into fixing blame or finding fault for hurricanes, volcanos, or manbearpig.

  38. Th mall mgmt is doing what it needs to do to get customers interested. We don;t need detracteors to the mall in the mall and if you are disgruntled, please go back to Santa Fe. Oh yeah, that’s right, they didn’t want you there either. Go to Victory Lakes and let us know know how that works out for you!

  39. Texas Rose,

    I believe everyone knows me in Galveston County but who is Texas Rose?

    If you read my posts closely you will see that I am encouraging people to visit Mall of the Mainland! I do have 2 businesses in Santa Fe and also reside there. It is a great community and I will be there for many years to come. We made a decision to move our retail store 4 miles away to the Mall because of the feedback from customers that visited us from out of town. I-45 was an easier access to them vs coming to Santa Fe.

    I have met with Mall management several times with marketing ideas and also offered to produce commercials this past summer to reach out to a wider audience and help BUILD the Mall traffic. Oh yeah, Powell Productions is one of my other businesses that IS STILL in Santa Fe and 12 years strong. Don’t act like you know anything about me or my business and what is happening at the Mall unless you have documented facts, I do!

    Lots of people were hurt from Hurricane Ike including us. Not only did we go out and help others while our store was shut down but we have sold and delivered lots of furniture to Galveston residents and beyond at reduced prices and donated some to folks in need and fundraisers. Did ya know that Texas Rose?

    Disgruntled? Hell yeah! I lost allot of merchandise from flooding due to an old patched roof and we are just now getting back on our feet. Lots of other merchants did too but we are still working to improve foot traffic for the entire Mall and putting this storm loss behind us.

    A new marketing person has been hired by the MOM owners that I will be working with so change is on the way. Oh yeah, did ya know that Texas Rose?

    Step up to the plate with facts next time TR. Also feel free to stop on by the store and introduce yourself so I can fill you in on what is really happening.

  40. I hope this mall sticks around a while. I went to the Macy’s at Baybrook Mall today, and what a madhouse!! The store was packed and the merchandise was a mess. Luckily I remembered that Mall of the Mainland had a Macy’s, so I went there instead. Barely a person there and I loved it!! There were even baby tigers there that you could play with. That just doesn’t happen at most malls!! Anyway, it’s nice to have an alternative when Baybrook gets too busy around the holidays.

  41. I was blown away. Ten new stores since I visited in August, three unique eateries added, and a Santa/Christmas display that leaves every other area mall in the dust. Clean, clean, clean!

  42. Baybrook was a mad house during the holidays and it is nice to get away from the traffic congestion. The last time I walked through MOTM it was slow but for me that was nice to get away and get my shopping done. It’s pretty cool that they had tigers there but too bad no one knew about it. Greg is right with the history lesson but who knows how long it will be before it all happens. Wild Bill have they done anything with the roof yet? I will stop in next time I am around. I think that it is great that you found this board to get an owners perspective. Ps. Has anyone heard if the arcade store is closing? or do they just sell used arcade games.

  43. I lived in the Galveston Bay area for 22 years, and always chose to travel a little farther to shop at either the somewhat faded Pasadena Town Square or the perennially under-achieving Mall of the Mainland, rather than to face the hordes of people (and YIKES: THE TRAFFIC AT BAY AREA BLVD AND I-45) at Baybrook. Glad to hear that MotM is rallying in the aftermath of Ike!

  44. Across from the Mall of the mainland are they building a new 24 hour fitness gym in the former Wal-mart site next to Sam’s Club?

  45. Greg spoke too soon. The mall stores have begun closing at a rate of one per week since February. 8 and growing. Lack of marketing, bad economy, or bad management; it dose’nt matter. Almost every improvement I watched in amazment after the hurricane suddenly stopped. Wish there was something to stop it but closure is coming.

  46. Hiya Lenny,

    No the water leaks unfortunately have not been fixed, instead they are worse than ever. I was there until 1:00am this morning moving furniture, mopping my flooded warehouse and setting up fans to dry out the carpet in my showroom. 2 weeks ago on Friday we were hit very hard and had to close out store for 5 business days including a weekend of sales. .that hurt!

    Yes stores are leaving. So far the Karate school closed, Aloha Hawaii restaurant, Hot on the Bayou gift shop, NY Divas clothing & Kays Jewelry. I heard rumor Palais Royal has had enough as well and the Army recruiting office?

    As you have read in my posts above, the store owners have tried very hard to build new business in this mall but are faced with some serious issues including the ongoing problem of roof leaks that causes loss of inventory & sales along with lack of communication from owners.

    As a small business owner I can tell ya it is extremely tough to deal with these issues coupled with a slow economy. My store is hanging in as long as we can but not sure how much more loss we can take at this point.

  47. Overheard that area city meetings with developer wanting roads and utility consessions from local municipalities for town square mall concept with surrounding development on 45 between Walmart and Hughs Rd to open 2011. That will definitely boost the local economy. Continued water damage, rising mold counts, and dwindling tenants at any shopping center is the perfect target for a serious developer to succeed in our area. Especially with all intersections between Hughs Rd and Houston filled with successful shopping centers.

  48. I just found this site and am not surprised by anything I’ve read. The mall has been in decline since the industrial area lost so many union workers. The mall will never recover. Local businessmen have tried to advise the owners, but are delt terse condemnation or fired
    Without these leaders recomendations for remodel, update, and event active employees and management, the failures seen to date will continue until closure.

  49. I’m not surprised Leo, I read another site that exposed those that are trying to cover up the last gasps at the place by putting compliments on the blog site. A business owner at the mall has started to complain online about the flood damage to his product, and someone has turned on the lights counting the stores that have left replaced by stores the mall is opening themselves. Sad.

  50. I live right across 45 from the mall and it’s sad how this mall is trying to keep itself from closing but we all know that this mall is destined to shut it’s doors soon. I went to Ryan’s buffet directly across from macy’s and there were only 10 cars in the parking lot but in ryan’s parking lot we couldn’t even find a space to park. People know the mall is pathetic and don’t even bother to go. The Chinese buffet was also packed which also borders the mall. I have visited the mall many times and the movie theatre is the only thing keeping it alive. Maybe if they put it where the food court is they’d make more money. That’s why I doubt the mall will ever close. Truthfully I wish it would.. Sears is probably the next store to go. We were at the mall the other day and all the lights were off in there. Palais royal will probably be next after that. Macy’s because of how bug the chain is will probably stick it out till he end. I can’t stand the fake store front. It’s just annoying! RIP MOM

  51. Oops when I said bug I meant big. When I said till he end I meant till the end.

  52. It’s very confusing now. I also have a section on this mall on my blog (taken a month before Ike):

    Since Ike, both of our blogs (mine and Labelscar’s) have seen comments, both enthusiastic and realistic. Supposedly the mall opened a bunch of stores and employees are trying to make the mall sound like a much better place than it actually it is.

    I’m sorry, but the vibe I’m getting from MotM is overwhelmingly negative. I mentioned a “strange smell” which was most likely mold (it’s probably worse now). People may criticize blogs for being negative. I can speak for myself (though Labelscar and Southern Retail almost certainly fall in the same boat): I’m not a PR person for the mall, nor am I mud-slinging troll destined to bring down a commercial venue. I call things like I see them. I did point out positives (the fountain in the food court, Corn Dog 7, J. Riggings, neon, bizarre stores) and negatives (scary-looking people, lack of good food, bizarre stores).

    Has someone done an actual operating store count?

  53. Jonah, I see the MOtM website as listing 72 stores. I walked the long lonely walk through the place and counted 25 inline with an additional 8 food court, and 12 kiosks. The gameroom, movies, business offices, and government offices are not included as retail. Those that are owned and operated by the mall could be subtracted, but there’s no way of telling how many there are.

  54. Lol on Thursday august 20 4 kids were held by mall security for 1 of them wearing a wallet chain. The accused was fined for using the f word. This just sounds stupid lol. Khou has the story on it’s website.

  55. The only reason this mall is open is because of all the events that go on there…..i hate this mall! It should just close already…..does anyone know if the list of stores on its website is accurate? Any new stores? Any stores shut down? What’s the acctual store count?

  56. Lol apparently this mall is so pathetic they cant put a map on their website. I did find an old map that still had dillard’s listed on it and it shows where all the storefronts are, even the ones muraled over. Pathetic.

  57. Seeing this mall fail makes me sad, I really wish it would stay but realistically, I know the end is coming… lol But really, I’m going to go take some pictures and remember my…. well, childhood really! It seemed so glamorous in 1996! 🙁

  58. @Charity,
    Your comments were especially true last month. The events they put out were in complete contradiction to the shopping crowd they expect. The shops are geared for younger shoppers, but the events are aimed at high income older adults. Go figure. I saw the event with the dancers. Only the parents and mall staff were watching. The event planners are injecting failure into the place instead of life. Events with effects, new sound, energetic themes, and local flavor seem to be lost on those folks. Galveston County residents expect a mall to provide entertainment as sucsessful as in Galveston and Kemah. Not Houston or Dallas culture lessons. This is a primarily tourist feed County, and they should take yours as every other opinion and wise up or give up.

  59. @XISMZERO,
    It opened in 1990, not mid nineties as the article states.

  60. Well it’s done. Went to the “Taste of the Town” event at the mall and, after 7 years of attendance this was a pathetic example of mismanaged, under promoted, poorly organized mayhem i’ve experienced in the events history. The major culprits, heavy odors and general detierioration both externally while approaching and internally with a detieriorating general appearance. Watch for the bankrupcy after the holiday season.

  61. went into mall of the mainland around 4:00 p.m. and noticed two stores one being the fye and walden books in the process of closing. also noticed four other stores that were already closed which were the corn dog 7, dollar world, sweet factory, and the store that took the old n.y. company spot.

    the way it looks by the foot traffic in some of the other stores i would not be suprised if other stores would be closing in the future.

    i have noticed that there are too many shoe stores in the mall. i have a feeling that some of them will be on the way out.

    the only thing keeping this mall around is the movie theater.

  62. You know what is really sad… Working in the mall at Stingers and finding out that they just filed bankrupt!! I loooooove my job and I am so upset to hear this news. I GREW UP in this mall and I sure as hell don’t want to see it go like everything else.

    I’ve always said that if we had better stores then half of the area wouldn’t have to go to Bay Brook.

    I hope they can do something about it that doesn’t resolve in cloing MOM.

  63. I work at this mall, and I can tell you that it is failing……. horribly. Chapter 11 and only a few real stores hanging on, Palais Royal, Macy’s, Sears. 2 stores leaving at the end of this month…. not to mention the FEMA housing at the east end of the mall. It’s like watching a sick horse, just go out back and put it too rest

  64. I was in there around 08:00 p.m. and noticed wild bills has thrown in the towel and is closing. It seems things are going from bad to worst for the mall. You can actually close up half the mall to foot traffic.

  65. @Thomas, not meaning to nit-pick: Galvez Mall was already mostly abandoned – and totally pathetic – in the mid-80’s when I first moved to the area.

    But that begs the question of why anyone thought it was a brilliant business move to plunk a brand spanking new mall in the middle of a Texas City cow pasture????



  68. nikki,

    U sux too! yes they have their problems and the original poster can be procesuted for taking and publishing photos of the interior of the mall w?o permission of the owners. Hope yall have fun in court and jail with you new wives tiny and precious! Haha!

  69. @Wild Bill,
    I was the new mktg person. so u didn’t even know I did have the inside skinny and knew all about you and your “businesses”. How is LM working? They will soon tire of you too. Isn’t that just too funny and WILD? Hahahahaha

  70. @rose, You have a shaky understanding of the law. Taking pictures in a public place is not illegal or in any way punishable by law, even if it is stated as against the mall’s rules of conduct. The worst that mall management or security can do is ask you to leave (after which it is “trespassing”). They didn’t. No one will be going to jail.

  71. I work less than a mile from this mall for 11 years, and I’ve watched this turd spinning the drain for years. The only reason I go there is to eat at Hello Josephine which surprisingly has good food. As others said, if the movie theater wasn’t there, this place would have closed long ago.

    I haven’t walked the mall space towards where Dilliards used to be in a couple of years, but my guess is there probably isn’t anything open in that direction anymore. The other side of the mall towards Sears is maybe 20% occupied.

    I’d be surprised if it makes it much past the holiday season into 2012, but I’ve been saying that for years. Somehow this mall is like a cockroach you just can’t kill off.

  72. *An update*

    I walked half the mall today from the food count in the center to where Dillards used to be located. Starting at the food court, I saw a Boost mobile, T-mobile, and some crappy diamond kiosk places, and a Lane Bryant by the kiosks. After this, there is a methodist church setup there as a temp place until they get their church built. Next, it was a long walk(I’m thinking it’s got to be 1/4 mile to the end form the food court) to the end, with empty stores, a musty smell, and a noticeable temperature change. At the end, adjacent to where Dillards used to be, there was a eyeglass shop (Lens crafters or some other major chain) and across from it was an office.

    So, that’s it. 5 stores, an office, and a church that’s temporarily located there(taking up 2 store spaces). I also noticed the Subway closed in the food court. Next week when I go there I’ll walk the other direction towards Sears and see what’s still standing that direction.

  73. Went to this mall today because Baybrook, as good of a mall as it claims to be, doesn’t have a play area for kids. Until about the food court, it is pretty dismal, and the shops remaining seem mostly useless. The food court offers a hamburger place, a hot dog place, a pizza place, and a milk shake place. The employees and store owners seemed extra friendly, which I liked. Of course, I’m sure any sale helps and that’s the best way to get it.

  74. Good riddance! It was never a huge success, was dead in 2007, and was deader in 2008 before the hurricane hit (even though there were lots of thug-looking teenagers wondering around, frequenting the Hot Topic-knockoff shop and the piercing shop), and slowly continued to deteriorate.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they went ahead and pulled the plug on Sears while Palais Royale went across the street and reopened the Wal-Mart, which has been closed since a new Supercenter opened in the late 1990s or early 2000s (they need to do some work on it: part of the Wal-Mart’s roof is destroyed)

  75. @Pseudo3D, even Footlocker pictured above has left this place! The post from Nachos summarizes the situation there, and the other half of the mall is about as empty now.

  76. It’s been over a year since my last update, and somehow this mall is still open. I walked down to the end towards Sears and as others said, most of the stuff down there is closed too, and there is a noticeable musty smell at that end of the mall now too. I’d say there was maybe 50 cars in the entire lot, and probably less than 20 stores total in the mall now.

    Tomorrow the Tanger Outlet Mall opens up about 2 miles from Mall of the Mainland with 80+ stores and a much better location right off I-45. I would think it will have to be the final blow for this mall, but I thought the same thing last year and it’s still open.

    Amusingly, the postcard from Nikki to Gloria is still there.

  77. this mall is on life support right now. the one section where dilliards and jc pennys used to be at that whole section of the mall has been completly walled so no one can get access to that section of the mall. heres the video i put up on youtube of what mall of the mainland looks like in 2013

  78. I was there this past weekend & they have completely blocked off the left side of the mall (the dillards side)
    The only thing left at this mall is the Movie theatre .

  79. I was ther with my mom this past Saturday and we were very sad to see this hug mall at its current state. We did purchased some items from Palais Royal, Sears, and Royal Formal. Everyone works there are friendly not like the big malls where I came from and I really appreciated the friendliness. I will be writing to this mall management and other big anchor stores and ask them to revamp this place. They could turn this place to last call stores for Macys, Dillard’s, ect….why not? this would be a perfect place to have last call stores to compete with the outlet discount prices and products only made to be sold at outlet. I needed a gown for an upcoming event and talked to owner from Royal Formal and she staying bc her customers ask her to stay and they all come to support her. I don’t see why everyone argue about shutting down the mall? What good does that do to te economy? shutting down the mall meaning ppl will be out of their current income even if it’s not much! why rub more salt on its wound when we could all start shopping there when we need to buy something instead of just plain talk and no action??? the mall needs help and if you care enough to post a comment then do something to help! This is what make us Americans strong by uniting not dividing!!! help if you can or stop being negative.

  80. I was in the mall on 01-30-14 and the commons area of the mall was officially closed. The only thing left open is the Sears, Palais Royal, Cinemark, and the Affordable Furniture. The furniture store will be closing around june.

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