Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation | 1300 Rollingbrook Dr., Suite 610 | Baytown, TX 77521 | 281.420.2961 |

Time is Right for Redevelopment of San Jacinto Mall

July 24, 2015

The recently announced sale of San Jacinto Mall, which Fidelis Realty Partners purchased from Triyar Cos. July 15, lines up with the trend of converting malls to open-air shopping centers and with the increasing growth of Baytown, where the mall is located.

The more than 30-year-old mall is on 107 acres at the southwest corner of Interstate 10 and Garth Road and has never been remodeled or redeveloped. It needs a major overhaul, Fidelis said, something it will undertake in the next three years as it aims to convert the 1.2 million-square-foot mall into a 1-million-square-foot outdoor shopping center. JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears, which anchor the mall and own the real estate and facilities for their stores, will be involved in the redevelopment, a spokesman for Fidelis said, although it’s not clear whether their current facilities will remain in the redeveloped concept.

As more mixed-use developments rise with shopping paired with restaurant, office, hotel and multifamily components, the traditional malls of the 1980s have largely fallen out of vogue. Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of Midway Cos., which developed CityCentre, said the trend toward mixed-use will continue across the country.

“The U.S. in general is over-retailed,” Brinsden said. “If you take that broad perspective, there’s a lot of types of retail, including malls, that probably don’t need to exist.”

The timing is right for the redevelopment. Baytown is booming as petrochemical expansions bring workers to the area (read more on page 6B) and residential developers rush to meet demand for homes and apartments close to those developments. And, despite the performance of the mall, which is currently 70 percent leased, retail performs consistently well in the area, said Carson Wilson, principal and vice president of retail marketing and leasing for Fidelis.

“We’ve always loved the real estate — it’s the best retail real estate in east Houston,” Wilson said.

The firm expects it will take three years to prepare the mall for demolition and another two years to redevelop the property. Fidelis is working with Houston-based Boucher Design Group on architectural plans.

San Jacinto Mall Timeline

1981 — San Jacinto Mall opens its doors in Baytown.

1984 — New York realty firm O’Connor Group purchases the mall.

1995 — Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna Life Insurance acquires the mall from O’Connor in a “consensual foreclosure.”

1998 — Los Angeles-based Triyar Companies LLC, led by Los Angeles businessman Bob Yari, purchases the mall from Aetna Life Insurance after more than four months of negotiations.

2006 — Triyar Cos. puts San Jacinto Mall up for sale, along with Greenspoint Mall in Houston, Mall of the Mainland in Texas City and Pasadena Town Square.

2015 — Fidelis Realty Partners purchases the mall from Triyar Cos. The mall is 70 percent occupied. Fidelis plans a major redevelopment in the next three years.

Rosanna Asgarian, Reporter, Houston Business Journal