The Mall of the Mainland was a shopping mall located off the Emmett F. Lowry Expressway near Interstate 45 (Gulf Freeway) in Texas City, Texas. It was opened in 1991. The mall has 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2) of space. The mall is anchored by Sears, Palais Royal, and Cinemark Movies 12, and was closed in late 2014 due to declining tenancy before re-development began in 2015.
The Mall of the Mainland, developed by a joint venture of Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. and the MG Herring Group, opened in 1991. Dillard's and Sears purchased space at the mall in the 1980s. JCPenney was the third anchor circa 1989. An expansion was made to the mall with the addition of a Foley's store in 1994. The developers spent $200 per 1 square foot (0.093 m2) in the development; Joelle Verbecke, a director of acquisitions at the Yari Group, said in 2002 that the $200 per square foot figure was "a hefty sum that means the developers constructed a high-quality mall." J.P. Morgan Chase Bank was the lender.
In 1997 the bank took over the mall, because, as Ralph Bivins of the Houston Chronicle said in 2002, "the developer failed to make it a highly successful retail venture." A subsidiary of the bank owned the mall. Verbecke said that the bank had no interest in making significant improvements and marketing the Mall of the Mainland and that the mall "suffered from being institutionally owned."
An investment group headed by Bob Yari and Kam Mateen bought the Mall of the Mainland in May 2002. The major anchor tenants, such as Dillard's, Foley's, and J.C. Penney, continued to own their own buildings within the complex, while the joint venture owned the rest of the mall and leased to restaurants and smaller stores. The group purchased 312,500 square feet (29,030 m2) of retail space and 32 acres (13 ha) of land at the Mall of the Mainland, allowing the group to sell parcels to allow for the development of free-standing retailers and restaurants. Bivins said that the exact sales price had not been disclosed and that the sales price was less than the price it cost to build the mall.
During May 2002 the Mall of the Mainland was 65% occupied. Bivins said in 2002 that the mall had "significant competition" with the Baybrook Mall in Houston, located 10 miles (16 km) north of the Mall of the Mainland, which Bivins said was "the dominant retail force on the southeast side of Houston." Bivins said in 2002 that experts of the shopping center industry did not consider the Mall of the Mainland to be successful. Bivins added that the Mall of the Mainland was "criticized for not being highly visible from" Interstate 45 (Gulf Freeway), which carries traffic between Galveston and Houston.
In November 2006 Triyar Cos. LLC, owned by the Yari family, put the mall and several other Greater Houston malls for sale; the company allowed a buyer to either buy an individual property, or buy all of them at once. Mall of the Mainland was purchased in March 2007 by Brentwood Group No. 1 Ltd., owned by Michael and Mayer Makabeh.
In December 2005, JCPenney announced to close the Mall of the Mainland location.
Dillard's closed in September 2008 after 4 million dollars in uninsured damages due to Hurricane Ike. The store did not reopen.
In 2010, Brentwood Group filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, and the mall became owned by Pacific Western Bank. Pacific Western Bank would hire Boxer Retail to manage the property.
In September 2012, Pacific Western Bank put Mall of the Mainland up for sale for $15.4 million
In December 2013, KHOU 11 News announced that Mall of the Mainland would be evicting all of its interior tenants and closing its doors on January 31, 2014. Sears, Palais Royal, and the Cinemark Movies 12 Theater will remain open and on the property.
On August 18, 2015, developer Jerome Karam, an attorney known for buying under-utilized building and developing, bought a 150,000-square-foot building once occupied by Macy’s. Palais Royal moved from its existing store into the space. Karam moved a World Gym into the Macy’s space. He calls the 42,000-square-foot gym Texas’ largest in the franchise. The developer also sold the Dillard’s building to First Baptist Church of Texas City. Karam told the Houston Chronicle in an interview that he is offering “1980s-level” rents for lease space, keeping the mall competitive. He expects the mall to be completely leased in 2016.
Booker T moved his wrestling school Reality of Wrestling into the space that was occupied by Palais Royal.