Business

Former Sears property in north Houston to be redeveloped for retail and residential use

The 509,600-square foot property on North Shepherd Drive, valued at more than $15.5 million by the Harris Central Appraisal District, was recently purchased by a subsidiary of Lamasar Capital, which plans to redevelop it over the next few years. The lot has been vacant and mostly unused since Sears closed in 2020.

Developers plan on turning an old Sears into a mixed-use development.
Adam Zuvanich/Houston Public Media
Developers plan on turning an old Sears in the Garden Oaks area into a mixed-use development.

A mixed-use development with residences and retail stores is planned for a former Sears property in an already bustling part of Houston.

The 509,600-square foot property at 4000 N. Shepherd Drive in the Garden Oaks area, where Sears operated a department store and auto center for more than 70 years before closing in 2020, was purchased earlier this fall by a subsidiary of Sugar Land-based Lamasar Capital, according to Harris County property records. Lamasar and Fidelis, another real estate firm based in the Houston area, recently announced their plan to redevelop the since-vacant lot on the north side of the city.

The existing Sears buildings will be demolished, according to a joint news release from the companies, which also are working on the project with Summer Capital and Delta LP. The redevelopment is expected to be complete within three to four years.

"Our vision for a vibrant mixed-use development in this thriving neighborhood aims to create not just residences but also a spectrum of destinations and services," Ashiq Ali, the co-founder of Lamasar Capital, said in the news release. "Our goal is to establish a legacy that integrates innovation, serves the community and becomes a focal point for the neighborhood's growth and prosperity for years to come."

The property at the southeast corner of North Shepherd Drive and West 43rd Street, valued at more than $15.5 million by the Harris Central Appraisal District, is immediately east of the affluent Garden Oaks subdivision and just west of Independence Heights, a historic, predominately Black community that is rapidly being gentrified. The eclectic and historic Heights neighborhood is less than 1 mile to the south.

The soon-to-be-redeveloped lot on that stretch of North Shepherd, which is lined with a collection of stores, strip centers, restaurants, churches and industrial businesses, has been vacant and largely unused since Sears closed more than three years ago. It was the second-to-last remaining Sears location in the Houston, with a Pasadena location subsequently closing in 2021.

"The residential neighborhoods of the Heights, Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Shepherd Oaks and Oak Forest have all experienced significant housing value growth over the last 20 years as the area has evolved from older residents to younger residents with growing families," said Lynn Davis, the chief marketing officer for Fidelis. "This site represents a perfect opportunity to redevelop commercial uses to meet the retail and residential demand growth in the area."