In the bag: Remember that grocery gossip making the rounds in March that H-E-B planned to replace its existing Texas City store, 918 20th St. N., with a bigger, better one at Palmer Shopping Center? Mayor Matt Doyle confirmed Monday that the San Antonio-based grocer indeed does plan to demolish the 87,237-square-foot building at Palmer Shopping Center, just east of Highway 146 and north of Palmer Highway, and build a new store in its place.
“I’m thrilled H-E-B plans to build a new store here,” Doyle said.
But don’t look for the wrecking ball to make an immediate appearance. Demolition could be more than a year out, Doyle said.
H-E-B in 2011 bought the Palmer Shopping Center property — long ago occupied by Kmart. No word on what will become of the 20th Street site where H-E-B operates an older, dated store. Stay tuned.
Sixth sense: There’s a new place to sip a cold one. Readers are happily reporting the soft opening of America’s Icehouse, 622 Sixth St. N., in Texas City.
Scott Arnold owns the establishment, a modular structure built from shipping containers. The outdoor bar offers moderately priced drinks, movies on two big outdoor screens, live music and karaoke, a free putting green, games and more.
America’s Icehouse has joined a growing lineup of businesses and retailers helping to revive an area that was, in its heyday, the city’s retail center. Other relatively new Sixth Street businesses include El Cubano Cigars, 520 Sixth St. N., and antique shop Timeless Treasures, 524 Sixth St.
Businesswoman Georgia Meyer is renovating a building at 811 Sixth St. N. that’s more than 100 years old. Meyer, who with Bonnie Baty owns the popular Karat Creations Jewelry, 3228 13th Ave. N., in Texas City, plans to renovate the top floor, adding lofts.
But first, she’ll restore and improve the 11,000-square-foot bottom floor and lure new tenants to the building that already is home to Mainland Pharmacy, Friendly Loan Service and Dr. Avelina S. Dimaandal’s pediatrics office.
Meyer and Baty plan to move Karat Creations Jewelry to the building. Sydney’s Boutique, 2809 Palmer Highway, in Texas City, also will move into the building. And a hair salon and day spa will move in, Meyer said. The new tenants, including Karat Creations, are expected to be in by late summer.
Yellowbrick road: Developers of the proposed Adventure Pointe on 35 acres south of Tanger Outlets, 5884 Interstate 45 in Texas City, said they’ve added a “Land of Oz” feature to the park’s four main theme areas. They also said work on the theme park is expected to begin by the year’s end, developers posted on Facebook.
As previously reported, the venue will include vintage trains, an “iceless” skating rink, zip lines, go-carts and a 60-room hotel owned and operated by an established chain, not the park, a spokeswoman said.
The entertainment core will include an amphitheater and two-sided stage, and there’ll be line dancing, two-stepping and concerts, according to representatives for the development.
Dr. Harvey E. Slusky is the development’s mastermind. His father, Louis Slusky, operated two separate Playland amusement parks — one in Houston and another in Galveston in the late 1940s. Stay tuned.
Cold dish: Meanwhile, rumors that casual restaurant chain Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill was planning a restaurant near Tanger Outlets have gone from sizzle to fizzle. Sources in the know said officials with Applebee’s were “kicking the tires” around Tanger a while back, but nothing came of the scouting missions.
False alarm: That rumor making the rounds that owners of the Fort Crockett military housing complex at Seawall Boulevard and 45th Street on the island had obtained permits to demolish the old buildings is false. City officials last week said Max Bowen Enterprises had not obtained any permits. As previously reported, owners are asking $10 million for the parcel visible from the seawall.
A few years ago, such an asking price might have been ambitious considering restrictions, including the preservation and maintenance of former military housing on the 6.4-acre parcel. But all that changed earlier this year when the Texas Historical Commission said it wouldn’t appeal a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to force preservation of the buildings, clearing the way for demolition.
In 2011, the Texas Attorney General’s Office claimed owners of the historic property had violated deed covenants by failing to maintain and preserve the buildings, indicating an intent to demolish them without state permission.
Neither city officials nor the nonprofit Galveston Historical Foundation has authority to protect the historic structures. But the Texas Historical Commission, holder of the federal covenant, did have a say.