Still on track: Five years ago this month, Dr. Harvey Slusky announced plans for Texas City theme park Adventure Pointe. There have been signs of progress at the site in Texas City, but activity seems to have slowed in recent months, leaving readers to wonder whether the development is still on track.
“Development and construction of the park is still underway,” Lisa Slusky emailed last week. “We are pushing for a late-year opening.”
Workers were at the site Friday.
Lisa Slusky is the wife of Harvey Slusky, who in March 2013 announced plans for the venture underway on 25 acres fronting Interstate 45, south of Tanger Outlets. Harvey Slusky still works full time as a cardiologist as he oversees the project. Also, in an unusual move, he’s self-financing the development.
The park’s main historical reference will be a collection of trains that belonged to Slusky’s father, Louis Slusky, who operated Playland Park in Houston from the late 1940s to 1969, and in Galveston from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Stay tuned.
Tool tattle: A well-sourced but unconfirmed rumor is making the rounds that Harbor Freight Tools is planning a store at the Tradewinds Shopping Center on the northeast corner of Palmer Highway and 21st Street in Texas City at the site of the former H-E-B.
While those in the know confirm Harbor Freight Tools is interested in the site, there’s little weight to an accompanying rumor about Planet Fitness opening a gym there.
California-based Harbor Freight Tools began in 1977 as a small, family-owned business and has grown to 850 stores nationwide. The retailer sells hand tools and generators, air and power tools, shop equipment and automotive tools at discounted prices. Store sizes, at least according to reports about other locations, tend to run in the 15,000-square-foot range.
Wingfield Partners late last year acquired the 142,329-square-foot Tradewinds Shopping Center, which H-E-B had anchored until 2015 when it moved to its larger store at state Highway 146 and Palmer Highway.
Principals with Wingfield Partners could not be reached for comment. But Wingfield Partners has been working on the roof, sprucing up landscaping, the building’s facade and improving parking.
“Any improvement to that strip center is something we’ve wanted for a long time,” Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said. “The expensive part that nobody sees is that roof.” Stay tuned.
Pet project: A new pet supplier is clawing for local market share. Livonia, Mich.-based Pet Supplies Plus has signed a 10-year lease at League City Parkway and FM 270 in League City.
Pet Supplies Plus will compete with established retailers PetSmart and Petco, which together account for more than 60 percent of total market revenue in 2016, according to industry trackers. Pet Supplies Plus has more than 360 stores — about half company-owned and the other half franchise units — in 27 states across the country. The growing chain’s executives have said their formula for winning over consumers is in the pricing.
Look for a June opening of the League City store.
File this away: Online shopping continues to reshape the area retail scene, leaving another big-box store to fill. Office supplies retailer Staples confirmed Friday it plans to close at 3120 I-45 S., in League City.
A spokeswoman emailed: “We continually evaluate our store performance to ensure we’re operating the business in the best way. As customers shift online, we are taking aggressive action to right-size our retail footprint. We are committed to providing great service and every product businesses need, whether it’s in-store, online or through mobile.”
Staples in Webster will remain open, she said.
On the burner: Look for an early June opening of Tsubasa, a League City restaurant that will serve both sushi and Korean-style barbecue at 2800 Marina Bay Drive, in the former site of sandwich purveyor Subway. Realtor Rick Wade represented the restaurant owners in the lease.
Settling in: Owners of the nearly century-old Galveston-based StarFine Furniture & Mattress reported a successful soft opening of their first mainland store.
“We were surprised by the amount of traffic that came in,” said Ben Jay Stein, whose family owns the business.
StarFine Furniture late last month opened a store at 3503 I-45. The Dickinson store is about 12,000 square feet. To put that in perspective, the first floor of the island StarFine Furniture, 3727 Broadway on the island, is 12,000 square feet. StarFine Furniture still is very much committed to Galveston, where it recently invested in a major renovation.
StarFine Furniture is planning a March 17 grand opening of its Dickinson store.
Check-in lane: Readers are wondering and worrying about the status of longtime Dickinson grocer Ziegler’s Foods, which has been closed since its 2308 FM 517 E. building flooded during Hurricane Harvey six months ago.
Officials with Ziegler’s couldn’t be reached for comment. But Zach Meadows, director of community development for the city of Dickinson, said Ziegler’s does intend to return. Insurance issues are slowing things down, Meadows said. More details weren’t available.
In the past few months, Dickinson city officials have met with representatives of the grocer. If renovations exceed 50 percent of the value of the building, then the grocer would have to meet new ordinances and regulations, including requirements of the city’s overlay district implemented in 2012, officials have said. But how that would affect Ziegler’s rebuilding wasn’t immediately clear.
Ziegler’s Foods has a history in Dickinson dating back to 1974 when Gerland’s Food Fair came to town by purchasing Klecka’s. Sometime later, Jerry West Ziegler Sr. became manager. In 1990, Ziegler, along with A.J. Gerland, founder of Gerland’s Food Fair, bought the Dickinson location now known as Ziegler’s Foods. In 1995, Ziegler bought out Gerland’s share and became sole owner.
Tavern talk: After months of work, Sharky’s Tavern has finally opened in the island’s downtown.
Sharky’s, 504 25th St., in the building formerly occupied by The Loading Dock Bar & Grill, specializes in wood-fired pizza. Owners Holly Hunt-Landry and her husband, David Robertson, installed an Italian oven at the establishment, which also includes a full-service bar.