Makeover underway for Houston Galleria

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 25 at 2:54 PM

HOUSTON -- There are big changes underway at the Houston Galleria, one of the world’s best-known shopping centers.

"The Galleria is the premiere shopping destination not just for the Houston area, but for the entire country. We have tourism from all over the world," said Greg Noble, the manager of the Galleria.

Demolition is already underway to solve a problem The Galleria has had for years.

Galleria III was a section of the mall that was isolated -- you could only get to the shops there through Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Nobody ever took the trouble to walk through Saks," said Galleria Shopper Brenda McWilliams.

Renovation is an understatement for the project. The plan will move the current Saks store to a new one being built where the old Galleria III used to be.  They will move that store, then build new common and shopping areas on the other side.

Now is the tear down stage.

“This is a precision demolition," said Austin Grubbs, the construction manager for the project.

It is tough here because it is at one of the busiest intersections in the city.

“We have got shipments coming in busy roads. Just the logistics of getting in and out of the job site is a challenge," Grubbs said.

No one will say who may be coming into the new 110,000 feet of retail and restaurant space, only saying it will be “Galleria like,” meaning high-end.

Just what shopper Brenda McWilliams is looking for.

“You can find Macy's, Sears, all of those anywhere, but the high-end makes it special. Like Rodeo Drive, like the Champs Elesse,” she said. “Yes, and people like that. You can find things you can't find anywhere else."

The plan has plenty of that, including a new residential tower.

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