Wu to redevelop former Sam’s Club into smaller retail spaces

Wu Properties already has a vision in place for a vacant retail property in West Houston that it recently acquired.

Steve Wu’s firm aims to redevelop a 139,000-square-foot former Sam’s Club store, at 13331 Westheimer Road, into a multi-tenant retail building, housing an array of entertainment and national brands, by year end, the Houston Chronicle reported. 

The local firm paid an undisclosed amount for the property, located within the Market Square at Eldridge shopping center, in late January. Wu purchased the 189,300-square-foot Presidio Square shopping center, also in West Houston, around the same time.

Walmart, the parent company of Sam’s Club, opened the store in 2013, but it closed its doors in 2018, along with dozens of other Sam’s Club locations nationwide. 

The redevelopment will accommodate a mix of tenants, with about half of the building being catered to larger tenants, occupying 45,000-square-foot and 39,000-square-foot spaces, respectively. 

One of the larger tenants is expected to be a family entertainment center with trampolines, bowling, games and go-cart facilities, said Wu Properties’ Kirt Rimpel, without disclosing the brand. A national retailer is lined up for the other large space, he said.

The other half of the building is earmarked for stores catering to household goods, specialty discounts, footwear and potentially fitness-related tenants, the outlet said. 

Wu remains bullish on Houston-area retail assets, zeroing in on “daily needs” stores that evaded the challenges imposed during the pandemic, when a rise of e-commerce triggered a wave of empty storefronts across much of the nation.

Apart from the former Sam’s Club, Wu bought the 262,500-square-foot Market Square at Eldridge in 2022. Tenants include Target, TJ Maxx, Michael’s and Five Below. 

The firm has added three Houston-area shopping centers to its portfolio since September, spending about $55 million.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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