Tag Archive for: docks

Bad Name? “Docks” Center Still Mostly Empty

Almost three years after completion, Lovett Commercial’s 28,000 square foot retail center named Kingwood Docks still has only two small tenants. Both are fitness oriented: StretchLab and YogaSix. Together they occupy only about 3,500 square feet.

Unfortunately, the rest of the center remains vacant despite a resurgence of retail leasing in the Kingwood Town Center area.

Empty storefronts, three years after completion. Photographed 9/8/2022.
Totally empty Kingwood Docks photographed on 3/1/2021.

Rentable space comprises just 7.67% of the property shown above.

Despite the size of the detention basin, this whole area flooded badly during Harvey.

Torchy’s Tacos, about a block west, painted the high-water mark during Harvey about 7 feet high on its walls.

And the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center next door flooded just days before its scheduled grand opening in 2017. That delayed the opening 14 months for repairs!

What’s in a Name?

Was naming this center “The Docks” a wise move?

Lovett’s brochure and website emphasizes the HEIGHT of docks. Perhaps they thought that would reassure people concerned about flooding.

But the word “Docks” also conjures up waterfront images, reinforced by the proximity of the property to a drainage ditch, a large detention basin, and memories of Harvey. Probably not the best association!

And many remember that their construction was plagued by wet weather.

Who Would Make Ideal Tenants for this Space?

I wasn’t surprised to see that the first two tenants both had a fitness theme. Yoga mats are a lot cheaper to replace than MRI and CAT-scan machines.

That said, many renters want exclusivity within a shopping center; more fitness businesses may not prosper in such close proximity. The YMCA is just three blocks south. And a fitness chain is rumored to be moving into the large retail center one block south next to the new ACE Hardware.

Lovett originally envisioned this center as a strip of restaurants. And their latest brochure, updated in March 2022, indicates they still hope to achieve that. It shows Asian, pizza, breakfast, and TexMex restaurants in remaining spaces.

New Name Needed

Frankly, I wish Lovett hadn’t built so close to major flood risk. Having said that, I hope they can rent the space and eliminate the ghost-town look. The trick may be finding businesses, like yoga, with minimal equipment that would minimize flood damage if it happens.

Having spent 50 years in marketing, I would advise Lovett to ditch their “Docks” name. They don’t have to rename it Mount Kingwood. But please lose the waterfront association. How about something like “The Food ‘n Fitness Center”? Eat up and slim down. Now, that sounds like fun!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/9/22

1837 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Photo of the Day #297

Looking west at damaged boat docks near the West Lake Houston Parkway bridge.