When the news broke in early January that the historic downtown Macy's department store would be shuttering later this year, the City of Houston began scrambling to fill a hole in the area's shopping scene (which was also recently hit by the closure of Books-A-Million).
Mayor Annise Parker described a downtown retail presence as "critical in making it a desirable mixed-use activity center" and formally created a Downtown Retail Task Force that would work in tandem with the Houston Downtown Management District to study options for future offerings.
The first step in the process is finding out where people who live and work in the area (defined as what lies within the elevated freeways — I-10 to the north, US 59 to the east and I-45 to the south and west) actually want to shop, a conclusion that will be informed by the results of a 20-question survey released by the Downtown District late last week.
The first step in the process is finding out where people who live and work in the area actually want to shop.
"Anybody from the public can take it, that's fine. If you want to drive downtown and shop we love you, OK? But certainly workers and those living downtown or near downtown, are probably the target market we think that's gonna be most interested in shopping type retail," Bob Eury, executive director of the Downtown District, told KUHF.
Questions range from demographic data to the types of stores most needed to the most important hours of access to possible centers for a future shopping district (among them Market Square Park, Main Street Square and the George R. Brown Convention Center/Discovery Green).
What types of businesses would you frequent downtown? Which do you think would thrive? Take the survey here.