Geoff Jones, co-developer and principal of the Houston Pavilions, the downtown mall built in 2007, wants you to know one thing: Business is booming.
News that Scott Gertner's Skybar was headed to HP came just as its tower tenant, NRG/Reliant, began moving in its nearly 1,500 employees. With the success of House of Blues and its Foundation Room, stores like Forever XXI and restaurants like III Forks and Andalucia, it's no Bayou Place. In fact, Jones says Houston Pavilions is 82 percent leased.
And despite reports that Books-A-Million nearly abandoned their downtown store, Jones says that's simply not true.
"We've been in active discussions with Books-A-Million since mid-summer regarding their performance and their future in general," he says. "It was always a possibility the store might close, but neither they nor Houston Pavilions ever expected that they would."
As for reports that Books-A-Million managed to negotiate a bargain-basement rent, Jones tells CultureMap, "The structure of our deal, generally speaking, remains unchanged."
Although a bookstore in the middle of a downtown mall might seem like an unlikely lunch stop, (why read when you could bowl?) Jones and the Books-A-Million management expect the new NRG tenants to bring significant additional traffic to the project. Does the enormous space, which is around 23,000 square feet, have plans to expand? Or even downsize?
"There are no plans for expansion or contraction," Jones says. "They're going to stay the same size.
"All of our tenants are doing extremely well. To the extent that NRG brings more energy to the project, it augments an already thriving tenant population. We're very, very pleased."