Retail rumors

Is Highland Village getting new tenants? Rumors point to J. Crew and Madewell in old Tootsies space

Is Highland Village getting new tenants? Rumors point to J. Crew and Madewell in old Tootsies space

Tootsies_Highland Village_demolition
Tootsies moved from its Highland Village location at the end of Jan. 2011.  Photo by Whitney Radley
Tootsies_Highland Village_demolition
The brick facade has been removed, leaving a glimpse into the building's almost-empty interior.  Photo by Whitney Radley
Tootsies_Highland Village_demolition
Tootsies_Highland Village_demolition

Demolition work has begun at 4045 Westheimer Road, the Highland Village home of Tootsies for nearly three decades. The building was abandoned nigh on two years ago, when the upscale boutique moved to West Ave following skirmishes with the landlord.

Construction crews were busy at the site on Monday afternoon. Where there was once a facade is now wide open, revealing that its interior — which donned a scent that a friend recently recalled as "like an old gym" even in Tootsies' heyday — is all but gutted. 

This obviously has us wondering what's next for the space, which Highland Village CEO Haidar Barbouti earlier indicated would be demolished and replaced with "100,000 square feet of multi-level retail space with underground parking."

 The rumor around town is that J. Crew and its hip younger sister, Madewell, have plans to move in.

 The rumor around town is that J. Crew and its hip younger sister, Madewell, have plans to move in. That would mean no more schlepping to the Galleria to stock up on colorful knits! No more begging friends in Austin and Dallas to snag a highly-anticipated Alexa Chung piece

Neither J. Crew Group Inc. nor Highland Village representatives were immediately available to confirm or deny.

But there is some consolation, even if this buzz doesn't pan out: Madewell is set to open its first Houston-area store at Market Street in The Woodlands in February.