Will Indoor Mini-Golf Enliven The Shops at Houston Center in Downtown?

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Puttshack, an experiential mini-golf place with a restaurant, cocktails, and a nightclub vibe, will open in the indoor mall in downtown Houston.

The three-level retail mall, called The Shops at Houston Center, is the final section of Houston Center awaiting redevelopment.

Brookfield Properties recently completed an extensive renovation of its adjacent skyscrapers in the 4.2 million SF Houston Center.

Puttshack, expected to open late 2022, indicates the track Brookfield Properties in redeveloping The Shops at Houston Center.

The 196,000 SF mall is located at 1200 McKinney, near Caroline Street. Once called the Park Shops, the mall has struggled at time to expand beyond Monday-through-Friday business.

Having new tenants, a new image and the return of office workers who have been missing during the pandemic, Brookfield may excel in the redo.

“Puttshack is a great new concept, and as we continue to reimagine our iconic Houston Center we are pleased to plan for this tech-infused entertainment experience,” said Travis Overall, Executive Vice President and Head of the Texas Region for Brookfield Properties, which owns 10 million SF in downtown Houston.

The Puttshack has leased a large space – 26,000 SF in The Shops at Houston Center.

“Puttshack will attract Houstonians looking for a great night out with four custom-made, tech-driven, highly competitive mini golf courses, powered by the brand’s leading patented Trackaball technology that keeps score for you as you play. The game play is matched by an innovative, globally inspired dining menu and full cocktail bar, as well as world-class hospitality and a high-energy, upscale nightclub vibe,” the putt facility said in a press release.

“Houston is a booming, top priority market for us, and we are very excited to be an anchor tenant in The Shops at Houston Center,” said Joe Vrankin, CEO of Puttshack. “We can’t wait to bring the Puttshack experience to Texas and continue to expand our presence in dynamic, energetic communities across the entire U.S.”

The Houston Puttshack location, expected to open late 2022, joins Puttshack’s growing list of upcoming locations, including Oak Brook (Chicago), Miami, Boston and Nashville. Puttshack successfully opened its first U.S. location in Atlanta in April 2021.

Already proven in attracting the younger target demographic, the Puttshack team is continuing its strategic expansion plans, identifying optimal locations in top MSAs across the U.S. Puttshack is represented nationally by Mat Focht and Robert Johnson of Emerging Concept.

Brookfield acquired the 4.2 million SF Houston Center in 2017 for $875 million.

Transforming The Shops at Houston Center could be the most difficult in Brookfield’s redevelopment of its downtown portfolio.  The retail center, designed by Morris-Aubry | RTKL Associates Inc., opened in 1982.

In that era, enclosed, air-conditioned regional malls – with big anchor stores like Sears, Dillard’s and J.C. Penney – were the preferred retail format. Thousands of departments stores have been shuttered. Online retail gains market share. Many failed retail malls in the suburbs have been adapted for other uses.

So today shopping center owners turn to experiential retail to attract shoppers and diners.

The Shops at Houston Center, which was once called The Park Shops, will benefit from growth in downtown residential, something that prior retail specialists did not enjoy. Houston shopping center Ed Wulfe was engaged at one time to market The Park Shops and it was tough for Wulfe to move the needle.

The mall has been criticized for what some say is a fortress-like street presence with an uninviting brick exterior with a shortage of glass, light and doors.

The Shops at Houston Center, should receive a lift from Skanska’s 1550 on the Green development a few blocks away. And a number of downtown residential towers are under construction to add to the population.

July 26, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

Photo: Courtesy Puttshack

For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up  by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon  http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y  

Houston 2020 Ebook version  https://tinyurl.com/4xm7z8b5    

File: Mini-Golf Chosen for Downtown Redo



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