By Charlotte Aguilar
Bellaire is about to become a one-supermarket city with the news Tuesday that Randalls, 5130 Bellaire Blvd., is planning to close by Feb. 20. A manager told Essentials that a closeout sale would begin Wednesday.
The manager said that employees were told it was the only Randalls in the area shutting down — that the Weslayan, Holcombe and Meyer Park locations would remain open and that workers could apply for transfers.
The Bellaire property includes three structures — the 35,000 square-foot Randalls, 1,000 square-foot Subway sandwich shop, and 2,500 square-foot Wells Fargo Bank. It is prime real estate, with an Urban Village Downtown district zoning designation that encourages master planning, and walkable diversity of uses including blended residential, office and commercial with a small-town feel.
First the location of a Weingarten family grocery store in the late 1950s, the property is now part of Weingarten Realty, a major real estate investment firm and shopping center developer. In its presentation to an annual REIT conference last summer, Weingarten listed the property in its portfolio as a potential $80 million “multi-story mixed use opportunity.”
Randalls poured some money into an upgrade in recent years. But the longterm potential to retain the property seemed dim, and when a massive H-E-B opened across the street, the small, old school grocery became even less competitive.
Still, a number of longtime customers took to social media to lament the loss of familiar employees and its manageable size. Others suggested organizing to lobby Trader Joe’s to open at the site.