Half Price Books is Getting Into Real Estate Development with a Shopping Center on Northwest Highway

Categories: Development

HalfPriceBooksNorthwestHighway.jpg
Half Price Books
Half Price Books is very good at what it does: selling used books. Since opening its first store on Northwest Highway in 1972, the company has cornered the local used book market and opened more than 100 stores in 16 states, while managing to retain the welcoming feel of a family operation.

Now that they have the book-selling thing down to a science, the company plans to try its hand at something new: real estate development.

The Advocate's Brittany Nunn reports today that Half Price Books is building a shopping center across Shadybrook Drive from its flagship Northwest Highway location, on the corner that currently houses a Starbucks.

Plans for the development began to take shape in 2006, executive vice president Kathy Doyle Thomas tells Unfair Park, with the demolition of NorthPark East.

"When that was happening, we made the decision that we'd better control our neighborhood, because we didn't know what was happening," she says. Better to build your own development and manage it how you choose than let someone else come in and plunk down something run-down or seedy. Given the current state of Vickery Meadow, that's a distinct possibility.

Instead, Thomas envisions a mix of shops and restaurants. The Starbucks is staying, but no other deals have been signed and Thomas declined to give specifics about potential tenants. She said the emphasis will be on locally owned businesses of the type that appeal to Half Price Books customers.

None of this means that the company's getting out of the book business. But are they actually getting into the real estate development business, or are they just hoping to spruce up their little corner of Northwest Highway? We'll have to see.

"It's our first [real estate development project]," Thomas says. "I'm not sure if it's going to be our last. We'll see how this one goes."


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40 comments
kduble
kduble

It's a pity we couldn't come up with new urbanism here. This building design is more same ole, same ole.

Nerdelquis
Nerdelquis

This will probably cut into the employee's bonus much worse than the NW Highway store makeover did.  That was just a store -  this is an entire strip mall!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo as long as Sandra Fluke be get’in her free birf controls pills what diff’ do it make?

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

now that Park Lane is full its coming over on the east side of the rail.

wait n see in the years coming.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

the funny thing is this is way old news..

they own and wanting to do something with it.

the only person who didnt know was eric.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Half Priced Books is a huge money maker.  It's a kooky concept and one I never thought would be a candidate for multi-store operations but the place is always packed.  Check out their parking lot.  It's huge and it's always half full or better, no matter the time of day.

Basically, it's a privately-held, for-profit library where you buy and sell books instead of checking them out.

FEDUP
FEDUP

The First store was "not on Northwest Hwy", but on Mckinney a half block south of Knox. 

I was there the second day of the opening!!

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson

Good investment. I'm sure the book business is in decline.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Seems prudent considering the fact that bookselling isn't exactly a "growth industry" in the early 21st century.

Nathan York
Nathan York

Its where the original flagship store was, before they moved into the old Oshman's building. I soent many hours haunting the rows ofthat place. Was sad to see it torn down a couple of months ago, but this is a good thing.

downtownworker
downtownworker

To be clear, are they rebuilding the Starbucks or just cleaning it up?

downtownworker
downtownworker

To be clear, are they rebuilding the Starbucks or just cleaning it up?

downtownworker
downtownworker

To be clear, are they rebuilding the Starbucks or just cleaning it up?

mstreetgal
mstreetgal

I bet they try to pull in a Trader Joes. 

pea_buddy
pea_buddy

The donation warehouse should be changed into an REI with heavy emphasis on cycling and water sports for the White Rock Lake enthusiasts.

David Hernandez Jr
David Hernandez Jr

That area needs to be reformed. Tear down the apartments behind it as well.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I think HPB has owned that property for a long time. It makes sense for them to redevelop it. Maybe Henks/Blackforest Bakery will move there. It's good food, but the parking can be horrific at times.

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

Glad they're taking a shot at cleaning up the neighborhood. That corner, save the starbucks, is ran down and needs some serious TLC. Next, i'd like to see them take down the older apartments behind their main property and make something better as well..

JustSaying
JustSaying

Suck my dick, half price books. Instead of blowing your money on real estate development, why don't you spend 20 bucks at Office Depot and get some inventory software?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

That corner lost value when Sam's Club vacated and went over to NW Hwy and Skillman.  Good to see Half Priced Bools is taking a chance.

Now the City needs to do something about that killer curb cut on NW Hwy to the east where traffic turns in to get to the new Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.  The problem is that westbound traffic, as they dip below the Skillman overpass come back up at speed (50-60 mph), aren't visible to the eastbound turning traffic going into Wal-Mart/Sam's.  The turning cars don't see the oncoming high speed cars until they pop up out of the defilade and wreck after wreck - nasty ones - are happening.  No telling how many injury accidents are racking up.

Best thing to do is just remove that eastbound turn on Northwest Highway.  Make everyone exit to Skillman and access the new Walmart complex off Skillman.

Seriously.  That is a gauntlet.  A roll of the dice.  It looks clear but there is no way to tell because the NW Hwy roadway is below grade right there and vehicles come out of the trough hauling ass.

I've seen a ton of nasty wrecks as turning cars get broadsided.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Retailers are typically not good landlords.

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

Maybe they can channel the spirit of the old Steak & Ale that used to there.

lljohnsonjr
lljohnsonjr

@TheCredibleHulk They are definitely going to have to rethink their business model or resign themselves to shrinking their footprint.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@downtownworker 

I think that Starbucks is a pre-fabricated move-in.  

A lot of the fast food stores are up in weeks and operate only until a more intense use of the land dictates a change in the "Highest and Best Use".

I bet Starbucks is going to get a more robust store.  They are heavy enough to get Half Priced to build-to-suit then long term lease it to Starbucks.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

There's all reddy enough water sports n the bushes at WRL.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Tim.Covington 

I think it used to be Sterling Jewelry.

I am continually amazed at the number of cars out front most any time of day.

what a great idea that turned out to be.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

They suck dicks there....just go to the men's room

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

There was no value when SAMs was there.

lljohnsonjr
lljohnsonjr

@pea_buddy @JustSaying Did they? Does that mean they can tell you what books they have in stock? My guess is they've had inventory software for a long time but never wanted to tell customers if they had a particular book in stock. I couldn't tell you the number of times I went in to find a specific book, couldn't find it and walked out with 3 or more other books I had no intention of buying.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus 

Sam's Club generated a huge amount of traffic at that intersection where Half Priced Books is.  Traffic counts drive retail real estate values - Bigtime.

But I understand the humor. 

Sam's/Wal-Mart dropped Paula Deen.

Nerdelquis
Nerdelquis

@JustSaying @lljohnsonjr 

Amazon.com has had their inventory online since 1995.  Hence this new, but rather late, direction.



JustSaying
JustSaying

@lljohnsonjr  My point, exactly. I realize that they want you to have to hunt for a book so that you find others that you want to buy as well. It is still a huge pain in the ass when you go there looking for one book in particular. If pea buddy (watersports?) is right, then they do keep their inventory software to themselves. I have been to one within the last 6 months and they couldn't tell me jack shit other than which 2 sections the book I was looking for might be in.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

I'll agree with that, as there has been a lot of change over the past 5 years. several older apartment complexes scrapped for newer ones (with higher rents...go figure).

The older complexes to the north along Shady Brook sure aren't very positive for the redevelopment of this property....pretty predictable that the closer to Five Points one gets the lower the rent, and the less likely the complexes will be redeveloped.

and my statement that retailers do not make good landlords is still valid.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Wait and see my friend.

There is going to be ALOT of change in that area within the next 5 years.

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