The end of the San Jacinto Mall draws closer as phase one demolition is nearly complete.
With about a week left of phase one demolition, which included tearing down the Sears wing as well as the Mervyn’s wing, the mall is preparing for its last holiday season at what is known as San Jacinto Mall.
“Since this is our last Christmas, we want to do something special,” May Evans, mall general manager, said. “We would just love for people to come out and celebrate with us.”
Stacey Matejka, Fidelis Realty Partners marketing specialist, said the interior portion of the mall would be open through the holidays with stores being vacated in the second week of January.
Special events will be announced in early November.
Matejka added that Macy’s and JCPenney would remain open throughout the redevelopment and that JCPenney will stay in the same location for now. Macy’s will be in their building indefinitely.
While final holiday events are still being planned, one thing is for sure, Santa Claus will be at the mall this Christmas season to give Baytonians one final opportunity to make holiday memories at the mall, which has served the community since 1981.
“The San Jacinto Mall during the holidays during its prime was just a madhouse. It was one of the only places in the entire area where people would go shopping, so it was packed,” Mayor Brandon Capetillo said. “And we certainly hope that as we transition to San Jacinto Marketplace over the next few years, it will once again be a regional retail hub for the Baytown area.”
In addition to spending time at the mall during the holiday season, Capetillo fondly remembers spending many hours at the former arcade called Yesterdays while growing up in Baytown.
Moving forward, phase two demolition is slated to begin in 2020, according to Matejka. The mall is transitioning into an open-air shopping center that will be known as San Jacinto Marketplace.
“We are currently working through the design and development of constructing a new façade for their building once the interior portion of the mall is demolished,” Matejka said.
Fidelis’ goal is to have some stores open by Christmas 2020.
When it’s entirely constructed, the market place will be a 1 million square foot open-air shopping center. It will feature a large, green-space plaza, creating a venue for a variety of gatherings, festivals, concerts and events.