The Alabama Bookstore, the former Alabama Theater, the beloved Montrose icon, is going to be turned into....a Staples?
That seems to be the indication from the scoop Swamplot has posted -- architectural drawings the show the property's sloped floor being leveled out by a cement pour to make one big-box retail space. The drawings, by the architectural firm Heights Venture Architects, have "Staples" written on them. (We've contacted HVA for further info but haven't heard back; their website shows much experience working with large retail chains.)
A local construction company is currently taking bids from subcontractors for a rather complete interior demolition. The plans, prepared by Heights Venture Architects, show major alterations to the floor, walls, and ceilings.
The theater's original sloped floor will be buried under a new concrete slab; wood floors inserted during the 1983 bookstore conversion will be removed. For now, the balcony will remain.
You'll have to click over to see the technical plans; we're not sure about the copyrights on the stuff.
The site, which was a theater back in the glory days of movie palaces and a bookstore for the last 20 years, closed last September.
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Since then it's been the subject of various rumors, and has been cited whenever annoyed residents grumble about Weingarten Realty and its penchant for homogenizing every piece of Houston property it owns.
This latest development seems to be the most solid information yet. (Although, as Neil Young notes in "Alabama," his song [possibly] about the site, "The devil fools with the best-laid plans.")
So rejoice, Houston: You're getting a(nother) office-supply store!!
Update: Stephen Jocivich of HVA tells Hair Balls he can't say what's going in the space: "It is not our policy to divulge or discuss what our clients' plans or projects may be," he says. A Weingarten Realty official tells the Houston Chronicle "several tenants" are being considered.