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HOUSTON-It’s out with the old and in with the new for Dillard’s, come 2002. Dillard’s will close its store on the Town & Country Mall and open a new 240,000-sf outlet in Memorial City Mall, situated about a mile away. The Dillard’s move will leave Town & Country Mall with only Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney as anchors.

Another bad blow for Town & Country occurred earlier this year when Saks Fifth Avenue closed its store there. The Town & Country Mall, located at the corner of Interstate 10 and the Sam Houston Tollway, has been criticized by its detractors who believe it lacks good visibility and convenient roadway access. The owner of Town & Country, American General Corp., has hired the Granite Partners realty firm to locate a buyer for the property.

Meanwhile, the nearby Memorial City Mall is gaining momentum in the region. In addition to the new Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor and Foley’s are building new stores on the site. Memorial City, owned by Houston-based MetroNational Corp., is undertaking a major redevelopment of the mall. A new 1,000-seat food court, new entry and other improvements are planned. “Memorial City Mall, redeveloped the way the owners have planned, will be an outstanding addition to the Houston retail market,” says William Dillard II, CEO of the Little Rock, AR-based retailer. Dillard’s operates 12 stores in Houston and 342 stores in the nation.

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