The Woodlands officials discuss future uses for vacant, closing Randall's store buildings

The Randall's stores in Panther Creek and Grogan's Mill in The Woodlands will close in February. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Randall's stores in Panther Creek and Grogan's Mill in The Woodlands will close in February. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Randall's stores in Panther Creek and Grogan's Mill in The Woodlands will close in February. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woodlands Township officials said they will work to ensure the two locations where Randall’s grocery stores are expected to close on or before Feb. 15 will be replaced with other grocery stores, and they hinted at the possible future use of a third vacant store as a movie theater.

The board of directors on Jan. 23 grappled with the issue of two recently announced Randall’s grocery store closings in the villages of Grogan’s Mill and Panther Creek. The locations at 2250 Buckthorne Place and 4775 W. Panther Creek in The Woodlands will close by Feb. 15, according to a Randall’s spokesperson.

According to General Manager and President Don Norrell, the Grogan’s Mill location is deed restricted to be a grocery store location. The Panther Creek location has a similar restriction to certain uses, he said.

“I had suggested the board may want to consider setting up a task force or including this with the economic development task force to do research with interested parties such as commercial real estate, the development company and others, to determine how the board may assist in development of this site,” Norrell said.

Carol Stromatt, the representative of the Indian Springs Village Association and a former township board member, said at the meeting there was concern in the village about the well-being of those who depend on the proximity of grocery stores.


“Especially because so many of the elderly who live in the subsidized housing there, that will be a great hardship for them so we are concerned about that and hope that someone really good comes in,” she said.

The Grogan’s Mill location is also home to a weekly farmers market.

Bunch said the prescriptions of seniors and others dependent on medications will be forwarded to nearby CVS stores to ensure uninterrupted access to those prescriptions in the vicinity.

“This is an important matter for not only the residents, but people who drive through and find it to be a good resource for food and health care items,” Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs said.

Sekula-Gibbs said she believed the centers should be kept comparable to other village shopping centers and could need their exterior looks updated as well.

“We want sales tax dollars coming out of that center,” she said.

Another Randall’s store, located at Hwy. 242 and FM 1488, also closed but is within close proximity to a H-E-B grocery store, and it could be the future home of a movie theater, board Chair Gordy Bunch said at the meeting. Bunch said a Star Cinema Grill was expected at the site.

"If you've heard rumors of the Randall's at [Hwy.] 242 and [FM] 1488 becoming a Star Cinema Grill, that's true," Bunch said. "The difference in that particular shopping center is you have an H-E-B less than a half a mile down the road."

Representatives from Star Cinema Grill reached by email would not confirm the location, but the theater’s website lists a forthcoming location in The Woodlands. A Star Cinema Grill opened in 2019 at nearby Springwoods Village, just south of The Woodlands near I-45 and the Grand Parkway.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.