The Woodlands Mall to open May 5; several township amenities open with limitations

The Woodlands Mall expects to open May 5, according to The Woodlands Township. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Mall expects to open May 5, according to The Woodlands Township. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woodlands Mall expects to open May 5, according to The Woodlands Township. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Although Gov. Greg Abbott's April 27 order guiding openings across the state went into effect May 1, The Woodlands Mall will not be opening to the public until May 5, according to an announcement from The Woodlands Township.

The township board of directors met in a videoconference meeting April 30 in which they reviewed recent announcements and news relating to the coronavirus.

Chair Gordy Bunch said the mall hours will be Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. once the mall reopens.

The mall currently offers curbside pickup from certain stores.

Another shopping destination in The Woodlands, Market Street at 9595 Six Pines Drive, began limited openings May 1.

"It will be a gradual approach over the next 30 days," according to a news release from the township.

Bunch said area movie theaters are also not immediately opening despite guidance from the state that they could begin to do so in May.

"We had heard it would be more like mid-summer before movie theaters would open," Bunch said in the videoconference.

Most movie theaters in the Greater Houston area also have indicated they will not open immediately. Star Cinema Grill announced it may have more information about openings as of May 1, and Showboat Drive In in Tomball in Hockley will open with limited capacity.

Among other business at the April 30 meeting, the board of directors urged residents to wear masks in public, and board member Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs announced a project to gather supplies for first responders—Help Our Heroes—completed its collections on April 30 and will become Help Our Residents.

The effort will gather homemade and store-bought masks for resident use, she said.

"The supply chain for most items has caught up, and the hospitals and our first responders appeal to have adequate supplies at this time," she said. "But there is still a need particularly for face coverings and masks for our residents, and Interfaith [of The Woodlands] will be handling the donations for distribution to the residents it has been serving."

Interfaith of The Woodlands will accept donations Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 4242 Interfaith Way, The Woodlands, she said.

Parks and amenities

The township also addressed plans for reopening parks and other recreation facilities in compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's April 27 order. Some facilities will be open in Phase 1 of the plan, but others will not open until certain criteria have been met that will allow for relaxing some social distancing guidelines. Abbott indicated Phase 1 will be evaluated May 18 before further openings are authorized.

Facilities that will be open in the first phase in The Woodlands with limitations include:

  • Lake Woodlands and Lake Paloma

  • Township pathways and trails

  • Tennis courts

  • Restrooms

  • Community garden

Activities open to groups of four people in accordance with the governor's order include skate spots, the archery range, kayak launches, BMX areas, bocce, horseshoe pits, pavilions, disc golf, and running and walking tracks.

Large parks, including sports complexes; Northshore, Rob Fleming and Town Greek parks; playgrounds; dog parks; volleyball courts; Bear Branch Skate Park; Texas TreeVentures; pools; spray grounds; and recreation centers are closed.

Details about a second phase of openings will depend on the progress of the first phase, township officials said.
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.