Jerome Karam, a renowned former Friendswood lawyer, is famous for his unmatched prowess in identifying and revamping abandoned and damaged buildings. As a prominent real estate developer, Jerome Karam amazes many as he completes several projects in Texas. For several years driven by passion and zeal, the developer has been transforming dilapidated, neglected estates into flourishing properties.
He is known for restoring properties devastated by natural calamities such as floods and hurricanes. His input in restoring the operations of the dwindling Mall of the Mainland tells it all about his desire to breathe life into properties areas that seem abandoned.
The Rise and Fall of Mall of the Mainland
Way back in 1991, the Mainland Mall opened its doors for business as a joint venture between MG Herring Group and Edward J. DeBartolo Group. In 1994, the mall was expanded to accommodate a Foley's store. The developers claimed to have spent $200 on every square foot during the construction and overall development of the mall. However, the director of acquisition in 2002, Joelle Verbacke, hinted that this price was a hefty sum for a square foot but lauded the construction quality. J.P Morgan Chase Bank funded the project as the sole lender back then.
The mall was taken over by the bank in 1997 as the developer was unable to get significant returns on investments from the venture. Consequently, a subsidiary of the bank took over the management of the mall.
Shutting the Doors
The owners of the mall in 2010 filed for Bankruptcy Protection in which the possession of the mall shifted to Pacific Western Bank. This bank also later put the mall up for sale and made a whopping $15.4 million from the deal.
The woes of the mall kept on trickling up to 2012 when parts of its roof were damaged by tornadoes. In late 2013, Mall of the Mainland announced that it would evict its tenants and later shut its doors in January 2014.
The Intervention of Jerome Karam
The mall made its major comeback in august 2015 when Jerome Karam purchased a 150,000 square foot for a section that was occupied by Macy's. He installed a World Gym within the newly acquired space, allowing it to join the largest franchise list in the region. Jerome Karam claims to offer low lease rates to ensure occupancy costs are competitive enough to attract renters.
The Return of the Mall
The mall continued to resume its operations and later housed Stuttgarden Tavern and Altitude Trampoline Park, among other stores. Jerome kept on repairing most of the stores in the mall that were once used as recovery areas during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The restoration and development of the Mainland Mall in Texas City by Jerome was meant to create a vibrant shopping complex. He redesigned the mall to accommodate recreational and commercial centers affordable enough to attract and sustain renters. His motives were also driven by the desire to give back to the community through his philanthropic mission to create income for the people in his home city.
Jenny Senter, who is the chamber president, confesses that the new developments in Mainland City Complex will be a signature project for the city and an attraction center for the entire region. He further adds that it will be a good attraction point for the tourists besides offering an ideal hub for Texas citizens.
The ambitious Karam still has plans to take Mainland Mall to the next level of advancements to be at par or ahead of other regional players. He plans to carry out a comprehensive exterior upgrading that will incorporate splash pads, water fountains, green spaces, playgrounds, and water fountains.
He took advantage of the expansive outdoor arena and spacious parking lots to ensure the guests can hold events such as community occasions, crawfish boils, and concerts. The good news is that Texas Pit Stop BBQ became the first eatery to launch its operations at Mainland mall under the new management.
As the famous Mainland Mall resumes vibrancy, Jerome Karam Houston has again set the stage for negotiating leases with four major restaurants to sign for the Garza concept to launch the long-waited food court. Karam reaffirmed that several other restaurants are on the way. He is tirelessly working to bring in the Cajun eatery and Italian Pizzeria and breakfast concept in the complex.