Back about one decade before the turn of the 20th century, Joseph F. Meyer purchased 6,000 acres of land on the southwest outskirts of Houston. At the time, the property cost Meyer about $5 per acre. Sixty years later, his descendants turned that investment into Meyerland Plaza, the third shopping center in the Houston area, following the Palms Center and the Gulfgate Mall.
Back then, the Meyerland Plaza sat among a modest suburb. Despite its location, the opening ceremonies were quite elaborate. In a 2010 profile of the mall's history, The Houston Chronicle dug into its archives to find this description of the grand opening: "Cancan dancers, flamenco dancers and an actual balloon used in the film 'Around the World in 80 Days' were just some of the festivities that opened Meyerland Plaza on Oct. 31, 1957."
For a community that had only been around for three years, Meyerland Plaza became the anchor location for the neighborhood. And although the facility experienced some financial turbulence during the 1980s, it has remained one of the largest open-air shopping facilities in Houston and a destination spot for consumers across the city.
Throughout The SquareFoot's "Spaces in Space City" tour through Houston, our community profiles have remained confined to within the 610 Loop. Meyerland is the exception, as it acts as the southwest limit of the highway, relatively far from Downtown Houston. Fortunately, the city's roadway system makes transportation to the area fairly easy, so businesses that decide to settle in Meyerland should have no concerns about being ostracized from the rest of the city.