Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

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wnetmacman
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Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by wnetmacman » 11 Sep 2012 22:06

Looking at Google Maps, I found this:
http://goo.gl/maps/wnd1N

It was once a Safeway, and appears to be a Mini-Marina. Hearne was definitely deep in Safeway territory, most likely the Houston division. Anybody ever see a marina this small before?
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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 24 Sep 2012 00:06

No. There were never any Marina stores in Texas, and it would've converted to AppleTree, which it didn't.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by wnetmacman » 24 Sep 2012 00:15

There were never any Marina stores in Texas
Absolutely wrong. This store was a marina, and there were additional marinas in:

Dallas
Fort Worth
Marshall (Currently Craig Furniture) http://goo.gl/maps/kU0cD
Atlanta (Currently part of a church) http://goo.gl/maps/c81Nz
Henderson (I *personally* shopped in the store when it was a Safeway; it became Brookshire Brothers in 1981, and has changed several times since BB moved down the street in the mid 90s.) http://goo.gl/maps/Riwv7

And MANY others.
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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 24 Sep 2012 08:42

Yes, but all Safeways in Texas became AppleTree, at least the Houston-Austin-Bryan-College Station division, of which the Hearne store would've been. Any Safeways in Dallas would be of a different division. I've looked through all the information regarding the AppleTree bankruptcy--none of them were from Hearne. There was one in Huntsville, which remained open (and is now Brookshire Brothers), three in Bryan-College Station (plus a fourth one that died early and became the county health department), a handful in Austin, and the rest in Houston area.

Besides, the location is completely wrong for a grocery store to be...all the rest of the stores were on major roads.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 24 Sep 2012 16:06

Yeah, just to clarify, IF there was a Safeway in Hearne, which there wasn't, it would've been an AppleTree.

The Dallas ones were of a separate division, sold off in 1987 in parts.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by wnetmacman » 24 Sep 2012 18:47

Besides, the location is completely wrong for a grocery store to be...all the rest of the stores were on major roads.
If you look through the picture, you'll see a Brookshire Brothers store, just a half block away, and there is a Dollar General just behind.

Hearne is a black hole of retail. The town hit a massive recession in the 80's from which it could not recover. Even the Wal-Mart closed, which at the time was a national news story, because at the time, Wal-Mart had never closed a store.
Yes, but all Safeways in Texas became AppleTree
There is a store on I-35 between 11 and 12th streets that is not only a marina, but was never an Apple Tree. It closed before Safeway sold out.
http://goo.gl/maps/ckxiQ None of the stores in the Dallas division became Apple Tree.

The Dallas/Houston divider line was very strange. For instance, Center, TX was Houston, but Carthage (30 miles north) was Dallas. Henderson was Dallas, but Jacksonville was Houston. And Palestine (which you have to go through Jacksonville from Henderson to get to) was Dallas. Go figure.
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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 25 Sep 2012 21:41

- Looking through local newspaper articles in the Bryan-College Station newspaper mentions no Hearne stores, only four in Bryan-College Station. Although Hearne has its own newspaper, it likely would've mentioned it, plus
- Hearne would still be in the Houston division, not the Dallas division. The Dallas division was sold off in parts, the Houston division became AppleTree.
- This doesn't look at all like any other Marina stores from Safeway--there would be other examples of this prototype.
- The marina look in general wasn't limited to Safeway (Penn Fruit, even White Front had similar designs)

In conclusion--the chances of this being a Safeway are slim to none. However, it probably was another grocery store--just not a Safeway.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by wnetmacman » 25 Sep 2012 23:32

This doesn't look at all like any other Marina stores from Safeway--there would be other examples of this prototype.
Compare the arch of the roof with the examples I posted above. The only thing missing would be the left wing. Safeway was well known for adjusting the Marina prototype to meet the needs of the community. I've seen Marinas that barely qualified as a supermarket, all the way to the full-blown store with all the peripheral departments.
Hearne would still be in the Houston division, not the Dallas division. The Dallas division was sold off in parts, the Houston division became AppleTree.
See my above quote about Austin. Not all the stores became Apple Tree; even they cherry-picked and shut down some unprofitable locations during their takeover.
The marina look in general wasn't limited to Safeway (Penn Fruit, even White Front had similar designs)
None of these had stores in Texas. Only Safeway built stores with this type of arched roof there. And Hearne couldn't even keep a Walmart.

I will add this; Safeway built Marina stores from roughly 1959-1972 or possibly later. This store (according to some phantom web records) also spent some time as a Brookshire Brothers, who expanded to a lot of areas through acquisitions rather than building new stores. BB never built a store like this, which means they would have acquired it (see my Henderson, TX quote above). I would check records from Hearne at least back to the mid 60's.

I still say it was built as a Safeway. Possibly, as the Dallas division inched toward Houston, but before they bought out Weingarten's.

As further supporting evidence, here is a Marina in Taylor, southwest of Hearne, which also would have been in the Houston division: http://goo.gl/maps/xf0DA
This is now the Taylor City Hall.
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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by Groceteria » 26 Sep 2012 16:42

wnetmacman wrote:Safeway was well known for adjusting the Marina prototype to meet the needs of the community. I've seen Marinas that barely qualified as a supermarket, all the way to the full-blown store with all the peripheral departments.
This is true. There were also a couple of instances of older pylon-type stores being converted into a modified version of the Marina (although that doesn't seem to be the case here). All the signs point to this maybe having been a very small Marina, or at least a case of a builder going to extraordinary lengths to make it look like one: everything from the cladding to the front window glass placement looks right. It could have been a test for a small-town store prototype that was never duplicated elsewhere.

We'll never know for sure until someone can check old phone books or city directories but I think there's too much evidence to dismiss the possibility out of hand. Having researched old stores for many years now, I almost never say "never."

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 26 Sep 2012 21:51

I still hold the "no" vote because there was a Safeway in downtown Bryan that was smaller (or at least the same size) of the supposed Hearne store, and due to my fairly extensive research of the AppleTree chain, I'm tending to rule out Safeway being in Hearne.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by storewanderer » 01 Oct 2012 02:49

That looks like a marina to me. A small one. They did small marinas in some small towns. They also did small gables in some small spots. This looks kind of like one of those but a marina version.

Gable example:
161 North 5th Street, Okemah, Oklahoma (Family Dollar)

And, not to drift to the business topic, but given that they sold off troubled divisions, it would not surprise me if they closed or sold stores prior to officially selling to Apple Tree.
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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 01 Oct 2012 11:42

Could've been a Safeway, I suppose. The Hearne economy has been shrinking for decades. Today, the population is about 4,500 people. Ten years ago it was about 4,700. Twenty years ago it was 5,100 people.

Did Safeway prefer small towns when it was expanding?

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by pseudo3d » 05 Oct 2012 16:28

OK...there's stronger evidence it was a Safeway. Wikipedia says they opened stores in Houston in '69, but there was a recorded instance of a Bryan store in 1964, which suggests that Safeway hit the smaller stores first before going for Houston.

It also explains why there are no Marina stores in Houston.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by terryinokc » 05 Oct 2012 16:55

There is a "small Marina" Safeway still operating as a Homeland ...in Perry, OK that looks very similar to the above mentioned one in Okemah OK.
I'm trying to find a picture...there was a Safeway in North Tulsa in a shopping center with a "kind of Marina" look...It had the "swoop" to one side if I remember right. It operated as a Safeway until the early 80's....dont think it was operated as a Homeland once they bought all the Oklahoma Safeway stores. Will try to get back by there....it's in a really bad part of town now.
I remember being in at least two Marina stores in Texas... in Dallas....one was on Knox just west of Central Expressway....the building has been demolished for a while....it was a Tom Thumb for a while before it closed. Also, there is one in Wichita Falls that was still operating as a Kings Market hispanic store as of a few months ago.

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Re: Mini-Marina - Hearne, TX

Post by storewanderer » 07 Oct 2012 23:45

Perry was a pretty good sized store. More standard 12 aisle model as I recall. I have photos somewhere. I think it was quite a bit larger than what I saw in Okemah.
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