The developer of River Oaks District, Houston’s newest mecca of high-end shopping, is planning to expand its mixed-use project onto adjacent land with a hotel, office building, additional residential units and more shops.
Public documents filed with Harris County show San Diego-based OliverMcMillan has entered into a ground-lease agreement for 3.4 acres at the northeast corner of Westheimer and Westcreek. The property includes buildings that house Le Peep, Sullivan’s, Exceptional Nails and Wesctreek Market & Deli.
The developer briefly describes Phase II on its website as a 455,000-square-foot expansion with 190,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet for a luxury hotel, 90,000 square feet of residential space and 25,000 square feet of retail. Renderings show two high-rise buildings, the taller of which has a rooftop pool.
Several retailers in the initial phase of River Oaks District are expected to open starting Oct. 1. The development will include such high-fashion brands as Hermès, Cartier, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana, along with 279 apartments and a three-story office building. An eight-screen cinema called iPic is scheduled for an Oct. 30 opening.
Since the price of oil began falling last summer, OliverMcMillan officials have remained confident about their project and Houston’s ability to weather the energy slump.
“Of all the retailers we’ve worked with, none of them have asked about oil fluctuations,” Jeff Zeigler, senior managing director of retail services for OliverMcMillan, said this summer during a construction tour of the 14-acre development.
John Breeding, president of the Uptown Houston District, said the Houston economy continues to be strong, even with lower oil prices. He attributes that to the economy’s diversity.
“We’re seeing very aggressive land purchases,” he said about the Galleria area.
Developers already are building some $2.5 billion worth of commercial and residential real estate in Uptown.
River Oaks District, at 4444 Westheimer, is between Highland Village and the Galleria, which is going through its own luxury expansion.
Breeding said the additional retail competition will create a “bigger pie” of shoppers.
“It reinforces this market area as the center of retail for the Houston region,” he said.
The 650,000-square-foot project is based on a street grid system where visitors are meant to stroll under storefront canopies along tree-lined streets.
Through a spokeswoman, the developer declined to provide additional information on the expansion, including the timing of the new project. The existing restaurants and businesses have leases on their sites that run through the end of September 2017, a document shows.
The lease agreement is with Restrop, Urquhart Restrop and McKissack Restrop.
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