I believe you can only go up to six stories with wood. And given the prices, I'd be really surprised if this weren't concrete.
This is far more expensive than Randal Davis's Chateau Ten just around the corner and the Huntingdon is going for about $400 a square foot. I"d like to see them pull this off at these prices. I wonder if they don't want to undercut on price their Mimosa Place development around the corner. Even with the finest finishes, this building is crazy expensive for a a mid-rise building with modest views at best and modest amenities (even without the oil crash).
Houston is a world class city and is only "sprawling" because so many people want to live in and around it. I've never lived in Houston so I truly have an unbiased opinion and think that big doesn't mean bad. Every time that I've visited Houston I was extremely impressed with the sheer size and complexity of it. I hope Houston continues to grow because as long as it's growing it's prospering. Look at Chicago, another great American city, but more people leave Chicago every year than move there.