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Gables River Oaks: Multifamily At 2724 Kipling St.

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Jennifer Dawson

Houston Business Journal

From the February 18, 2005 print edition

An upscale inner-city sports landmark is about to become a high-end complex for apartment dwellers.

Gables Residential Trust has gained control of the old River Oaks Tennis Center and will replace the courts with a multifamily complex in one of the firm's favorite Houston neighborhoods.

Gables purchased two acres and executed a long-term ground lease for another four acres on the west side of Kirby between Kipling and Westheimer.

The Hanover Co. was set to acquire one of the tracts at one point, but the apartment developer decided not to pursue the project.

The estate of William Dickey sold the smaller tract holding the tennis courts that stretches west to Virginia Avenue. Members of the prominent Dickey family wanted to retain ownership of the property fronting Kirby, so they leased land occupied by the tennis center and a Jalapeno's restaurant.

The family of William Dickey, who died in 1999, has owned the River Oaks Tennis Center since 1890. The club has been located at this site for more than 25 years, but was closed in 2000.

The Houston family has controlled most of the land along Kirby between Westheimer and West Alabama for more than a century. During his lifetime, Dickey constructed many of the homes in the Avalon residential neighborhood, shopping centers on both northern corners of Kirby and Westheimer and the Regency House high-rise.

The recent transactions involving Dickey land closed Jan. 31, but both parties are keeping a tight lid on the financial details.

Representatives from the Dickey family and Gables were unavailable for comment.

Ed Wulfe of Wulfe & Co. represented the Dickey family, but would not comment on the land values due to a confidentiality agreement.

But given the River Oaks location, Gables more than likely paid a premium price for the site.

Industry speculation suggests that Gables may erect at least one high-rise, high-end apartment building, and the entire project could eventually have more than 700 units.

Long-term perspective

The Kirby area is definitely an attraction for the publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Gables is building a 144-unit complex at on Revere near Kirby called Gables River Oaks that is scheduled to open soon. The firm is also planning to build a smaller complex, with only 27 units, at 2620 Kipling near Kirby.

The firm's existing complexes in the area include Gables Cityscape at 3720 West Alabama near Timmons and Gables Citywalk/Waterford Square at 2828 Greenbriar near West Alabama.

Richard Zigler, director of research for O'Connor & Associates, says it is interesting that Gables would concentrate several projects in one area, but points out that it's a tremendous area.

"There's not a lot of undeveloped land in that area," says Zigler, referring to the Dickey site. "You're right on the edge of River Oaks there. It's a prime location."

David Wylie, a broker with Apartment Realty Advisors who specializes in selling apartment complexes, says the latest projects by Gables confirm the REIT's commitment to Houston, despite a soft rental market.

"I know that Gables has a very long-term perspective on the market," he says. "They buy great long-term locations."

Vacancy rates in apartments will continue to rise in Houston as developers build between 12,000 and 15,000 new units annually. In the past year, occupancy levels have dropped from 90.10 percent to 87.57 percent, according to O'Connor & Associates.

Third-quarter 2004 data from the firm shows overall monthly rental rates were 79 cents per square foot. Rental rates for Class A properties specifically were $1.04 per square foot.

Pat O'Connor, speaking at a recent event, predicted the downturn in the apartment market won't hit bottom until late 2005 or mid-2006. It will take five to eight years to recover after that, he added.

"We're certainly not lacking for new apartments," notes Zigler. "Having said that, a lot of these new projects are doing quite well."

As of last July, Gables owned 85 complexes with close to 24,000 units nationwide. At that time, the firm had nine communities under development, representing another 2,388 apartments across the country.

Gables has at least 18 properties in Houston, not including the ones under development.

jdawson@bizjournals.com -- 713-960-5935

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  • 3 years later...
Well..they did say that there could be a high rise...

The 18 tennis courts have been replaced by the most atrocious, obscene, cluttered eyesore that you can possibly imagine. To make matters worse, there is a new megahighrise being built across the street.

Game, set, match. :(

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The 18 tennis courts have been replaced by the most atrocious, obscene, cluttered eyesore that you can possibly imagine. To make matters worse, there is a new megahighrise being built across the street.

Game, set, match. :(

Kirby is starting to give me claustraphobia. I try to avoid it, and I think other people are too, as Shepherd seems more clogged every day.

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  • 4 years later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...


The gif itself is pretty badass. Maybe it's not that cool for you. I, however, could stae at it for awhile because it's Friday, it's halloween, annnnd I just smoked a blunt but that's not really a factor.

Anyway, this is in Houston and relevant.

Edited by BigFootsSocks
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  • The title was changed to Gables River Oaks: Multifamily At 2724 Kipling St.

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