Jump to content

The Driscoll & Four Additional High-Rises Coming To River Oaks Shopping Center


sachouston

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 1.4k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I guess when you grew up in the burbs, you just miss that type of restaurant. We don't have many of those restaurants. At least we now have a Panda Express in the loop. lol

The one at Gulfgate has been there for a long while. You're probably better off for not noticing, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Whole Earth's sign at W. Alabama advertises that they need staff in their new location opening up at River Oaks Shopping. Changes may be happening soon at the bookstop strip and the River Oaks shopping area.

I thought Whole Foods was supposed to be on Dallas/Montrose, not River Oaks?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, duh. Sorry, I'm hard of reading.

But I didn't realize they were moving to River Oaks as well as Bookstop. That will leave a big whole in the Alabama Center.

I don't know either. My understanding was the Bookstop stays even though the Barnes & Noble is going into River Oaks. But I could have it backwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Bookstop and B&N are the same thing. Once B&N moves, then the Bookstop will be available for lease, too. It's the same size (13,000 s.f.) as a Weingarten "available for lease soon" sign out front. Maybe big changes?!

Yes, they are the same. The plan all along has been to close Bookstop and reopen as Barnes & Noble at River Oaks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's actually a brilliant idea. You should contact them with it.

I would support that too! I can think of no better use of the Alabama Theater than to be restored to a theater, and it'd be great to have a draft house style theater close by.

I won't get hopes up though. Weingarten will probably demolish it anyway just for spite.

Edited by barracuda
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would support that too! I can think of no better use of the Alabama Theater than to be restored to a theater, and it'd be great to have a draft house style theater close by.

I won't get hopes up though. Weingarten will probably demolish it anyway just for spite.

This would be excellent for this area. I think it would do great business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't get hopes up though. Weingarten will probably demolish it anyway just for spite.

If we prod city council into passing a preservation bill with "teeth," that won't happen. There has been an opportunity for city council to pass a bill like this protecting both the River Oaks and the Alabama, and there likely still is one. The Save River Oaks Theatre groups really need to put the pressure on the politicians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Politicians" have too many financial interests at stake to pass some silly preservation laws <_<

Frankly I don't think the problem is politicians with financial instruments as much as the contingent that views preservation as being equivalent to communism.

And yes, I think Weingarten would demolish it out of spite, although here the big problem is that old movie theaters are notoriously difficult to redevelop into other uses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Politicians" have too many financial interests at stake to pass some silly preservation laws <_<

The problem is that the people of Houston haven't yet convinced the politicians that preservation is in their financial interest.

In cities like New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, and even Seattle there are enough people who care about architecture to get a politician's ear. The same politicians who go on architecture tours while vacationing in other cities apply the strip-mine method of urban management when they come home to Houston. They don't care because they don't have to care, aren't made to care, and didn't grow up in an atmosphere where such things are important.

Until the politicians are made to care, things won't change. We need to make Houston businesses care about preservation, and then the politicians will follow. For a start, the city should make it financially attractive for building owners to seek landmark status. It should also be financially attractive to renovate and rehabilitate existing structures. And there should be penalties for leaving buildings abandoned, whether it's a crack shed along 290 or a skyscraper downtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point, editor.

We need to change our political culture. You know that kind-of-wealthy couple who likes watching The Shining or Ferris Bueller's Day Off at the River Oaks? Get them to ask the local city council member (in a tone between "please do so" and "you won't dare not do so") to propose a bill (of course, you should also send your own letter to your representative).

The problem is that the people of Houston haven't yet convinced the politicians that preservation is in their financial interest.

In cities like New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, and even Seattle there are enough people who care about architecture to get a politician's ear. The same politicians who go on architecture tours while vacationing in other cities apply the strip-mine method of urban management when they come home to Houston. They don't care because they don't have to care, aren't made to care, and didn't grow up in an atmosphere where such things are important.

Until the politicians are made to care, things won't change. We need to make Houston businesses care about preservation, and then the politicians will follow. For a start, the city should make it financially attractive for building owners to seek landmark status. It should also be financially attractive to renovate and rehabilitate existing structures. And there should be penalties for leaving buildings abandoned, whether it's a crack shed along 290 or a skyscraper downtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly I don't think the problem is politicians with financial instruments as much as the contingent that views preservation as being equivalent to communism.

And yes, I think Weingarten would demolish it out of spite, although here the big problem is that old movie theaters are notoriously difficult to redevelop into other uses.

It wouldn't be that difficult to redevelop a former theatre into a new theatre, the problem is that all the politicians in Houston are also "developers" and only think in terms of tearing down the old and rebuilding with an inferior product in order to gain a hefty profit for themselves.

Edited by missmsry
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I can't see the offending encroachment in the rendering unless they are talking about the little outdoor patio in the top right (where the former Black-Eyed Pea was). Really, this seems to be much ado about nothing. On the plus side, the top rendering looks much better than the previously proposed one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A wine bar will be noisier than Shepherd Drive? Clearly these people did not make their fortunes from their intelligence. But, really, can there be anything better than rich snobs protesting an offensive wine bar. In the barrio, they're pleading to shut down the taxi bars, where shootings and drug dealing occurs. In River Oaks, they are protesting a wine bar. I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it is much ado about nothing... i'm in no way in favor of tearing down historical landmarks, but the redevelopment that weingarten is doing will keep a lot of the art deco aesthetics that really make this shopping center unique. it's not like they're putting in some banal biege stucco structure. the fluster concerning the noise that a wine bar would bring is downright silly seeing as though shepherd and west gray isn't exactly a quiet intersection to begin with

that being said, i vehemently oppose the demolition of the both the river oaks and alabama theatres.

Edited by swtsig
Link to comment
Share on other sites

it is much ado about nothing... i'm in no way in favor of tearing down historical landmarks, but the redevelopment that weingarten is doing will keep a lot of the art deco aesthetics that really make this shopping center unique. it's not like they're putting in some banal biege stucco structure. the fluster concerning the noise that a wine bar would bring is downright silly seeing as though shepherd and west gray isn't exactly a quiet intersection to begin with

that being said, i vehemently oppose the demolition of the both the river oaks and alabama theatres.

Weingarten will probably tear down the River Oaks theater and put a third Starbucks on that corner. Yes, this is the famed corner with two Starbucks, yet no room for a historic movie theater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly I don't think the problem is politicians with financial instruments as much as the contingent that views preservation as being equivalent to communism.

And yes, I think Weingarten would demolish it out of spite, although here the big problem is that old movie theaters are notoriously difficult to redevelop into other uses.

The Alabama & Shepherd retail center has inadequate parking to satisfy most prospective tenants. That's the main problem. And they may rush to demolish it if they perceive that the indiginous population would seek to create new regulation which would undermine the value of the property as land.

It would not be a demolition out of spite. If the rhetoric gets toxic enough, it may instead be in order to prevent the unmitigated loss of millions of dollars of equity value because sentimentalists prefered an economy ordered by government rather than by whether those sentimentalists were actually willing or able to back up their preferences with their own resources.

Preservationism is not itself equivalent to communism. But communistic approaches to the matter are tools in the shed, and they do get some use.

the problem is that all the politicians in Houston are also "developers" and only think in terms of tearing down the old and rebuilding with an inferior product in order to gain a hefty profit for themselves.

Name one politician that makes a profit by demolishing an old theater. <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it is much ado about nothing... i'm in no way in favor of tearing down historical landmarks, but the redevelopment that weingarten is doing will keep a lot of the art deco aesthetics that really make this shopping center unique. it's not like they're putting in some banal biege stucco structure.

I said earlier in this thread that I hate it when people (not you obviously) buy into the idea that if the developer throws in historical references that it somehow makes it less offensive to tear down a structure. The example I love to hate is the fake movie marquee tacked on the Village shopping center, as if that was close enough to the old Village theater. Architectural tokenism at its worst.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Received this email from Historic Houston:

WEINGARTEN REALTYREQUESTS VARIANCE FOR RIVER OAKS SHOPPING CENTER

Historic Houston is sending out this email due to the volume of calls and emails we have received concerning the Variance Request sign posted at the River Oaks Shopping Center and to to request your help!

A representative for Weingarten Realty has explained that the variance request is to allow construction of an OPEN AIR seated area balcony which can be used as a wine bar and according to the new tenant, Tony and Jeff Vallone, the space will be available to rent for private parties (possibly with music). CONSTRUCTION WAS ALREADY UNDERWAY WHEN RIVER OAKS RESIDENTS BROUGHT IT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CITY!

The Variance Request is to allow construction 10' in front of the building line to accomodate this open air seated balcony which is in violation of the City set back requirements. Needless to say granting the variance and allowing the construction of an open air wine bar has the potential of burdening the surrounding neighbors and neighborhoods with disturbing noise and infringes on their quiet enjoyment of their homes, especially at night since alcohol can be sold until 2:00 AM. The variance request will be on the agenda at the Planning Commission meeting next Thursday, December 18th at 2:30 at City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby, City Council Chamber.

The surrounding neighbors have created a website at www.StopShepherdNoise.org and YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW! Please sign the petition to oppose this variance request. Below are rendering of the originals plans that were presented to the surrounding neighbors as well as a rendering of the new building with the projecting open air wine bar that is being constructed. The River Oaks neighbors have offered Weingarten Realty several viable options to mitigate the potential problems of the open air wine bar and are asking that Weingarten Realty and Tony and Jeff Vallone BE GOOD NEIGHBORS!

****************

"CONSTRUCTION WAS ALREADY UNDERWAY WHEN RIVER OAKS RESIDENTS BROUGHT IT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CITY!"

The city should make them tear down what's already been constructed BEFORE even considering their variance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it.

It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it.

When did this theatre become historic? If it was torn down 40 years ago would the same furor exist?

Will new structures built now be fought for a 100-years from now? All you are preserving is a building. Not memories. Those are in your head.

As for the variance request: Weintgarten will get it because the neighborhood has not legs to stand on in this fight. A wine bar does not generate much noise. Not as much as Shepherd does already. And since Shepherd is pretty much at capacity or exceeding it during rush hour, the noise really can't get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^That's lame. Just because someone is interested in not tearing down structures doesn't mean they should get in to high dollar real estate or in this case, movie theater ownership.

The theater is there, it is owned by a large real estate firm already, it is used, and it makes money.

But yeah, bring on the waste and generica :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it.

It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it.

Finally, someone who understands how things work.

If the theatre is so important then why can't someone just raise the money to save it? People like to talk about historical preservation but when it comes right down to it they don't want to spend any money on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, fundraising is so easy for commercial real estate properties . And grants are flowing freely right now (especially in that category) <_<

Too bad Weingarten owns it and *if* they would sell it to someone sympathetic that *could* afford to, it would probably be at an interesting price.

Like I said, bring on the waste...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally, someone who understands how things work.

How condescending. I understand perfectly well 'how things work'. So does Sev.

But a number of us on the HAIF believe in historic preservation because it assumes that there is value in the cultural continuity of architecture, and that communities are not always best served by everything being for sale to the highest bidder. It's fine to not agree with that, but there's no need to be rude. Yes, ultimately everything does have a price. Unfortunately, there are a lot fewer funds in the public and non-profit sectors to preserve very much. At least here in Houston.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it.

It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it.

gosh, i wish life were so easy...

WRI, and their shareholders, know how difficult it would be to replace that asset. they will need to charge way over and beyond market price (ie unrealistic even by old standards).

maybe really stupid money could have convinced a potential sale but that train left the station over a year ago. it could return but not in the forseeable future. no one wants negative arbitrage for some odd reason...

Edited by houston-development
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it.

It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it.

When did this theatre become historic? If it was torn down 40 years ago would the same furor exist?

Will new structures built now be fought for a 100-years from now? All you are preserving is a building. Not memories. Those are in your head.

As for the variance request: Weintgarten will get it because the neighborhood has not legs to stand on in this fight. A wine bar does not generate much noise. Not as much as Shepherd does already. And since Shepherd is pretty much at capacity or exceeding it during rush hour, the noise really can't get worse.

The post you're replying to has nothing to do with the theater. It concerns the new construction across the street.

I certainly hope some of the new structures that are being built today will be deemed worthy of preservation 100 years from now. I'm grateful that others have had the foresight to preserve the magnificent (and humble) structures of our past from demolition. Rather than treating historic structures with contempt, one might try learning from them. That's in your head, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the GHPA:

Planning Commission defers River Oaks Shopping Center variance

Houston Planning Commission has deferred action until Thursday, January 8, on a variance request by Weingarten Realty for new construction on the River Oaks Shopping Center site. Nearby residents have formed Stop Shepherd Noise, www.stopshepherdnoise.org, to oppose the variance request.

A video of yesterday afternoon’s Planning Commission meeting is now available for viewing online at http://houstontx.city.swagit.com/Council_Commissions/. A replay of the Planning Commission meeting will air at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday, December 28, on Houston Television (HTV), formerly The Municipal Channel, on local cable providers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned on other blogs, if you don't want the theatre torn down in the future, just buy it.

It has a price. Weingarten would be glad to sell it if you want to pay for it.

If I might say so, that's pretty shallow and simplistic thinking. It's not like the public has to own buildings to have an interest in historic preservation or the quality of life in a city. Duh - that's why there are city governments, and most cities have laws allowing for preservation of historic structures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I might say so, that's pretty shallow and simplistic thinking. It's not like the public has to own buildings to have an interest in historic preservation or the quality of life in a city. Duh - that's why there are city governments, and most cities have laws allowing for preservation of historic structures.

Ummm... Houston has laws allowing for preservation of historic structures. Some other cities have laws requiring preservation (i.e. requiring people to do with their property what somebody at city hall thinks is best).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ummm... Houston has laws allowing for preservation of historic structures. Some other cities have laws requiring preservation (i.e. requiring people to do with their property what somebody at city hall thinks is best).

I stand corrected! :D

Yes, I meant laws requiring preservation when the city deems it necessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny how the "free market" crowd has flooded this thread again with the idea that the old River Oaks Theatre is for sale.

It is NOT for sale. Weingarten would NEVER sell such an important piece of land right in the MIDDLE of their holdings. The River Oaks is physically attached to Weingarten's other River Oaks Shopping Center holdings. Expressing the idea that preservationists could buy only the Theatre is what is truly naive.

Edited by KinkaidAlum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny how the "free market" crowd has flooded this thread again with the idea that the old River Oaks Theatre is for sale.

It is NOT for sale. Weingarten would NEVER sell such an important piece of land right in the MIDDLE of their holdings. The River Oaks is physically attached to Weingarten's other River Oaks Shopping Center holdings. Expressing the idea that preservationists could buy only the Theatre is what is truly naive.

Two thoughts:

(1) Never say Never. For the right price, everything is for sale, even an "important piece of land right in the MIDDLE of their holdings."

(2) Preservationists have been expressing alarm about the whole shopping center, not just the theater. They could buy the whole shopping center. For that matter, they could buy the whole shopping center if that's what it takes to preserve just the theater. But of course, it's much easier (and easier on the personal pocketbook) if one can get the government to use its police state power to do your "work" for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Preservationists have been expressing alarm about the whole shopping center, not just the theater. They could buy the whole shopping center. For that matter, they could buy the whole shopping center if that's what it takes to preserve just the theater. But of course, it's much easier (and easier on the personal pocketbook) if one can get the government to use its police state power to do your "work" for you.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Although it's not on their website yet, channel 13 reported that Weingarten had been (retroactively) granted their varience.

Two council members urged its passage. Channel 13 noted that Weingarten Realty had contributed to each of their campaigns. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two council members urged its passage. Channel 13 noted that Weingarten Realty had contributed to each of their campaigns. :angry:

Yeah, Wanda is getting some wine bar on her side of Shepherd, and Pam screws residents of her constituency on the her side of Shepherd. The ladies were workin' the strip today. ;)

(I'm not a moderator, so I'm callin' them out, dbigtex56 :P ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The Driscoll & Four Additional High-Rises Coming To River Oaks Shopping Center
  • Urbannizer changed the title to The Driscoll + Four Additional High-Rises Coming to River Oaks Shopping Center

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...