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The Driscoll: New 29-Story apartment tower with retail for the River Oaks Shopping Center

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phttp://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2015/12/15/river-oaks-shopping-center-might-add-residential.html

 

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Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) is considering adding mixed-use components to its existing River Oaks Shopping Center.

 

Some of the options Weingarten is considering include a residential component, additional retail and structured parking, as well as improved pedestrian walkability and enhanced public spaces. However, the company said the plans are still very preliminary.

 

“If an option evaluated is feasible and a definitive plan is approved, we will make an official announcement,” Gerald Crump, senior vice president of leasing for Weingarten Realty, said in a statement.

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I know this is not referring to the new ROD, so which "River Oaks Shopping Center" is this?  

 

the one on west gray... you know, River Oaks Shopping Center.

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I know this is not referring to the new ROD, so which "River Oaks Shopping Center" is this?  

 It's been on West Gray at Shepherd since 1937.

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Back when plans for redeveloping the River Oaks Shopping Center were first mooted (leading to the Barnes & Noble building) there was a diagram floating around that showed a residential development where the River Oaks Theater is.  I wonder if that is still what they have in mind.  

 

 

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Back when plans for redeveloping the River Oaks Shopping Center were first mooted (leading to the Barnes & Noble building) there was a diagram floating around that showed a residential development where the River Oaks Theater is.  I wonder if that is still what they have in mind.  

The article says this component would be on the North side of W. Gray where Sur La Table, Local Pour and  Brasserie 19 currently are.  

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The article says this component would be on the North side of W. Gray where Sur La Table, Local Pour and  Brasserie 19 currently are.  

 

Thanks.  I'm glad to hear that.

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/Weingarten-River-Oaks-Shopping-Center-plans-6705313.php#photo-9126069

 

On Tuesday, the company said it is planning more changes. This time Weingarten officials are focused on the north side of the property along West Gray between McDuffie and Driscoll streets. The changes could include adding residential units, more retail space and parking.

 

"We've started engaging architects, and we're talking to various vendors," senior vice president of leasing Gerald Crump said in a phone interview. "We've had some tenant conversations over the last several weeks of what we could potentially do out here."

 

The company called the new plan "very preliminary."

 

n 2007, Weingarten demolished the building on the center's northwest corner to make way for a bigger structure, which is now anchored by Barnes & Noble. The company also added a multistory parking garage in the back.

The new development was one that drew the ire of historic preservation groups that already had concerns about losing their beloved River Oaks Theatre.

If Weingarten intends to demolish any parts of the center, it will have to notify the city's Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission because the property is designated as a historic landmark.

But even if the commission disapproves of the plans, Weingarten could still move forward after a 90-day waiting period, said David Bush, acting executive director of Preservation Houston.

Crump said Weingarten does not take the community's concerns lightly and would communicate its plans to residents as it gets closer to finalizing its plans.

Based on a preliminary timetable, the new development could be completed as early as 2019.

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Weingarten Expands River Oaks Center Footprint with Acquisition 

 

Weingarten Realty has made a property acquisition in the River Oaks area that will allow it to expand its redevelopment plans for its iconic River Oaks Shopping Center.

 

The Houston-based real estate investment trust purchased the Pier One store at 1935 West Gray.

 

"The property will be part of the future redevelopment of the River Oaks shopping center," according to a company statement released Tuesday with information on fourth-quarter transactions.

 

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Not sure if it's related but I saw survey crews at the river oaks shopping center this weekend. Near Kroger and and also near Sur La Table.

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Drew tells us everything is on the table. The company is considering a residential component, office space, parking options and landscaping improvements (don’t worry, removing there are no plans to remove the palm trees).  The residential component would probably see more empty nesters than Millennials, considering the area, Drew says.

Weingarten is always looking for ways to modernize the iconic shopping center, Drew says, even when those improvements whip up controversy. The company's exploring ways to connect the north and south sides of the complex. They’ve considered an elevated crosswalk, but that idea never got off the ground—literally. The distance across the road is too short; the span would be too steep to walk comfortably. An underground tunnel would likewise have a number of obstacles. Discussions continue.
 

Kroger is being remodeled, no surprise since Drew says supermarkets are a bright spot in Houston's Goldilocks economy: OK, but not great. Weingarten’s grocers average an outstanding $602/SF in sales, Drew tells us.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/retail/drew-alexander-dishes-on-river-oaks-shopping-center-and-the-end-of-the-universe-57600?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

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More properties acquired  for redevelopment 

 

http://m.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Weingarten-announces-Q4-earnings-and-River-Oaks-10949152.php

 

Weingarten Realty Investors said Tuesday that it purchased two free-standing buildings next to its River Oaks Shopping Center "that will facilitate planned future redevelopment."



 

The buildings were mentioned in the company's fourth-quarter earnings release, where Weingarten reported quarterly net income of $44.1 million, or 34 cents per share, down from $47.3 million, or 38 cents per share, for the same period in 2015.

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Weingarten is always looking for ways to modernize the iconic shopping center, Drew says, even when those improvements whip up controversy. The company's exploring ways to connect the north and south sides of the complex. They’ve considered an elevated crosswalk, but that idea never got off the ground—literally. The distance across the road is too short; the span would be too steep to walk comfortably. An underground tunnel would likewise have a number of obstacles. Discussions continue.

 

I know I must be looking straight at it, but for some reason it escapes me... Can someone tell me why people can't just walk across the street there?

 

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

 

 

I know I must be looking straight at it, but for some reason it escapes me... Can someone tell me why people can't just walk across the street there?

 

Lol! Since the redevelopment would likely include a second story, they could just... you know, span the two. Likely where there are to be stairs and elevators in place already?

 

People cross Westheimer in Highland Village all the time. All ages, all incomes, all times of day.

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Kroger is the only place I frequent in that area, and I normally ride my bike down Clay to Woodhead to get there. Too many parking lot entrances and cars darting all over the place. I actually had to go to JosABank and Kroger this last weekend and walked in between. Just a few stores and a parking lot apart. I almost got run over several times and watched people valet for Sunday brunch when they could have parked 50' away. Between the size of the parking lots, number of entrances, fast left turners coming off Gray, and the unfortunate nature of all the people around, not many people walk in that center. I think it will take more then an elevated crosswalk to change the way people move around the whole center.

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What this means to me is another pocket of high-rises is coming to this dead end at w. Gray.

 

Residents of this tower will like that Regent Square is right around the corner...eventually.

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I have to admit it is a great location.  Being in walking proximity of all that retail, River Oaks Theater and Kroger is going to be a big draw. 

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1 minute ago, Subdude said:

Being in walking proximity of all that retail

except no one walks around there! I'm telling you people drive from one store to another within the same parking lot.

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skwatra is right. I've seen people drive from the North side to the South side just to shop. Seriously. When I lived on Elmen I used to walk to the River Oaks Theater but that was in the 90s and there was also a theater at West Gray @ Waugh. Saw Mars Attacks there after a bowl. Never laughed so hard in my life. 

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4 hours ago, Mab said:

 

There will be one less of those turrets, which is a win.

 

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6 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

skwatra is right. I've seen people drive from the North side to the South side just to shop. Seriously. When I lived on Elmen I used to walk to the River Oaks Theater but that was in the 90s and there was also a theater at West Gray @ Waugh. Saw Mars Attacks there after a bowl. Never laughed so hard in my life. 

A bowl of cereal? Lol 

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39 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

A bowl of cereal? Lol 

 

Haha, it took me a minute to figure that one out too.. I haven't heard that term in years.

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except no one walks around there! I'm telling you people drive from one store to another within the same parking lot.

The people that live in the neighborhood do. I walk to Kroger, Buffalo Bayou Park, River Oaks Theatre all the time and I see my neighbors out walking quite often.

Edited by jgriff
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On 2/21/2017 at 8:56 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

 

 

I know I must be looking straight at it, but for some reason it escapes me... Can someone tell me why people can't just walk across the street there?

 

 

Perhaps they could install Gondolas, they're pretty popular right now.

 

17 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

skwatra is right. I've seen people drive from the North side to the South side just to shop. Seriously. When I lived on Elmen I used to walk to the River Oaks Theater but that was in the 90s and there was also a theater at West Gray @ Waugh. Saw Mars Attacks there after a bowl. Never laughed so hard in my life. 

 

Seriously though, why is W. Gray 4 lanes there? Why wouldn't they drop it to 1 lane each direction, and a suicide turn lane (or median with turn lanes)? At Waugh, they should get rid of the extra lane on both sides and slow it down to encourage pedestrians and discourage people using it as a through street.

 

I watched Mars Attacks at the theater that used to be at BW8 and I10, I didn't have a bowl previous to seeing it, but still laughed quite hard.

 

as far as why people drive across the street, they probably assume it's not one shopping experience, and if they leave their car on one side to go shopping on the other side they'll get towed.

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Parking is a major part of it. I know at many of the areas the parking is strictly for the 1-5 business in that area. If you walk across, in theory you can get towed. That would have to be changed. For instance, the parking at Mens Warehouse is for their customers only. If you want to go to The Gap down the street, you will have to move your car. The parking at Kroger says for Kroger customers only. The same is for the parking garage at the corner by Barnes and Noble. 

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39 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

Perhaps they could install Gondolas, they're pretty popular right now.

 

 

Seriously though, why is W. Gray 4 lanes there? Why wouldn't they drop it to 1 lane each direction, and a suicide turn lane (or median with turn lanes)? At Waugh, they should get rid of the extra lane on both sides and slow it down to encourage pedestrians and discourage people using it as a through street.

 

I watched Mars Attacks at the theater that used to be at BW8 and I10, I didn't have a bowl previous to seeing it, but still laughed quite hard.

 

as far as why people drive across the street, they probably assume it's not one shopping experience, and if they leave their car on one side to go shopping on the other side they'll get towed.

 

Houston seems to love 4 lane streets even when there could be a better configuration with less travel lanes

Take Westheimer for example - lower Westheimer could work better as a 2 lane street with parking on both sides and left turn lanes at the lights, since that is what people treat it as now anyway

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3 hours ago, cspwal said:

 

Houston seems to love 4 lane streets even when there could be a better configuration with less travel lanes

Take Westheimer for example - lower Westheimer could work better as a 2 lane street with parking on both sides and left turn lanes at the lights, since that is what people treat it as now anyway

i disagree that would work better.  such an arrangement would be similar to Westheimer near Woodhead, and on the weekends in nice weather, the stretch to the east of that intersection is to be avoided at all costs.  i don't see any traffic issues on west gray or lower Westheimer at this time.  let's not create them.   and putting the towing issue aside (which should be fixed), how hard is it for people to walk 30 feet to the stoplight and cross like they do in every other city.  

Edited by htownproud

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4 hours ago, thatguysly said:

Parking is a major part of it. I know at many of the areas the parking is strictly for the 1-5 business in that area. If you walk across, in theory you can get towed. That would have to be changed. For instance, the parking at Mens Warehouse is for their customers only. If you want to go to The Gap down the street, you will have to move your car. The parking at Kroger says for Kroger customers only. The same is for the parking garage at the corner by Barnes and Noble. 

 

If Weingarten restricts (or lets tenants restrict) their parking so that you can't shop at more than one store, then they're as dumb as I thought.

 

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7 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

If Weingarten restricts (or lets tenants restrict) their parking so that you can't shop at more than one store, then they're as dumb as I thought.

 

The Village parking is similar in some areas as well.  Unfortunately, restricted parking like this is fairly common phenomenon in our "strip mall" centric city.  

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There's literally a 6 story free garage that's is literally a 3 min walk max from any store in the entire complex. Is reserving 3-5 spots for big anchors really a dumb idea considering most people go there for a specific store? Someone going to Brasserie 19 is most likely not going to Gap or the gym equipment store under Americas. So many people here like to call big developers dumb but don't exactly seem to be successful developers. Market forces don't always match our ideals :)

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2 hours ago, quietstorm said:

The Village parking is similar in some areas as well.  Unfortunately, restricted parking like this is fairly common phenomenon in our "strip mall" centric city.  

 

I imagine it is the newer centers in the village that charge higher rents, and thus have national-credit tenants who demand that a certain number of spaces be reserved for their customers. Otherwise I think most of the village has evolved to an "experience" destination where it is understood that the idea is to bring customers in for an extended duration where they will visit several stores.

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2 minutes ago, iah77 said:

There's literally a 6 story free garage that's is literally a 3 min walk max from any store in the entire complex. Is reserving 3-5 spots for big anchors really a dumb idea considering most people go there for a specific store? Someone going to Brasserie 19 is most likely not going to Gap or the gym equipment store under Americas. So many people here like to call big developers dumb but don't exactly seem to be successful developers. Market forces don't always match our ideals :)

 

I knew someone would rush to defend developers. There are only a couple developers in this city I don't like and Weingarten is one of them.

 

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6 minutes ago, iah77 said:

There's literally a 6 story free garage that's is literally a 3 min walk max from any store in the entire complex. Is reserving 3-5 spots for big anchors really a dumb idea considering most people go there for a specific store? Someone going to Brasserie 19 is most likely not going to Gap or the gym equipment store under Americas. So many people here like to call big developers dumb but don't exactly seem to be successful developers. Market forces don't always match our ideals :)

 

We're all talking about this quote from the first page:

Quote

Weingarten is always looking for ways to modernize the iconic shopping center, Drew says, even when those improvements whip up controversy. The company's exploring ways to connect the north and south sides of the complex. They’ve considered an elevated crosswalk, but that idea never got off the ground—literally. The distance across the road is too short; the span would be too steep to walk comfortably. An underground tunnel would likewise have a number of obstacles. Discussions continue.

 

So step one in increasing pedestrian activity of customers is to stop tenants from reserving spots that threaten to tow potential pedestrians :) 

Edited by samagon
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One has to think that Weingarten would get rid of the reserved spots if they could, but that the tenants demand it in their leases. I think if the profile of the center reaches a certain level, the landlord can say no and still get the tenants and rents they want. Perfect example is Highland Park Village in Dallas, where the retail rents are some of the highest in the city and parking spaces are not reserved.

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On 2/22/2017 at 3:42 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

When I lived on Elmen I used to walk to the River Oaks Theater but that was in the 90s and there was also a theater at West Gray @ Waugh. Saw Mars Attacks there after a bowl. Never laughed so hard in my life. 

 

Ah, the Cineplex Odeon River Oaks Plaza. What a great theater. I remember when it opened to great fanfare, and when it closed in the wake of Loews' bankruptcy. Many fond memories, such as seeing Goodfellas when I was half out of it with what turned out to be a case of the flu.

 

Cineplex Odeon theaters were top-notch facilities in their heyday, with the flagship Spectrum on Augusta being the place to go for unequaled image and sound quality. It was one of the first local venues to install multichannel digital sound, and was one of the last to have 70mm capability. Seeing Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm there was a life-changing experience.  

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4 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

Ah, the Cineplex Odeon River Oaks Plaza. What a great theater. I remember when it opened to great fanfare, and when it closed in the wake of Loews' bankruptcy. Many fond memories, such as seeing Goodfellas when I was half out of it with what turned out to be a case of the flu.

 

Cineplex Odeon theaters were top-notch facilities in their heyday, with the flagship Spectrum on Augusta being the place to go for unequaled image and sound quality. It was one of the first local venues to install multichannel digital sound, and was one of the last to have 70mm capability. Seeing Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm there was a life-changing experience.  

 

One of the nice things about living in Houston is that you are only three hours away from Austin, where you can watch classic movies on 35mm in a grand old movie palace, The Paramount on Congress. Get a hotel room and make it an overnight getaway. One summer I watched both The Godfather and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly there, and then turned around and drove home both times. Too bad we destroyed all our palaces.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Tower itself is OK. Looks like Hanover Montrose, Hanover Post Oak, and Hanover BLVD Place had a three way and created a baby.

 

I love the River Oaks Shopping Center but this pretty much kills it. Bookends will be this high rise and the abomination Weingarten put of on Shepherd. 

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