A Guided Tour Through 8 Renderings of Hanover’s New Kirby Dr. Highrise and Drive-Thru Restaurant Plaza


Renderings of the 30-something-story highrise apartment tower Hanover plans to build on the site of a portion of the Kirby Court Apartments (and a couple of nearby retail buildings) across from the Whole Foods Market show the building hanging back from Kirby Dr. That’ll leave room for a bit of a restaurant complex facing the busy north-south street (at right in the above rendering): One of them will be the existing Becks Prime drive-thru at the corner of Kirby and Kipling, which is not a part of the project. But a new (and likely more upscale) standalone restaurant structure next to it at the corner of Kirby and Steel St. will replace the structure currently housing Ashly Fine Rugs:



Behind the restaurant building, a “plaza drive” extending from Kipling to Steel St. will riff on the drive-thru theme, and front a second row of restaurants (or more likely, restaurant) in the ground floor of the parking garage:


The lobby and front door to the Hanover River Oaks apartments will be at the southern, or Steel St. end of the drive, though a note at the bottom of one of architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz‘s drawings appears to label the tower with a 2651 Kipling St. address:


Here’s an overview of the lower floors and the restaurant plaza, with the Becks Prime rendered in invisible burger ink at the far right:


An overall view of the structure from the northeast shows the parking garage at the base of the building, and a deck above its northern portion:

Rendering of Proposed Hanover River Oaks Apartment Tower, 2651 Kipling St. at Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston

This view, facing northeast, shows the allée of oak trees along Steel St. (in the foreground) still standing, but the rest of the Kirby Court apartments gone:


Hanover’s David Ott tells the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff that the company has the 1.65-acre site across from Whole Foods Market under contract, but is not scheduled to close the transaction until early next year. Construction of the 370-unit structure would begin next summer.

Renderings: Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Hanover River Oaks

23 Comment

  • Very nice. I stand corrected concerning my post yesterday, and I’m glad to see the developer preserving the trees, and adding a bit of ground floor retail. I was working under the assumption that this would be yet another mid rise “Houston wrap” surrounding a garage. That’s what I get for assuming.

  • Cool looking building, but very large for the area. Traffic in that area is already bad, I can only imagine what it will be if this huge project is followed by others along Kirby, joining the other huge built projects already clogging the street. Still, at least they designed an interesting building that’s more unique than most of these type developments of late.

  • Love the architectural style of the new high rise ‘ bee hive ” building. It sorta reminds me of the Lego sets I used to play with when I was a kid. Hopefully the new development won’t destroy any trees.

  • Shannon, do you work for Swamplot, or just sit in front of your computer and hit refresh all day so you don’t miss commenting on a single post? Serious question.

  • SFP, most people use RSS readers, when websites get updated you don’t have to go there and see.

  • I hope it’s not an omen that you can see right through to the other side. It would not be the first time we had see through buildings in Houston and we are getting seriously close to being overbuilt with this level of apartment.
    Everyone I talk to says “Who lives in these things?”

  • That’s a bold move cotton. Let’s see if it works out for them.

  • What is going to happen with the existing apartments on the south side of Steel and the ADA building on Alabama?

  • @SFP–Do you pay my mortgage? Do you pay the note on my Porsche? Why do you care what I do all day and frankly why is it your business anyway? My advise to you is to stop worrying about what I do all day and worry about yourself…unless you want to pay all my bills. How about a Comment on this cool building instead of me. Wow, that’s a thought! Err, and no I don’t work for Swamplot—I’m sure that gave Gus a good laugh.

  • @Shannon……you just made my point………ERRRR, your point. Why do YOU CARE what every developer in town is doing, and why is it YOUR BUSINESS to decide how Houston should be redeveloped. Why don’t you worry about YOURSELF instead of them unless you want to pay THEIR mortgages? Wow, that’s a thought…….cause you know why?? I doesn’t matter what you think. They’re gonna do whatever they want, and that’s what makes Houston, Houston…..and I love it.

    I think the building is great, could be a little taller.

  • Few things are as unattractive as a materialistic humblebrag.

    Neat structure. Good luck to Beck’s Prime during all that mess.

  • Not bad, but I’d more impressed if it were built in downtown or midtown.

  • Let’s focus on this building and not take immature shots at other commenters. Who cares if Shannon comments a lot? He has passion and has an interest. I don’t always agree with him, but I do read what he has to say and I appreciate the opinions he brings to the site. Swamplot is often dry and dull and at least he livens up the conversation. Grow up, man.

  • @ SFP. I’m not sure you understand the point of this website….

  • @My Erection. I’m understanding it more and more every day. Basically it’s an Anti Development/Pro Zoning Blog with a cult following of hatemongerers who incessantly bitch about every new development that isn’t a period specific remodel of a 1920″s Montrose crack house, by a not for profit organization.

  • @SFP: I don’t see anything pro-zoning about Swamplot. Maybe I’m just missing it, but the content seems to mostly be news, with some clever commentary thrown in. There isn’t a heavy agenda to the blog.
    The commenters tend to be people who are interested in real estate, development, architecture and related topics, and they have opinions all over the place. Some post a lot. Some are funny. Some are unintentionally funny. If their bitching doesn’t amuse you, you might want to read something else.

  • @SFP I don’t think it’s necessarily antidevelopment or prozoning. It’s a site dedicated to tracking what’s going on in Houston developments that allows people to share their opinions about it.

    I’m neither antidevelopment nor prozoning, I am in the real estate business and I enjoy the stories.

  • I think it’s a great addition to the city and appropriate for the location.


  • And… suddenly it’s 1950. Kind of Lever House (no a lot), but maybe that’s the thing these days. I’m not opposed.

  • They had Crack Houses in the 20’s? See, it thought crack was developed in the 80’s as a cheaper quicker high than powder Cocaine, but what do I know. I was not aware it was in bungalows in Montrose in the Roaring 20’s, see you learn something everyday on Swamplot.

  • I’m also of the opinion that this website is not anti-development or pro-zoning. I’d say Swamplot is a great read for bringing news about development deals in the metro Houston area. I’m not in real estate or any affiliated business but I find the writing to be clever, peppy, and informative.
    That being said, I’m not a fan of this monstrosity of a proposed building for several reasons. First, Kirby Drive really doesn’t need any more traffic on it since it is overburdened as it is. Second, I don’t mind higher density but do we have to put ALL of the density in one place?

  • There are a couple of the comments made in regard to high traffic on Kirby, I am not certain if the commenters are aware or realize there is another high rise project planned for Kirby just shy of Richmond.

    The High rise on Weslayan and Alabama seems to be clicking along too, along with a project a little further down inside the neighborhood area of Alabama past Weslayan, that for certain will add to traffic too.

    I am curious if some of the commenters concerned about traffic live in Upper Kirby and how long they have lived in this area. There are also a couple of mid rises currently being built within the Westheimer, Kirby, Alabama and Shepherd area too. If I had to guess, I would say the next mid- high rise project will be next one of the two I mention, above, the one in the Cafe Adobe spot. The larger building next door seems to be struggling to keep retail tenants lately. Several antique stores have been and gone in that space, and I believe the only other tenant is a salon/spa. Many of the buildings directly behind were homes, now converted to retail spaces, I would guess owned by one person or group. Although, haven’t been past the old Rice Epicurean / Fresh Market spot lately.

    And for those of you commenting who are home owners in the area, who were able to get in at a good time, you probably don’t want your property to be valued higher than the price of your home. This is happening to many home owners in the Heights. So you have a vested interest in a balanced development of the neighborhood in which you have invested into, through the asset of your home. In addition it is also possible that an overbuilt will be problematic for your investment too. I am not in real estate, I don’t work for Swamplot, and I don’t own, I rent; but I know people who do own, and I see what they are going through in the Heights.

    Just FYI, the older Kirby Court Apartment, though not in great shape, it is not a crack house; it is filled WFM employees, waiters, students, artists, writers, baristas, retirees and more. Many times these tenants are the allusive bike riders and pedestrians that all of these developers seem so keen on, too bad they won’t be living here anymore.

    And not everyone is dead set against new development. What does not make sense, and is irresponsible, is the rush to develop for only a high end demographic. I have lived inside the loop my whole life and my parents met in the Upper Kirby area, having moved to Houston, one from Boulder and one from Chicago. Both were young professionals just starting out on beginner salaries and found affordable places to live, and even then River Oaks and Upper Kirby was a nicer place to live at that time with Jamail’s Grocery store. I have witnessed the overbuild of massive office structures years ago on Southwest Freeway (59), that sat almost empty for several years, originally named Phoenix towers. Yes, from an aesthetic and ego viewpoint building an entire neighborhood structure on one high end demographic is pleasing to many; but from an economic and sustainability viewpoint it will remind us of another reason we a referred to “clutch city.” I love my city, and yes I wish we could keep more of our history, when it makes sense. But I hate to see the potential of this city thwarted by bad planning based on illusions of grandeur.

  • Whoa! This is next door to me! Is this going to increase my property value? The only thing I’m concerned about is noise @ night on weekends.