In advance of a public hearing scheduled for this Thursday, Weingarten Realty has submitted these drawings of the 29-story apartment tower it’s calling the Driscoll, and which it’s proposing to build across the from the northern end of Driscoll St. The site at 1958 W. Gray also happens to be occupied currently by the eastern end of the 69-year-old northern portion of the River Oaks Shopping Center, which has city historic landmark status despite the numerous inconsistent alterations Weingarten has made to the Art Deco complex over the years. As suggested by the included diagram above, the tower will knock out most of one wing of the complex, leaving Brasserie 19 in place, but deleting 18,000 sq. ft. of space currently housing Café Ginger, Local Pour, and some office space above — as well as 2-and-a-half bays of parking to the east.
As part of its package for the required hearing before the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, Weingarten presented this photographic evidence in support of its claim that its existing property, which it altered significantly during renovations conducted in 2011, is in a “deteriorated state“:
The new tower, designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects, has 11,000 sq. ft. of retail space on its ground level — set back from W. Gray St., like the rest of the center, by a row of parking. More parking would be added on 2 subterranean levels as well as 6 stucco-faced garage levels stacked above it. An “amenity deck” and 21 floors of apartments are shown sitting on top of that deck:
Thursday’s hearing is scheduled for 3 pm in the City Hall Annex at 900 Bagby. Because the shopping center qualifies only as a city landmark but not as a “protected” city landmark, it won’t mean much if the HAHC denies a “certificate of appropriateness” for making the changes. Weingarten could simply wait 90 days and then proceed with any alterations to the existing building it wants.
- Certificate of Appropriateness Application (PDF) [Houston Planning & Development]
- Weingarten Realty moves forward on River Oaks Shopping Center demolition and alterations [Preservation Houston]
- Previously on Swamplot: Where Weingarten Plans To Stab That 30-Story Residential Highrise into the River Oaks Shopping Center; Café Ginger To Move Into Mama Fu’s Place Some Time Before the Highrising Starts; Weingarten Hoping To Improve Classic Taste of Art Deco River Oaks Shopping Center with New Cheese Topping; How To Demolish Houston Landmarks
- River Oaks Shopping Center coverage [Swamplot]
Images: Weingarten Realty (photos); Ziegler Cooper Architects (drawings)