Highland Village’s River Oaks District: Up It Goes!

It’s got some of the cachet of that tony ’hood’s name and none of the fuss of its actual hard-and-fast boundaries: The River Oaks District is, at long last, going up. The $150 million in construction financing that California-based developer Oliver McMillan scored started being spent Monday morning.

And other new numbers are in: The 14-acre mixed-use and misnomered development will comprise about 252,000 sq. ft. of retail and 92,000 sq. ft. of office space as well as 279 places to live — including the 18 3-bedroom homes planned for the gated Bancroft Place community-within-a-district.

Of course, the demolition is imminent of the old 4444 Westheimer apartments whose residents were assisted late last year with their evictions by “move out concierges” provided by Oliver McMillan. But hey — why let something like that stand in the way of something like this?


A press release touts the district’s covered parking, landscaping, valet service, and upscale iPic theater, which you can see in the rendering above.

Also touted? It’s walkability (and crosswalkability):

You can bump into old friends and see where the night takes you:

Renderings: Oliver McMillan

19 Comment

  • Looks like the terrible Sugar Land town center adjacent to First Colony Mall. Will this too be an unmitigated disaster for car parking and pedestrian traffic ?


  • comment of the year submittal above!

  • I nominate B*+@# for comment of the year. LOL.

  • I’ll miss the old apartments that were there–they at least had style–this is really unimaginative and lacking in anything that sets it off as different as any other bland mixed use development in the boring burbs–I don’t know why the bitch above even reads swamplot–they have nothing to add and just look well, bitchy

  • Oh, I forgot. Bitch bitch bitch bitch apartments. Bitch bitch bitchy bitch is a bitch. Bitch, bitch bitch relevant. Bitch important. Bitch bitch bitch internet. Bitch wisdom. Bitch bitch valuable observations only. Bitch ZOOOOM bitch bitch.

  • Oh please! The old apartments had style? Every other complex built from 1968-1972 was a faux French or faux French Quarter looking piece of clap trap just like this one. 30 years from now when all new apartment buildings look like former Soviet Union cinder block hi rises, everyone will wax nostalgic about this place. If the developer
    Put a French Beaux Arts exterior, or God forbid, a Meditterrean one on it, everyone would complain about how garish it was.

  • ^ is this real life? I guess I don’t view the 1970’s as the high-water mark for multi-family architecture…or anything else.

  • So many flat roofs and not ONE roof deck or green roof? Missed opportunity.

  • Ahhh… now we’re reminiscing on the demise of classic style of late 60’s suburban garden apartments.

    Just when I thought Swamplot posters had cornered the market on absurdity…

    I lived at Westcreek for years. I’ve had friends living at 4444 Westheimer. Both are great for they are: clean, well-located, affordable spaces to live. Nothing more. Nothing less. There was certainly no “style” to speak of.

    I could lay about a dozen criticisms on this place, but it’s CLEARLY a VAST improvement over the previous use.

    More office, more apartments, more retail/restaurant space, and all of it in town. I like it. And I’m sure HISD and the rest will love adding $200 million in value to the tax rolls. That’s a cool $5 million each and every year to hire teachers and re-pave roads.

    OK. One criticism: Inward facing retail violates almost every rule of Retail 101. How many years has West Ave been around? Four? Five? And they are still can’t fill the retail space.

  • I like it….walkable, mixed use. We start building more of these, and close to one another, we will be moving in a good direction.

  • Yes, I liked the garden courtyards and the mansard roofs –I lived at the Creole on Yorktown after I got out of UT and loved it–beautiful grounds and I was born in New Orleans so I liked the French Quarter looks—obviously many of the style experts on this August site don’t concur, but alas we can all agree to disagree–I mean, right

  • @ Bernard – as a former Westcreek resident, I couldn’t agree with you more. Sidebar: it was an awesome first apartment in the loop. I know so many people that lived in there as their in the as their first place inside the loop place. There was always a party somewhere, it was only a $10 cab home from the bars, and the many pools often hosted VERY NSFW after hours events. Oh, the days of wine and roses.

  • The reason you don’t see green roofs on multifamily is that renters as a market segment won’t pay a premium for them. A developer absolutely will not build outside of the industry standards just to satiate the demands of wacko environmentalists that they only ever have occasion to meet on an anonymous message board — or from the business development arm of certain architecture firms. But let me tell you, developers DO NOT exist to enable architects to bill them heavily.

  • I’m reallty dissapointec that a city like Houston with an amazing economy and all the Right factors has a sclaed down project like this. The original proposal was more akin to the type of city that Houston is. My God if Dallas can come up with a proposal simular to what our Original River Oaks District Proposal was- Surely we can amster that and have a W Hotel or even a Ritz Carlton. I feel shafted and pissed!!!!

  • dont tell me they are going to demolish the Roll In Saloon to build this!! Now is the time to get that place a historic preservation plate for the front door!

  • I am so beaten down with the crappy pencil box apartments and strip malls and big box Walmarts and Krogers that are going up everywhere inside the loop that this development looks like heaven by comparison.

  • This has GFR, a movie theater, is close to another upcoming mix-use development (Westcreek) & High Street (I’m not calling it mix-use but it will have GF restaurants), is walking distance to Highland village & central market & the galleria ( ~ ish).
    Will it be the best thing since sliced bread? No. Will it be clunky in that it won’t integrate 100% into the surrounding projects? Yes.
    I think we’d have a leg to stand on in the complaint department if we were in New York or Portland or even LA. Considering this area (westheimer) doesn’t have rail, is still 99.9% car-centric, and we (as Housotnians) are new to the whole GFR / mix-use game, this project is the tits.
    Old School you’re jaded; yes, but completely right.
    It gets better ppl.

  • dont tell me they are going to demolish the Roll In Saloon to build this!!

    If I’m not mistaken, the Roll-N closed a couple of years ago.