They Tore Down the Cafe Express and Funeral Bars on Kirby for This

Thor Equities came out with a video this week showing whiz-around views of the Kirby Collection, its ready-to-go but (as of late January) still seeking construction financing mixed-use complex on the Kirby Dr. block surrounded by W. Main, Colquitt, and Lake St. And the New York development group is at long last dropping the (big) name of the design architect for the long-promised $125 million project: Richard Keating Architecture, which operates out of L.A. (Houston’s Kirksey Architecture is producing the construction documents.)


Proposed Kirby Collection, Kirby Dr. at Colquitt St., Upper Kirby, Houston

The design shows a few refinements from earlier versions: The tent-like glowing structure facing Kirby between the office and retail sections is now a simpler circular entrance court, for example. A Thor rep tells the Houston Business Journal‘s Roxanna Asgarian that it will begin construction on the project in April or May, and finish in 2017. The site was cleared in December.

Proposed Kirby Collection, Kirby Dr. at Colquitt St., Upper Kirby, Houston

A 13-story, 210,000-sq.-ft. office tower will front Colquitt St. A 25-story, elliptic-plan residential tower will hang back toward the Lake St. side with 199 apartments inside. 67,000 sq. ft. of retail on 2 levels will face Kirby, and 7 townhouses will front Lake St. There’ll be a big parking garage stuffed in the middle there too, in back of the retail, with a pool plaza on top.

Proposed Kirby Collection, Kirby Dr. at Colquitt St., Upper Kirby, Houston

Renderings: Thor Equities/Richard Keating Architecture

Kirby Collection

22 Comment

  • Not holding my breath for this one. Too late in the cycle. Better luck next boom.

  • I like the rounded form. It’ll stand out on the horizon until it’s eventually hidden by future high rises decades from now.

  • anonymous nailed it. No way that ever gets built.

  • Looks like something from SimCity.

  • They missed it in the last cycle when they bought the property in 2008. The naighbors should be happy for a while, no bars, no construction and all the morning sunshine.

  • If this doesn’t get built, can we please put some car lots back on Kirby? I don’t have time to drive out to the country to buy cars.

  • Finishing in 2017? Hmmmm, what gets built first? Retail? Townhomes? Have my doubts about the tower.

  • Ever is a long time, Walker. Lots of development was shelved during the financial crisis only to be resurrected a few years later when development conditions improved. No one has a crystal ball. The next development cycle may be closer than you think.

    Saudi Arabia has a new king. I’m sure he’s having fun watching Russia, Venezuela, Iran twist in the wind on their way to BK (or worse) thanks to $45 oil, but eventually he’ll face the fact that cutting his production 5% and watching his Kingdom’s oil profit double is the prudent thing to do.

  • Yes. Thor Equities tore down an old funeral home and outdated bars..And up Kirby a few blocks they’ll replace Beck’s Prime with another overblown residential high rise tower. That’s called market forces…

  • I don’t think Ashby will ever get built either.

  • This will be built. The land was cleared and the developer plans to break ground next month. Thor Equities is committed to the project and is on record stating that they are not worried about the current low oil prices. The land is cleared, financing is secured and its ready to go up. Not sure why you guys would say this is not going to be built? check out the forum at HAIF to get more information on this.

  • No construction loan = no project.

  • I’m a huge fan of Keating, I liked his earlier work for SOM, especially the Chase Tower in Dallas. Yeah, this won’t get built, they waited too long and don’t have financing. You snooze you lose.

  • Hmmm. Thor this is quite blasé . Surely you have more interesting plans as options. Be sure to include the token oak trees on the esplanade. Good luck.

  • Personally I don’t think a lot of these big fancy projects will get built, given the low oil prices and the debt side scared by risk. The debt side plays scared and is their biggest flaw by far.

  • According to the Chronicle article, Thor stated that they are STILL seeking financing as of January 2015. If that’s truly the case, this project will NOT happen, not this year, not next. Also given how Thor handled the whole deed restriction fight with the neighborhood, I don’t think they are very professional or organized and don’t do their due diligence.

  • The music in this promotional video reminds me of the music for ‘The Apprentice’ series and implies that the developers are taking themselves very seriously, but…I’m not sure that this is an altogether good thing.

  • It’s unfortunate that Keating hasn’t done more stuff here in recent years. Hiring him was just about the only thing Thor has done right with this site.

  • Looks nice but hard to get excited about office space that I won’t actually be working in. Personally not a big fan of sky rise living but it does pack people in tighter so good for those who are okay with that. I’m sure there will be a few good restaurants to check out but they are competing with west ave. Also, the Condo and townhome ppl likely won’t be thrilled to share the development with apartments.

  • When the music started playing, I immediately expected Roger Federer to emerge wearing a Rolex saying he approves of this rendering.

  • I’d rather this music than Fur Elise or Flight of the Valkyries…

  • I am sooooo glad they tore down the douche bag bars…….someone wanted to turn Kirby into another douche bag blvd like Washington Ave…..LOL. But, it didn’t work. Btw… Speaking Douche bag Blvd, Washington ave is a joke and those who live there are total losers