What else mightÂ change asÂ Weingarten plants theÂ 30-ish story residential towerÂ it announced yesterdayÂ on aÂ spot currently occupied by a few of theÂ River Oaks Shopping Center’s northeastern storefronts? SpecificsÂ on the design of the 300-plus-unit project (which the company hinted at in late 2015)Â are still scant, thoughÂ construction may start as soon asÂ next year. The planned footprint of theÂ highrise, per the site map above, stomps out the far end of the building housingÂ Cafe Ginger, Local Pour, and the King Ranch Saddle Shop, spreading outÂ past the edge of the non-protected city historical landmarkÂ toward the would-be alignmentÂ of Driscoll St.Â TheÂ Hanover-developed towerÂ will reportedlyÂ replace those storefronts with someÂ 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space on its ground floor (leaving room, potentially, for aÂ few more Starbucks).
Will this new development prompt yet another round of eyebrow-raisingÂ facial reconstruction surgery for the shopping center, formerlyÂ known for its art decoÂ visage before Weingarten’sÂ turn-of-the-decade stuccover? Whatever the answer, the project will likely need to be run by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (though Weingarten has waited out negative rulings from that body before). But true Houston preservationists can take heart: The site plan impliesÂ that the double row of head-in parking between the center and the sidewalk out front will be left intact!Â WhatÂ better way to honor what’s perhaps the strongestÂ legacy of theÂ grandaddy of all Houston strip centers?
- Weingarten To Add 30-story Tower to River Oaks Shopping Center [Houston Chronicle]
- River Oaks Shopping Center coverage [Swamplot]
Image: Weingarten Realty