January 16, 2008
Kirby Drive high rise update

According to Nancy Sarnoff, the high rise development on Kirby must be going well, because the developers there are looking to expand it even before it's finished.

The West Ave development that's going up on five acres at the southwest corner of Kirby and Westheimer will have 180,000 square feet of retail space and 380 apartments when it opens in 2009.

But future phases are being pondered that would expand the project significantly.

The developers are looking at nearby tracts for what could lead to a hotel, office space, condo tower and more shopping space.

West Ave is well under way, and the developers project an August 2009 opening.

The complex will have five stories of apartments atop two levels of retail space and a small section of office space, where one of the developers, Urban Partners of Dallas, will have offices.

On a recent tour of the property, president Robert Bagwell wouldn't get specific about the tenants but said he has 18 signed commitments -- representing about 30 percent of the retail space -- that are in the process of being converted to leases.

He said West Ave will have an "organic" feel with primarily local and regional tenants, including clothing stores and restaurants.

"We're not trying to do a Rodeo Drive," Bagwell said.

Restaurants will take up about 45,000 square feet of the retail space.

Fine by me. If you're going to build high rises in Houston, this is a pretty decent place for them. It will even be pretty accessible to the Universities line. I've measured it by my car's odometer out of curiosity, and it's a smidge less than a half mile from the West Ave site to Richmond, which is to say it's about a ten-minute walk. Not ideal, but certainly doable.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 16, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston