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Houston: Weingarten Realty, Hanover Prepare For a 30-Story Mixed-Use Tower

08/08/2017 10:35:00 am | Viewed: 264

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange

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The lower half of The Driscoll at River Oaks tower as seen from West Gray Street. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.

 

Posted: 8-8-2017, 12:35 p.m.

by Adolfo Pesquera

Houston (Harris County) - The Houston Planning Commission will take up a variance request Thursday that affects plans for a 30-story residential tower in River Oaks on the northern edge of Hyde Park.

The developers--The Hanover Company and Weingarten Realty--have asked for a zero-foot setback along the west side of Driscoll Street. The tower is to be located in a shopping center and will take up space currently used for surface parking and part of a one-story retail building.

According to the staff report to the commission, a strict application of the 10-foot setback on Driscoll "would create an impractical development due to the existence of unusual physical characteristics."

The shopping center in question is bounded by McDuffie Street on the west, West Gray Street to the south, and Driscoll.

 

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The southwest approach to Driscoll at River Oaks. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.

 

"The long-standing retail and restaurant shopping center is undergoing a partial redevelopment on the eastern portion nearest Driscoll Street to create a new mixed use development including residential units," the staff report said.

The city partially abandoned Driscoll Street in 1977, leaving a 275-foot dead-end section north of Gray. For decades, that portion of Driscoll has been part of the shopping center parking lot as a drive aisle.

"The proposed redevelopment contemplates transforming Driscoll Street, north of W. Gray, into an aesthetically pleasing pedestrian realm and entrance drive to serve the commercial and residential uses," the report continues.

Weingarten Realty, owner of River Oaks Shopping Center, announced in February plans for a residential tower with 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Located at 1958 West Gray Street, the project is tentatively set to begin construction in 2018 and be completed in 2021.

 

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South (left) and north elevations of The Driscoll at River Oaks. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.

 

Weingarten's announcement also said The Driscoll at River Oaks will have more than 300 luxury units for lease, "with spectacular panormic views of Houston's skylines. Residents of the tower will have the rare opportunity to live within walking distance of excellent shops, restaurants and a top-performing Kroger in River Oaks Shopping Center."

Weingarten, one of the nation's premier REITs, is best known for its development and management of retail shopping centers. Weingarten is collaborating with Houston-based Hanover, a company that specializes in high-end residential developments.

According to the city staff report, the building will have a height of about 326 feet. Documents provided by the design firm, Ziegler Cooper Architects, it appears there will be 11 levels of parking above the ground level retail, an amenity deck immediately above the garage for residents, and approximately 17 floors of residential space.

The site plan lays out a lobby entrance for residents on the building's east side (toward Driscoll), with the lobby in the northeast corner.

The staff report notes that, "Although legally a public street, Driscoll Street will continue to be a non-through public street and will function as a drive aisle and pedestrian way for patrons and residents. The minimum paving width will be 28 feet (curb to curb) and will also provide an ingress/egress point for emergency vehicles.

Variable width sidewalks ranging from 6 feet-2 inches to 10 feet-6 inches will be constructed along the west side of Driscoll Street. Covered sidewalks near the retail and commercial uses will have a maximum width of 10 feet-6 inches and will narrow to 6 feet-2 inches as residents leave the commercial area and enter the residential realm.

"The face of the building will be a minimum of 6 feet-2 inches from the back of curb along the west side of Driscoll Street. However, a zero-foot setback is requested as overhangs for architectural elements and the roof structure at plus or minus 326 feet-3 1/2 inches above grade are proposed to encroach the right-of-way of Driscoll Street.

"In addition, a cantilevered canopy is proposed (10 feet-6 inches) over the pedestrian sidewalk."

 

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The site plan shows 10,000 square feet of ground retail facing West Gray Street, and a residents' entrance and lobby to the northeast, facing Driscoll Street. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.

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adolfo@virtualbx.com

 


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Zoom Related Images
Driscoll at River Oaks - south side (retail at ground level and amenity deck above parking garage). Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.
Driscoll at River Oaks elevations. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.
Southeast approach to the Driscoll at River Oaks tower. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.
Ground floor plan will have 10,000 square feet of retail facing West Gray Street, and a residents' lobby to the northeast facing Driscoll Street.
Southeast perspective of the tower.
Southwest approach to The Driscoll at River Oaks. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.
Traffic plan on Driscoll Street, resident's drop-off lane at lobby entrance. Courtesy of Ziegler Cooper Architects.

Author Info
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Adolfo Pesquera
Reporter/Editor
adolfo@virtualbx.com

Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.