Houston: Equinox Hotel-Apartment Building Planned for River Oaks District
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
by Adolfo Pesquera
Houston (Harris County) – At the July 13 regular session, the Houston Planning Commission will be considering a request involving the new construction of a mixed-use hotel-apartment building in the River Oaks District.
The project name is Equinox Houston, an apparent reference to the Equinox River Oaks fitness club located a half block east.
According to Vernon G. Henry & Associates, the applicant on a variance request, the developer plans a mixed-use with a ground floor bar/restaurant.
“The upper floors will have hotel rooms as well as apartments. There will be 200 hotel rooms and 70 apartment units,” the application states.
The project address is 2500 Westcreek Lane is currently used for surface parking and it is between Westheimer Road and San Felipe Street in the westernmost part of the River Oaks District. It is on the east side of the same block as the Hotel Derek.
The project site is presently a surface parking lot. As seen from Westcreek Lane looking west, the Hotel Derek sits at the west side of the same block.
“In recent years, this area has been evolving into an area for high-density, mixed-use development,” the applicant said. “On the east side of Westcreek (Lane) stretching north to Bettis Drive is a mixed-use development called the River Oaks District. Farther north, on the east side, are two multifamily developments called the Skyhouse River Oaks and The Wilshire. The Wilshire is still under construction.”
Skyhouse River Oaks was built in 2015 at a cost of more than $53 million.
“On the west side of Westcreek, there are two older multifamily projects.”
The city staff recommendation is to approve the project. Noting that River Oaks is part of the Uptown Major Activity Center, an area that has transitioned to high-density mixed-use development.
“This proposal will not e out of character with the surrounding developments and will enhance the area,” the staff report states.
The project site has a total area of almost 2 acres. There is no mention of building height, but given the relatively small building footprint and number of rooms it will likely be well in excess of 10 stories.
The owner of record is EQX River Oaks LLC of 60 Columbus Circle, New York, New York.
Access to the site will be from Westcreek Lane, and parking will be comprised of a multi-level garage placed at the rear and some surface parking at the northwest corner.
A landscape site plan prepared by The Office of James Burnett includes notations regarding a magnolia and two oak trees that will be removed, but a 30-inch oak will be preserved. Three new canopy trees will be planted to mitigate the trees lost, and the total contribution after mitigation has a value of $7,590, the OJB plan states.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) 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.