May 2, 2014
Cartier, Dior and Other Luxury Brands Coming to River Oaks District
by Nancy Sarnoff Four of the world’s top luxury retailers plan to open stores in River Oaks District, the newest mixed-use real estate development focusing on flashy brands and high-end design located along Westheimer just inside the West Loop. The commitment from the new tenants — Cartier, Dior, Hermes and Tom Ford — will help solidify the project’s future as Houston’s newest sought-after spot to splurge, the developer said. “It really puts the stake in the ground, and really defines this as the new place in Houston for luxury and for upscale shopping — and that’s no easy feat,” said Dene Oliver, CEO of the San Diego-based OliverMcMillan. Cartier recently closed its store in the Galleria and Hermes will be moving from BLVD Place, another upscale project, on Post Oak Boulevard. OliverMcMillan broke ground on the 15-acre project last summer. The complex is expected to open in the spring of 2015 with 252,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, cafes and a cinema, along with 92,000 square feet of office space and 279 residential units. Hermes and Dior will have large stores in two-story buildings, with 10,117 square feet and 9,056 square feet, respectively. Cartier’s store will be 6,040 square feet, and Tom Ford will occupy 4,906 square feet. Tom Ford is new to Houston and Dior used to be in the Galleria but closed its store there, Oliver said. With the new leases, the retail component of River Oaks District is about 75 percent spoken for, including an eight-screen, 560-seat iPic Entertainment movie theater. The project was designed by a team, including Gensler, Papageorge Haymes of Chicago and the landscape architecture firm of Hoerr Schaudt. In 2012, the project received a financial incentive from the city through a program to spur development.