October 1, 2015
River Oaks District Opens, but More to be Done
Architects, city officials and designer-clad socialites buzzed under trees strung with white lights Thursday morning at the opening of River Oaks District, the luxury shopping office and residential development on Westheimer just inside the West Loop.
San Diego-based OliverMcMillan, the developer of the project, kept to its promise of a fall opening, but many of the stores slated for the 65,0000-square-foot development were still under construction.
When it’s completed River Oaks District will comprise hundreds of luxury apartments atop retailers such as Tom Ford, Cartier and Dior, as well as an office building, health club, movie theater and several restaurants. A second phase with a hotel, office building and additional retail is being planned for an adjacent site.
Caterers made crepes on flat-top grills and servers passed out smoked salmon and mini grilled ham and cheese hors d’oeuvres, as well as mimosas and glasses of champagne with rosemary sprigs and raspberries.
Designers, landscape architects and developers were recognized during a presentation at the event, where Houston philanthropist Lynn Wyatt spoke about OliverMcMillan’s contribution to the arts (River Oaks District is sponsoring the Mark Rothko retrospective at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts), as well as the development’s impact on Houston.
“Now there’s even more reason to visit our cosmopolitan city,” Wyatt said. “Do you hear me world?”
Designers from Gensler and Hoerr Schaudt were in the crowd, discussing the concepts behind the project.
In planning the project, “we came to the conclusion this didn’t need to be anchored like a larger shopping center. It needed to create place,” said Duncan Paterson of Gensler’s Los Angeles office.
Councilman David Robinson read a proclamation and declared October 1, 2015 River Oaks District Day.
OliverMcMillan’s CEO Dene Oliver called the project “a love affair” and referred to his wife, Elizabeth, a fifth-generation Houstonian.
“She’s the one who taught me about Houston,” he said.
Link to the original article here.