June 28, 2013
Major Galleria-Area Mixed-Use Project to Break Ground
Houston Business Journal
by Olivia Pulsinelli A long-awaited mixed-use development featuring a movie theater, as well as office space and residential units, will break ground near the Galleria in a matter of days. San Diego, Calif.-based OliverMcMillian said construction is set to begin July 1 on the 14-acre River Oaks District on Westheimer Road, just inside the 610 Loop. The developer originally unveiled the project in 2007, though the plans stalled during the recession before ramping back up last year, at which time Houston Business Journal named it a deal of the year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, leading a syndication of banks including BBVA Compass, Cadence Bank and First Bank of Hawaii, recently completed the $150 million construction financing. HFF Senior Managing Director Trey Morsbach and Director Cameron Cureton led the construction financing team, OliverMcMillian said. Plans for the 650,000-square-foot development include 252,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, cafes and an eight-screen iPic Theaters cinema; 92,000 square feet of boutique office space; and 279 residential units. Italian designer Roberto Cavalli recently signed on to open a boutique in the development. The project team includes Houston-based architecture firm Gensler, Chicago-based architecture firm Pappageorge Haymes Partners and Chicago-based Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects. River Oaks District is expected to open in spring 2015 and will create an estimated 400 jobs when the project is fully developed, OliverMcMillan said.