The development of the 610 Loop in the 1960s supported Houston’s growth as “arguably the most sprawling, least dense, most automobile-dependent major city in America.” Houston has more than 15 “activity centers,” essentially concentrations of employment, retail outlets and residences spread over 10,000 square miles. So unlike other major metropolitan cities in which high-rises are concentrated in a central urban area, Houston’s initial residential high-rises were developed close to affluent, single-family communities, such as Lamar Tower (1963) and Inwood Manor (1963) both in River Oaks.
As Houston’s population growth expanded in the 1970s and 1980s, developers added 12 residential towers, mostly in the Galleria and River Oaks areas. Unfortunately, most of this development added more than 2,000 residences in a just a few years to a city that would lose 221,000 jobs while most of these buildings were under construction or nearing completion. The result was a glut of inventory that ended up being leased and then converted back to sales years later as institutions like Citibank and Chase resumed underwriting condo mortgages..
The next wave of high-rise development was more deliberate with regard to number of units and location. Six of the 12 developments between 1995 and 2010 were in the Galleria area with the other 6 scattered throughout Houston. During this same timeframe, the Uptown District was officially formed and expanded north to include Interfin’s Uptown Park development consisting of 50 boutiques and high-end restaurants. And today, BLVD Place is the District’s newest mixed-use development, ideally located at the corner of San Felipe and Post Oak Boulevard. This 20-acre development will be anchored by a 55,000sf Whole Foods and include 205,000sf of retail, 1.4 million square feet of office space a 275 room hotel and over 1,000 residences.