By Shelby Hodge
The announcement today thatWeingarten Realty is exploring opportunities to add a mixed-use component to the stretch of River Oaks Shopping Center that houses hot spots Brasserie 19 and Local Pour could send shock waves through the scenester set that worships at these altars of the see-and-be-seen.
“The company is evaluating several opportunities to add mixed use components to its River Oaks Shopping Center on the north side of West Gray between McDuffie and Driscoll Streets,” a company statement notes. “Options currently under consideration include a residential component, additional retail and structured parking while improving pedestrian walkability and enhancing public spaces.”
The project study area begins at Sur La Table and moves through to the parking area east of Local Pour and Cafe Ginger.
Weingarten marketing and communications director Carrie Murray tells CultureMap that studies and real estate surveys are just beginning. If a mixed-use plan is approved, the project would not reach “viability” until 2019 or 2020.
No need yet to get party panties in a wad over the possibility of change. River Oaks regulars will recall that when the parking garage was added behind the stretch housing La Griglia, there was no disruption of business, although preservationists mourned the demolition of the part of the center to make way for a Barnes & Noble bookstore.
“This is very preliminary,” according to the statement. “And as plans develop and become final, Weingarten Realty will communicate to the public.”
The release adds that the River Oaks Shopping Center area has a daytime population of 280,000 with a median housing value of $388,987, making it a valuable asset in the Weingarten portfolio. Preservationists will be happy to note that the release also touts the area as “home to the historic River Oaks Theatre.”