Proposed office tower in Upper Kirby area worries neighbors


The proposed building would be built at San Felipe, between Shepherd and Kirby, in the heart of the tony River Oaks neighborhood. Neighbor Trevor Wallace is worried about what this empty lot will become.

"For me personally, I think it's awful," he said. "It's terrible."

The house next door has been in his family since the 1970s and his office is currently against the fence line.

"Going from looking at a 50 to 75 year old oak tree to 200 feet of concrete is really jarring for me," Wallace said.

Wallace and his neighbors are concerned about a proposed 17 story office tower that could rise up from the lot where a single family home once stood.

"My mother knew the older woman who owned the home and we all knew eventually it was going to go to something, but no, I'm not at all happy with 17 stories," said neighbor Pam Greenwood.

Hines, which bought the property, says it has not decided for certain whether to build the 170,000 square feet office tower. But the Upper Kirby Management District says it has been aware of the possibility for months, and is supportive.

Jamie Brewster with the Upper Kirby District said, "I think the size of the office building it is, where they're planning to enter the parking garage, I think it will be pretty much not an issue much with traffic."

Just don't tell that to the neighbors who see X marks on trees and the high tech renderings as signals for a potential fight.

"It's just going to change the nature of it so much, I think there is going to be some protests," Wallace said.

Hines says they have not decided whether or not to build this specific tower. If they do, they say they will follow existing rules and will not require any variances.

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