Kirby Collection Celebrates Groundbreaking
Kirby Collection, Thor Equities' 1M SF mixed-use development on Upper Kirby, has officially begun. We caught up with Thor Equities developer Jack Bousquet and director of construction JJ Minahan with interior designer Dianna Wong at last night's groundbreaking celebration. Jack expects the project will bring national attention to Houston; it's easy to do a box, but he aimed to create something truly exceptional by bringing in top-level designers—Dianna and Rick Keating. Rick and Jack actually worked together in Houston 30 years ago; Jack tells us he started his career with the Fulbright Tower here, and is excited to come back full circle.
Jack's favorite part of the whole project is the entry. He says you'll pull in to curb service and know you're somewhere special. The most unexpected aspect of the development so far? The rain. Below grade excavation of the property’s foundations and parking area has commenced, with the first crane scheduled to arrive on-site in January. All of the project's uses—199-unit multifamily tower, 210k SF office tower and 65k SF of retail—are being built at once and will be open in Q4 '17. Kirby Collection's architect of record is Kirksey, and EE Reed is the GC.
This trio earned their toast last night—JLL's Jenna Pugliese, Mike Melody and Tom Podgorski arranged $147M in construction financing through Bank of the Ozarks ($94M) and an institutional investor ($53M of mezz). Jenna believes Kirby Collection will shift the center to this part of town. She loves the oversized sidewalks and extra green space here, which she thinks will give Houston a little taste of a New York-style pedestrian experience.