Tilman Fertitta's The Post Oak Moves Construction Forward
The Post Oak, Tilman Fertitta’s game changing vertical mixed-use development, poured concrete Friday. We sat down with Tilman (right) and Landry’s SVP of development Jeff Cantwell over some Popeye’s (he might be one of Houston’s top five richest real estate moguls, but he says fancy executive lunches just aren’t his style), where he told us he’s launching Houston’s first vertical mixed-use hotel/office/multifamily/retail/restaurant development “because I could.” He says the project won’t be replicated anytime soon here because the numbers don’t pencil out, but he hopes that a decade from now, people will look back and say The Post Oak really changed Houston’s high-end multi-use development scene. This rendering is actually outdated; the team has added one story to the tower.
Tilman says he’s always wanted to build something spectacular on this site, which abuts Landry’s HQ on the West Loop. He’s especially excited about the 250-key hotel, which he says will be by far the nicest in Houston and will command the highest ADR. It’ll be the metro’s first five-fixture hotel (each bathroom will have two sinks, separate toilet room, separate bath and shower, plus floor-to-ceiling marble). As for the residential portion, Tilman tells us condos would make more financial sense, but he didn’t want to deal with all those different owners and a condo association, so the 22 units will be rental. And with Tilman’s ownership of Landry’s, you know the restaurants will be good—Maestro’s is opening its first Texas location at The Post Oak; it and Willie G’s will open in spring 2017, about three months before the rest of the project.
The 140k SF of boutique office (he's bulked it up) will be really special, Tilman tells us, including nice executive parking. Its services will be huge, including Bentley pickup service at the airport or five-star hotel room service for your late-night meeting. He’s gotten calls for the office space and expects that the concrete pour will accelerate leasing interest. But for now he’s just been focused on getting it out of the ground, saying “we have two years to lease it.” The 36-story, 680k SF tower will open in fall 2017.
Tilman tells us the biggest challenge has been designing the tower—he says people tend to make spaces too big, which loses the coziness he looks for. He’s very involved in the process to make sure everything stays small and intimate. He’s not worried about the timing with oil prices and other development slowing down; he says it’ll correct itself. Besides, he’s a long-term owner and will look at getting a long-term payback rather than an immediate slam dunk.