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Going Even Further Upscale, River Oaks District Tacks On Green Space As Part Of Refresh

A luxury shopping center is leaning in with the addition of a park and three restaurant tenants, in the latest signal of a retail revival for brick-and-mortar.

A rendering of the renovated River Oaks District

River Oaks District, at 4444 Westheimer Road, will start construction this month on renovations, including a pocket park, which will be located from Westcreek Lane on the west side to its eastern boundary. It's expected to be completed this fall.

River Oaks District was completed in 2015 and mainly specializes in luxury retail and restaurants for the wealthy nearby River Oaks neighborhood and the Galleria offices farther down Westheimer Road. Developer The Festival Cos. calls the renovation "long-planned." 

“The central park and artistic gathering areas will organically tie The District together and enhance the pedestrian experience with new sidewalks, strollable spaces and a bold planting scheme that mixes traditional landscape elements with a modern architectural aesthetic,” The Festival Cos. CEO Rosalind Schurgin, said in a release. “We are creating a robust blend of public spaces that draw visitors through The District and connect them within it.” 

The park will host events and serve as a cultural gathering place, according to The Festival Cos., but it will also have three outdoor dining spaces for three new restaurants: Italian concept Bari, brunch spot Little Hen and Mexico City-based coffee and grocery concept Ojo De Agua.  

“All told, the newly revitalized streetscapes, strollable sidewalks, open-air gathering spaces and stylish way finding signage will work in tandem with The District’s elevated shopping, dining and entertainment offerings  both existing and new — creating a connected environment that evokes the great cultural capitals around the world while remaining authentic to its Texas roots,” Schurgin said.   

River Oaks District has added over a half-dozen new boutiques and retailers in recent months, including flagship locations clothing retailers Zimmermann, LoveShackFancy and Lahgo.