Fertitta Pays $450M for Houston Mixed-Use Complex

River Oaks District features luxury retail, multifamily and office space.

Fertitta Entertainment Inc., the holding company owned by billionaire Tilman Fertitta, has acquired River Oaks District, a 13.9-acre, 663,408-square-foot luxury retail and mixed-use property in Houston’s Uptown/River Oaks corridor.

The seller and the acquisition’s dollar value were not disclosed, but Bloomberg reported the seller as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the price as $450 million, citing “a person familiar with the matter.”

River Oaks District includes 302,668 square feet of luxury retail, 279 luxury apartments and 67,060 square feet of “jewel-box” office space, according to JLL, which represented the seller.

The high-end luxury retailers that occupy River Oaks District include Hermes, Cartier, Rolex, Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels, Patek Phillipe, Brunello Cucinelli, Balmain, Zimmerman and Harry Winston. The surrounding area boasts an average household income of $158,600.

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The property’s multifamily component is the five-story Grey House Apartments, whose units feature wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, custom European cabinetry, 9-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities include resort-style pools and spas, clubhouses with modern décor, a full-service onsite concierge, a screening room, conference rooms and a fitness facility.

The JLL Capital Markets team that arranged the acquisition was led by Retail Group Co-Leader and Senior Managing Director Barry Brown. Brown, along with Director Erin Lazarus; Senior Managing Directors Colby Mueck, Ryan West and Jeff Hollinden; and Managing Director Dustin Selzer, advised on the transaction. 

One extreme to another

Tilman Fertitta is perhaps best known as the owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets and of Fertitta Entertainment, which in turns owns (through Landry’s Inc.) restaurant chains Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Cafe, McCormick & Schmick’s and Morton’s The Steakhouse, as well as Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos properties in several states.

In Houston, Fertitta owns The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown and its adjacent upscale restaurants, as well as Post Oak Motor Cars, a Bentley/Rolls-Royce/Bugatti dealership.

Last May, at the other end of the retail spectrum from Cartier and Rolex, Highland Capital acquired Steeplechase Center, a workaday 195,575-square-foot retail property in Houston, for $18 million. The center’s tenants include Goodwill, Melrose, Citi Trends, Uptown Beauty, Dollar Tree, dd’s Discounts and 99 Cents Only.

Ample deliveries of new space notwithstanding, Houston’s retail real estate market currently enjoys an average occupancy hovering near 95 percent, a record high level, according to a fourth-quarter report from CBRE. Retailers that are expanding in metro Houston include grocer H-E-B, Costco, Floor & Decor, Living Spaces, Dick’s House of Sport and Target.

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