Real estate developer Giorgio Borlenghi brought a touch of his Italian homeland to Houston by creating a European shopping village in the trendy Post Oak area. Uptown Park is a colorful mix of pastel buildings modeled around an Italian-style piazza, with fountains, stone walkways, distinctive lampposts and lush landscaping. It looks a little Disney-esque, but the shopping is distinctive. Local favorites like M Penner, Bill Walker Clothier, Elizabeth Anthony/Esther Wolf, Paul Carter Jewels, Ceron Salon, Lucho and the Longoria Collection mix with newcomers like Lenny e Cia, the Brazilian accessories boutique that chose Uptown Park for its first and only U.S. location. Dining choices abound with Arturo's, Uptown Sushi, McCormicks & Schmicks's, Crave Cupcakes, Cafe Express, and The Tasting Room to name a few. Borlenghi sold the shopping center to AmReit in 2005.
In 2006, Borlenghi added the Hotel Granduca just a few steps away from Uptown Park. It is named for Granduca Adalberto Malatesta, a 16th-century Italian duke.