Going Green

$6 million landscape plan with 300 trees transforms urban shopping area into lush oasis

$6 million landscape plan transforms urban shopping area into oasis

News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
Three 20-inch round live oaks soar 28 feet above the central plaza in River Oaks District. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects's plan calls for 23,551 perennials. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
Towering crape myrtles will provide color and a bit of shade throughout the River Oaks District. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
The 28-foot tall live oak is surrounded by flowering plants. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
The plan includes 50 overcup oaks to be planted across the development. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
Ferns, sage and lillies will add touches of color and swaths of green to the design. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015
News, Shelby, River Oaks District trees, August 2015

Apparently sparing no expense, OliverMcMillan is wrapping its new River Oaks District in a mantle of green that promises to imbue the luxe mixed-use complex with the aura of the neighborhood from which it derived its name.

Just as massive oak trees give character to River Oaks, 64 mature oaks are being planted this week as part of the project's $6 million landscape plan.

Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects of Chicago has crafted the design that includes three 20-inch round live oaks that soar 28 feet above the development's central plaza. Add 50 overcup oaks, 79 crape myrtles and 73 cedar elms, most of the trees reaching 19 feet high.

 In all, the design calls for 300 trees to be spread across the 14-acre property, strategically positioned to provide shade along the 15-foot wide sidewalks. The goal is to create a pleasant environment for pedestrians, an experience to be enhanced by overhead fans that whirl beneath the network of building awnings.

The numbers are equally impressive for the remainder of the landscaping — 23,551 perennial plants and nearly 5,000 annuals. Theses will provide color and texture to the parkways and planters that will be placed along most sidewalks. Installation began earlier this week with an army of workers planting.

In press materials Hoerr Schaudt describes the plan: "Plant types are massed together into large blocks to create interlocking geometric planes. Bold contrasts in foliage color, a playful mix of plant textures and a variety in height create a garden-like experience . . . Flowering perennials and changing leaf color will signal the change in seasons."

The first of the retailers — Cartier — is set to open September 3. Other designer boutiques, residences and restaurants will open intermittently throughout the fall.