A change in ownership of development companies, as well as the drastic drop in oil prices, have moved new property holders to reevaluate a $1 billion plan to transform Uptown Park.
Officials with the complex's new owner, Edens Investment Trust, announced the pause, almost a year after AmREIT, a Houston-based real estate investment trust and the former owner, revealed an ambitious plan to make over a wide swath of the shopping and dining destination located along the West Loop at Post Oak Boulevard.
As a private company, "we can afford to take a longer-term view," Edens chairman and CEO Terry Brown told the Houston Chronicle.
The $1 billion redevelopment, announced by AmREIT officials in February 2014, planned to turn Uptown Park into a denser urban center. The existing one-story shops and restaurants were to be demolished at a gradual pace and replaced with taller buildings that yield more revenue. The transformation of the 17-acre site was expected to take years.
Edens, headquartered in Columbia, S.C., recently acquired AmREIT for $763 million, according to RealtyNewsReport. Edens develops, owns and operates community-oriented shopping places in primary markets in the East Coast.
Edens officials said it is too early to know when the Uptown Park master plan will be completely reevaluated, according to reports.
The master plan had called for a 16-story multifamily residential project known as The Palazzi at Uptown Park, a 40-story, 350-unit residential tower with two stories of retail called the Courtyard at Post Oak, and a four-star hotel and mixed use project called The Tower at Uptown Park.
Uptown Park was developed by Interfin and purchased by AmREIT in 2005. The center's current tenants include McCormick & Schmick’s, M Penner, Elizabeth Anthony, Crave Cupcakes, Café Express and about 40 other stores and eateries in the 169,000 square feet of retail space.