THIS YEAR'S HOTTEST HEADLINES

Houston's top real estate stories of 2020 showcase a Montrose marvel and multi-story closets

Houston's top real estate stories of 2020 boast huge homes and closets

Montrose Collective mixed-use development rendering
The buzzy, mixed-use Montrose Collective promises to transform the area.  Courtesy of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 biggest real estate stories in Houston for 2020. While the pandemic slowed development overall, home sales surged. Our most-read stories include a buzzy mixed-use development in Montrose, celebrity homes hitting the market, and the nation's biggest closet (and its surrounding house) finally selling in The Woodlands.

1. Massive new walkable mixed-use development breaks ground in Montrose. The Montrose Collective, a five-building project on Westheimer promises to transform Montrose with more than 100,000 square feet of office space, more than 50,000 square feet of retail space, and the relocated branch of the Houston Public Library that's currently on Montrose Boulevard. When it opens in late 2021, the development expects to be home to six new restaurants and 15 retail shops.

2. Houston philanthropists' River Oaks home graces market at $2.45 million. Built in 1976 and owned for the last 20 years by Houston philanthropists Evelyn and Dan Leightman, 2504 Inwood Dr. has been the site of numerous galas for Bayou City charities and foundations, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Ballet Guild, and ABC13 Women of Distinction for Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. 

3. Former Houston Rockets star's luxe estate shoots onto market for $4.7 million. Steve Francis, one dubbed “Stevie Franchise” by the team for his value as a high-flying superstar, All-Star point guard, placed his sprawling, Memorial Villages home on the market after 17 years. Not surprisingly, the abode features a trophy room, a wine room, private movie theater, basketball court, and resort-style pool.

4. Glenn Beck slashes price of his Texas mansion to less than $5 million. In more celebrity home sale news, polarizing host Beck slashed the price of his mansion at the exclusive Vaquero Club in Westlake, Texas, an upscale Fort Worth suburb. Outdoor amenities are a diving pool, a spa, a fire pit, water features, and a pergola-covered sundeck with golf course views.

5. River Oaks stunner boasting 2-story closet hits market at $5.75 million. Everything in Texas is indeed bigger — including closets. Here in River Oaks, a luxe, 8,900-square-foot home with a two-story closet and a spiral staircase accented by LED lighting.

6. Bustling Montrose shopping center purchased for whopping $27 million. Beloved and instantly recognizable, a Montrose shopping center anchored by the familiar Half Price Books was purchased by Skanska USA Commercial Development, the company behind downtown’s Bank of America Tower and other high-end projects across the United States.

7. New resort-styled River Oaks home graces the market at $4.6 million. Coupling clean design with modern amenities, 2023 Drexel Dr. allows for resort living and sits tucked way behind River Oaks Baptist School. "Homes like this are for home buyers who are looking for life experiences," Bradley Smith, owner-developer with Layne Kelly Homes, who oversaw the project.

8. Historic Houston manor designed by local legend graces market at $12.2 million. Built by Harrie T. Lindeberg and Houston design legend, John Staub, 2 Longfellow Ln. is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and turns 100 years old in 2021.

9. Famous Houston-area home with America's largest closet finally sells. Houston socialite Teresa Roemer’s notorious, three-level dazzler — housed in a 17,350-square-foot dwelling in The Woodlands finally sold. The “she cave” three-story closet sits behind a wall of glass and boasts a floating staircase, champagne bar, and hair and makeup area.

10. Buzz Lady's stylish Tanglewood midcentury home hits the market for $1.5 million. Readers adored the elegantly updated midcentury home of Roseann Rogers — known affectionately in Houston as TV's "The Buzz Lady" — and her husband, Aashish Shah, located in tony Tanglewood.