Houston’s most prestigious zip code just got a little fancier. A stone’s throw away from the River Oaks District stands The Wilshire, the city’s newest luxury high-rise condominium.
The 17-story, 96-unit building, located just off the West Loop between Westheimer and San Felipe, broke ground over two years ago. Today it's nearly all sold: Just over a dozen residences remain on the market, and developer Pelican Builders expects the building to be fully occupied by year’s end. The first to open out of a crop of new buildings, The Wilshire is Pelican’s ninth project of its kind.
Pelican founder Robert Bland feels they really got it right this time. “When you do something like this, you say, ‘gee whiz, if I had to do it over again, what would I do differently?’” he told us last month. “And I really wouldn’t do much different on this one.”
The Wilshire’s units range in size from 1,300 to over 4,000 square feet, and in price from $800,000 to $3 million. Just before Christmas, 25 families had closed and moved into their new digs, which boast all the fancy appliances and amenities. Houston’s Kirskey Architecture–named the tenth best firm in the nation by Architect Magazine–is behind the project’s sleek, gleaming design.
The Wilshire’s 14 floor plans vary in arrangement and include two-bed, two-bath units and three-bed, three-and-a-half bath penthouses. All have balconies with westward or downtown views. “I think the exterior of the building, when I look at it, it’s stunning,” Bland said. “I think the interiors are stunning. I think that it’s exceeded our expectations.”
The design team heeded advice from other Pelican homeowners, who indicated in a survey they’d like larger closets and guest suites in the building. The Wilshire crosses both those items off the wish list, as well as offering the largest outdoor deck of any condo in Houston–25,145 square feet–with s a 75-foot lap pool, adjacent wet deck, cabana rooms, and a covered grilling kitchen.
“When you go look at the pool, you’ll think you’re at the Ritz Carlton,” Bland said.
Bland notes that Houston has traditionally offered fewer condominium options than other major cities. He built his first high-rise more than 43 years ago, he adds, and has no plans to stop now. “Whether we like it or not, it’s going to be a New York or Chicago or Los Angeles–that’s what Houston is going to be,” he said. “I think we’re just on the beginning of what’s going to happen in Houston.”
Pelican, by the way, is already onto its next project–another condo, The Revere in Upper Kirby. The 32-unit mid-rise project is expected to break ground in late spring or early summer and is already over 30 percent pre-sold.
“We want people to say, ‘Hey, I bought a condominium from Pelican, and they were great people, and I’ve got the best unit I’ve ever had,” Bland said. “That’s our mission in life, and that’s what we try to do every day.”