The Upper Kirby Area – Greenway Plaza is located in southwest Houston, inside the 610 Loop. The super neighborhood is irregularly shaped, being roughly bound by (clockwise): Westheimer to the north, Kirby to the west, Bissonnet to the south, Academy to the west, Law to the north, Southern Pacific railroad tracks to the west, Newcastle to the west, Glenmont to the south, Interstate 610 to the west, Highway 59 to the north, and the Southern Pacific railroad tracks to the east.
The Upper Kirby / Greenway Plaza Super Neighborhood has three main regional draws: Greenway Plaza, The Upper Kirby District, and Highland Village. Greenway Plaza is a master-planned mixed-use development with over 50 acres of prime frontage on the Highway 59. The complex has 10 main commercial buildings that contain 4.25 million square feet of Class A office space. In addition to office buildings, the complex contains a hotel, condominiums, retail space and a full service food court. The buildings in the complex are interconnected by bridges, tunnels, and walkways. The well maintained and manicured campus is a major employment center for the Houston Metro area.
Upper Kirby is the one area’s major commercial corridors. Though the area is surrounded by affluent residential neighborhoods, the commercial corridor did not develop the same panache. The area’s commercial corridor once had rundown commercial buildings and an uninteresting streetscape. The Upper Kirby District was created to combat the decline of the commercial corridor. Upper Kirby has undergone or is undergoing major transportation and beautification projects that are giving new life to this commercial corridor. Upscale restaurants and shops are moving into the area.
Along with Greenway Plaza and Upper Kirby District, Highland Village is another regional commercial attraction. Home furnishing stores, a large urban market, and national clothing chains bring people to the area to shop. Highland Village offers an upscale shopping experience for Houston’s discerning shoppers.
The neighborhoods surrounding the Greenway Plaza and the Upper Kirby Commercial Corridor were built primarily in the 1940s and 1950s. The homes built throughout the area were predominately large ranch homes. The proximity to Houston’s premier shopping districts, employment centers and entertainment venues have helped these residential areas stay in high demand. These neighborhoods have not experienced the physical decay often found in neighborhoods built during the same time. Despite the stability of property values in the area, starting in the 1990s many of the original homes have been demolished. New two-story homes are being built, adding verticality to the neighborhood streetscapes.
Courtesy of Super Neighborhood 87, City of Houston website