The Kirby Collection: 1 Million+ SF of Mixed-Use

A Grand Addition to Kirby Drive

The Kirby Collection is a 1.1 million square foot, mixed-use project bound by Kirby Drive to the east, one of the city’s busiest roadways. Located on a tight-site in a very congested area, this project includes a 365,000 SF, twenty-five story, luxury high-rise residential tower; 232,000 SF, thirteen-story office tower; 67,000 SF, two-story retail space and 446,000 SF, six-level, parking garage.

The Kirby Collection creates the ultimate live-work-play community that meets 21st century demands and elevates the standard of urban living in Houston.

Unique Characteristics

The Kirby Collection was a grand experiment in innovation. Thor Equities encouraged out of the box thinking in an effort to push creative solutions. Special components included the unique design combination, distinctive shape of the apartment tower, the entry oculus, and one-acre amenity deck.

At the onset of the project, Thor Equities wanted to construct an iconic development in Houston. They hired Keating Architecture and allowed their team to work on innovative design concepts. In addition, the team included Kirksey Architecture who was the architect of record and Dianna Wong, who was responsible for the interior design of the residences.

The final result included the residential tower that combined two off-set ellipses into a distinctive form and a one of a kind entry feature off of Kirby Drive that incorporated a 120’ diameter oculus with LED lighting. The oval residential tower and entry have already become iconic portions of the development.

Scheduling Highlights

Scheduling at The Kirby Collection was its own challenge as the project required a phase turn-over. Phase I of the project included Levels 1-10 of the apartment tower, amenity deck, parking garage and some of the site. Phase II included Levels 11-25 of the apartment tower, office building, and the retail components. With the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, two weeks of the schedule were lost due to workers being unable to make it to work and only skeleton crews being available. Regardless of the setbacks, the Phase I deadline had to be met as tenants were scheduled to move in. To make up the lost time and keep both phases of the project on track, the project team worked 7 days a week from sun up (6 AM) until 10 PM. Superintendents were scheduled in shifts so the proper supervision was always on-site. While Phase I was being completed, E.E. Reed also pushed to ensure that Phase II was completed not only on-time, but early. This strong focus on the schedule proved to be successful as Phase II was completed one month ahead of schedule.

Safety: Our Top Priority

While keeping a constant eye on pedestrian safety, the team was challenged with providing a safe work environment for the 500 men and women working on-site each day. Our site safety director, Billy Sciba, developed a site specific safety program which included daily JSA completion by each foreman, monthly safety stand downs, monthly safety training, weekly foreman meetings and a “wooden nickel” award program.

Each of these programs was a component to building a safe working environment but when combined, we hoped to exceed great results. At each meeting safety was the first topic on the agenda and ensuring that all the men and women returned home safely was always on the top of mind. The project only had one lost time accident by a subcontractor. The project logged over 1.2 million man hours and was a great success from a safety perspective.