Real Estate / High-Rises

Designer Living — Your Exclusive First Look Inside Giorgetti Houston, a Showcase Mid-Rise Like No Other in the World

A Global Coup for H-Town and Design Devotees Everywhere

BY // 10.04.20

Stepping into the lobby of the building, you’re immediately hit by the sense that this is a very different type of place. Even if you do not recognize the Giorgetti furniture, you’ll know it’s anything but ordinary. The wood floor on the ceiling is another striking, eye-catching touch.

The Giorgetti Houston is a condominium building unlike any other. That is apparent from first look.

“We wanted to provide a level of design and a quality of finish that Houston has never seen before,” Jacob Sudhoff, CEO of Douglas Elliman Texas, says. “It’s very Italian. It’s very European.”

Sudhoff and his husband Jerry Hooker, the principal of the architecture firm Mirador Group, first dreamed up this Giorgetti building idea and their passion and precise, proactive planning made Giorgetti CEO Giovanni del Vecchio a believer. Now, the first Giorgetti residential building anywhere has opened its stylish doors in Houston, Texas.

Condominium living in America’s fourth-largest city may never be the same again.

“Everybody says, ‘Why Houston?’ ” Sudhoff says. ” ‘Why not London, Paris, Beijing or some other places?’ ”

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Sudhoff smiles from his perch on Giorgetti couch in the new building’s first level lounge area. Having this potentially trend-setting project in Houston means plenty to him. In some ways, Sudhoff and Hooker are design pied pipers, leading the Bayou City towards a new future of unique showcase landmarks it did not even know it could have.

As Sudhoff and Hooker lead PaperCity on one of the very first tours of the completed Giorgetti Houston, the pride in and the power of this one-of-a-kind mid-rise quickly becomes apparent.

“The quality of finishes in this building surpasses those in New York City and that’s what’s really unique,” Sudhoff says.

That is what happens when Giorgetti, the storied Italian furniture maker turned full lifestyle brand that dates its origins back to 1898, becomes part of the very fabric of a building. Just putting Giorgetti kitchen cabinetry into your home is a $250,000 proposition.

And every one of Giorgetti Houston’s 32 units boasts Giorgetti kitchen cabinetry, Giorgetti lighting fixtures, Giorgetti wood.

“This building, its carpets, its lighting, its artworks — it’s all about Giorgetti,” Hooker says.

Giorgetti Lobby and Model Unit-3; Photo credit by Divya Pande
Giorgetti Houston is not just another Houston condo building. (Photo by Divya Pande)

In many ways, this is Hooker’s dream project. All the high-end finishes. The only wood that will sink in water giving the condominiums’ flooring a distinctive look. The striking basalt marble. The concierge desk at the entrance custom designed by Giorgetti. All the large and little touches that set Giorgetti Houston apart. Hooker is all in on this 122-year-old Italian brand. Giorgetti is even spelled out in binary code on the side of the building.

This reverence comes naturally to those who know.

“If you go to Italy, Giorgetti is known like Ferrari is known here,” Sudhoff says. “Giorgetti and Ferrari are at the same level of sophistication in Italy and are respected the same.

“It’s the Rolls-Royce of the furniture world.”

Now, it’s showcased like never before. In Houston. The first Giorgetti residential building is in the heart of Upper Kirby at 2701 Steel Street. Just off of Kirby Drive, Giorgetti Houston is a short walk across the street to Whole Foods. A new H-E-B grocery concept that highlights coffee and restaurant options is set to be built right across the street. Levy Park and its dog and outdoor dining options are only a 12-minute stroll from the mid-rise’s front doors.

New Style, New Lifestyle at Giorgetti Houston

Jacob Sudhoff looks ripped in his designer gray suit on this tour day. But if Sudhoff upped his workout regime during these travel-limited coronavirus times, he also spent plenty of time pouring over Douglas Elliman’s next level real estate stats. Giorgetti Houston is a result of paying attention to the numbers and listening to residents of Sudhoff and Hooker’s other high-end residential collaborations, including The Sophie at Bayou Bend.

This is why every one of Giorgetti Houston’s 32 condos comes with an outdoor space with a gas grill, an outdoor dining area and a fireplace.

“They want it to feel like a home,” Sudhoff tells PaperCity. “They don’t want it to feel like a Miami condo.

“They want it to feel like a real home.”

Giorgetti Lobby and Model Unit-70; Photo credit by Divya Pande
Giorgetti Houston is designed to feel like a real home. (Photo by Divya Pande)

With this in mind, private two and three car garages with their own door are available in the parking garage. And every unit comes with some air-conditioned storage (a rarity in even the most luxe condo buildings). Giorgetti Houston’s garage is also specifically designed to limit the number of steps it takes for a resident to go from their car to their front door. It’s geared around being the same number of steps required if you owned a townhouse. Being “over-elevatored” as Sudhoff puts it — having four elevators for only 32 units — is another weapon in cutting down those steps.

“If you go to Italy, Giorgetti is known like Ferrari is known here. Giorgetti and Ferrari are at the same level of sophistication in Italy and are respected the same — Jacob Sudhoff.

The four penthouses on Giorgetti Houston’s top floor take things to another level. Each penthouse includes a terrace that makes ordinary balconies look as small as Delaware does compared to Texas. These penthouse terraces boast 2,000 square feet of uncovered outdoor space and 500 square feet of covered outdoor space.

“Most people’s backyards in West University are not 2,500 square feet,” Sudhoff notes.

These terraces are built to facilitate the construction of a small pool or fountain feature.

Where Fur Children Rule

One of the ways in which Giorgetti Houston’s units are made to feel like a true home come in the details geared around how people live today. “The buyers. . .  their fur children are so important to them,” Sudhoff says.

So to make having a dog easier in a seven-story mid-rise, Sudhoff’s team came up with a porta-potty system for canines. This is a piece of AstroTurf with a water spigot for drainage that sits on every Giorgetti Houston balcony. This allows you to let your dog do its business without the need to take your fur child downstairs every time. The building will even bring in a trainer who will teach your dog to get comfortable with going on the AstroTurf.

This may not be what the creators of the Astrodome imagined when they first debuted that innovative fake grass, but hey, times change.

The Giorgetti also has a full dog park out its lobby level backdoors.

A World of Customization

With unit prices ranging from $1.9 million to $4.3 million, those who buy at Giorgetti Houston are largely the type of people who know what they want. That is taken into account with customization options galore. A homeowner can add even more Giorgetti to their lives if they wish, too.

“It’s about creating a bespoke environment in each unit,” Sudhoff says. “No other branded building in the world has a brand which will literally work with homeowners.”

Of course, there are few brands like Giorgetti in the world. This 122-year-old institution is built around generations of craftsmen. Sons do the same job that their fathers and grandfathers did before them. No wonder why Giorgetti furniture is built to last generations.

“They are true craftsmen,” Sudhoff says. “It’s in their heritage and their blood.”

In some ways, you could say the same thing about Sudhoff and Hooker. Fathers to a new baby girl, this married team worked in concert to create the type of design-centric, residential retreat that Houston has never had before. Sudhoff is the more demonstrative of the two men, but Hooker’s more subdued, determined design vision comes through in every corner of Giorgetti Houston.

In a Houston residential real estate world still largely populated by older, long longtime developers, Sudhoff and Hooker stand out. The world is changing and they’re making sure that Houston gets a place at the forefront of it.

Some buildings are a revolution, too.

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