Real Estate / High-Rises

Swank Bayou Bend Mid-Rise Brings Serious Design Perks and Terraces to Swoon Over — Inside The Sophie

Don't Sleep on the Giorgetti's Sister Building

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While the uber contemporary Giorgetti has been wining raves in the world of luxe condominiums, the Mirador Group, which is the force behind the Upper Kirby showcase, has at the same time shown its versatility with The Sophie at Bayou Bend, a luxe classically-influenced condo building rising seven stories on Memorial Drive, a stone’s through from Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens. PaperCity recently sat down with Mirador Group principal Jerry Hooker for insights on the Giorgetti’s more demure sister.

Both projects were under development at about the same time but the vast difference in edifices is due to the locations, one along bustling Upper Kirby and the other on the mostly residential stretch of Memorial Drive. Mirador did the architecture, interior design and landscape architecture for both.

“When we were thinking about both projects we gave consideration to what is right for the neighborhood,” Hooker says. “Where is this project located. We’re not just plopping a generic building down but thinking about what is appropriate from a community standpoint as well.”

Not only are the softer lines of The Sophie a nod to the genteel neighborhood near Memorial Park, but also the setback placement of the seven-story building. In a reverse trend of high-rises built within 12 feet of the street, the L-shaped Sophie enjoys a circular front plaza centered with a fountain and flanked by guest parking.

That thought process behind the design apparently worked as only 19 of the original 42 residences in The Sophie remain. In fact, the first pre-sale was to a homeowner in neighboring Camp Logan, only two minutes from the swank mid-rise. And Hooker points out that most of the pre-sale units were to homeowners who lived within a mile of the property.

“As an architecture firm, we’re unique,” Hooker says. “Obviously with my relationship with Jacob (Hooker’s husband Jacob Sudhoff, who is CEO of Elliman Texas), we’re an architecture firm that is constantly thinking about the real estate community. But also we’ve got to manage our projects to completion because in many cases we also invest in projects just like this one as well.”

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In both The Giorgetti and The Sophie, the interior design goals were much the same — to create a space that feels truly like home, a comfortable residence as opposed to a cookie-cutter condo.

“At the end of the day,” Hooker says, “these are people’s primary homes and we want it to feel like home.”

Sophie at Bayou Bend – For Print-12
CASA Houston’s Mackenzie Cash and Mirador Group principal Jerry Hooker study design options for the residence in The Sophie at Bayou Bend. (Photo by Divya Pande)

In The Sophie guests arrive from the elevator directly into the foyer of their homes with the private entry controlled by key fob. No chance of long hallways and awkward corners that exist in many new condo buildings.

Obviously, much thought went into the design. As Hooker walks us through #302, a 3,200 square foot two bedroom and study condo, he points to the wealth of trim work and crown molding, a rarity in today’s condos.

Terraces with a minimum 400 square foot in every unit, with many larger than that, make for another unique aspect of The Sophie.  The terrace is large enough to comfortably provide a living space, dining space and full outdoor kitchen and includes a gas fireplace that opens both to the terrace and the dining area of the great room. Add the small patch of recessed artificial turf with faucet (aka a pet potty) in one corner to aid pet owners who prefer not to have to take their dog downstairs every time nature calls.

Interior design for the model comes from Hooker and Sudhoff’s contemporary home furnishings shop CASA Houston. Hooker and designer Mackenzie Cash staged the model to fully reflect a true residence by adding everything from wall coverings to paint to window treatments and, of course, the high-end furnishings. Think Rimadiseo, Listone Giordano, Giorgetti and more.

Misty Meredith of Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the contact agent for The Sophie where #302 is listed for $2.195 million. Among the remaining residences the cost runs from $1.85 million to $4.8 million, that for the last of the penthouses.

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