Built for a Saudi Prince, River Oaks Residence Basks in Splendor

Walter M. Bering

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Text by Penny Jones

River Oaks has shared the reflected glory of many royal visitors through the years, but in 1986, royalty arrived to stay with the completion of this palatial Modern estate at 1000 Kirby Drive.


Commissioned by a Soudi royal family as their Houston home, the magnificent, commercial-steel-framed structure was imposing, even by River Oaks standards, and introduced a new level of luxury and privacy to the neighborhood.

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The present owners purchased the 3.1-plus acre estate in 2007 and embarked on a comprehensive renovation that further enhanced and expanded the residence’s already luxurious living and entertaining facilities.

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Additions included an inviting resort-style pool, spa, and fully-equipped entertaining cabana; a separate summer kitchen with a pizza oven and bar; a gazebo with a commercial hibachi grill; extensive protected and open-air outdoor gathering and dining terraces and decks; and exceptional children’s play areas.

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Positioned within a gated compound overlooking Buffalo Bayou, the light-filled main house offers more than 22,000 livable square feet; three elevator-accessible floors plus a basement; nine-plus bedroom suites; 11 bathrooms; and four half bathrooms. Out buildings include a staff cottage with offices and living quarters, a six-car garage, and a mechanical building. North and south controlled-access entrances lead to extensive front and rear motor courts with parking spaces for upwards of 50 cars.

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In the European tradition, this residence accommodates the living, entertaining, and professional requirements of its residents.

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Anchored by the enormous, triple-height, marble-and-glass reception hall, the first floor encompasses the elegant formal living and dining salons with space for well more than 200 guests; a professional-grade, eat-in kitchen extensively equipped to service household gatherings or entertainments of any size; a 1,000-plus bottle wine cellar; service and catering areas; staff bedroom suites; and a large office/conference/library/den complex that includes a smaller full kitchen and second, less formal, dining room.

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Positioned on the second floor, the sumptuous master suite offers the luxuries of space and privacy with a pair of serene bedrooms served by two magnificently-appointed full bathrooms; bespoke dressing areas; lavish, custom-fitted room-sized closets; a gym/fitness center/beauty salon; and two balconies.

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Additional bedroom suites on this level surround a playroom/study hub and have access to a juice bar/kitchenette. Third-floor luxurious guest suites feature lavish bathrooms, custom-fitted closets and private balconies, and share a living room with a large balcony.

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With compelling design, impeccable quality throughout, and a floorplan tailored for elegant daily living as well as grand events, this Modern city-estate offers an old-world, gracious lifestyle in the heart of River Oaks.

Address: 1000 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77019

Price: $20,000,000

Bedrooms: 9

Bathrooms: 11 full + 4 halfs

View the property here. 

The property was featured at Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Read the WSJ article here. 

For more information, contact Walter M. Bering at 713-851-9753 or [email protected].

Walter M. Bering is the exclusive agent representing the Houston, Texas real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.

Images courtesy of Tad Krampitz – TK Images

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