$12M land sale in River Oaks one of Houston’s most expensive

Layne Kelly plans $50M home overlooking country club

Layne Kelly's Bradley Smith and David Gross with 3482 Inwood Drive
Layne Kelly's Bradley Smith and David Gross with 3482 Inwood Drive (LinkedIn, David Gross via Facebook, Google Maps, Getty)

Layne Kelly Residential Construction recently paid $12 million for a 2-acre home site with golf course access in Houston’s exclusive River Oaks neighborhood.

The deal for 3482 Inwood Drive is the second-most expensive land sale in the city’s history, according to Houston’s MLS. The prime location is also set to house one of Texas’ most expensive resi projects.

The Houston-based homebuilder, which is known for custom and speculative estate homes, plans to build a $50 million, 25,000-square-foot home overlooking the River Oaks Country Club. That would be $2,000 per square foot and one of the most expensive residential listings in Texas history.

Layne Kelly plans to start construction within three months, and CEO Bradley Smith promises it will be “a game changer” for the Houston resi market. The full buildout is expected to be completed by May 2024, he said. David Gross of Douglas Elliman represented the buyer, while Compass agents Laura Sweeney and Sabiha Rehmatulla co-represented the mystery seller.

The Harris County Appraisal District lists the property’s owner as “Current Owner,” with the same mailing address as the Highland Village shopping center, which is owned by Houston real estate investor Haidar Barbouti.

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The River Oaks tract was the final, albeit incomplete, development of the legendary, late Houston developer Harold Farb who purchased it in 2002, according to Harris County Appraisal District records. Farb, who died in 2006, was a prolific figure in the Houston real estate scene having built more than 30,000 apartments during his 50-year career.

“This is the last golf-course access, two-acre lot in River Oaks, and it’s the neighborhood’s crown jewel,” Smith said. “We already have potential buyers from California to New York and Miami who see these prices and aren’t shocked by them. We also have interest from around the state like Austin, Dallas and Beaumont buyers.”

Smith revealed plans to assemble an international squad of collaborators to bring his lofty vision to life. The all-star team includes local architectural firm JD Bartell Designs and home decor agency Wilbanks Mackay, plus France-based design team L’atelier Paris for haute cabinetry and appliances.

“These buyers could buy anything, so I want to make something that is completely irreplaceable. Something that is one-of-one that can’t be found anywhere in Houston, anywhere in Texas or anywhere else in the world,” Smith said.

The planned home could become the priciest home listing in Texas history. It would dethrone the current titleholder, a $45 million Lake Travis estate, which received a $10 million price cut amid rising interest rates in December.

Douglas Elliman inked Houston’s most expensive resi sale last year with a European-inspired mansion in the westside neighborhood of Memorial listed at $21 million.

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(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
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