Luxury retailer expands Uptown Park location

By Jenny Agee-Aldridge  –  Reporter, Houston Business Journal

Apr 24, 2014, 4:38pm CDT Updated Apr 24, 2014, 9:12pm CDT

A luxury retailer with roots in the Miss America Pageant will make a major expansion to its existing location in the commercial real estate Uptown Park, as the high-end, European-inspired shopping complex moves forward with its $1 billion renovation.

Elizabeth Anthony | Esther Wolf, a boutique that features designer clothes and accessories for women, will renovate and expand its existing shop, with completion slated by August.

The store has taken over the 1,960-square-foot space that once housed David Brown Floral’s. The expansion will bring its footprint to 7,500 square feet. Houston-based Intexure Architects designed the renovation.

Owner Julie Roberts started her business more than 20 years ago when she was working as a consultant for the Miss America pageant. She would rent the luxury gowns she wore in the pageant as Miss Missouri to new contestants. The business grew from there.

Today, she has proven herself to be a savvy businesswoman, with her store’s sales increasing by 13 percent last year in a competitive market.

In addition to the renovation, the store will debut new High-end

clothing and accessory collections and include a “luxury jewelry gallery.”

“My customers want the full head-to-toe look,” Roberts said.

They also want convenience.

“Most of them don’t want to shop at places like the Galleria where you have to valet park. They like the convenience of shopping here, where they can pull up to the front door,” she said.

Roberts also plans to rebrand the store Elizabeth Anthony, the middle names of her two children, and the name of her original shop before Roberts acquired Esther Wolf in 2003.

AmREIT Inc. (NYSE: AMRE)  is redeveloping the 17-acre Uptown Park commercial real estate shopping center in the Galleria area, which is located at the corner of the West Loop and Post Oak Boulevard. Plans include new multifamily, European-inspired  hotel and High-end

retail construction. The Galleria is  also undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation.