Sharpstown was Houston’s largest development when it was undertaken in the mid-1950s. A prototype for the master planned communities of today, its pattern of middle class homes on curving streets and cul-de-sacs surrounding a shopping mall and country club was widely imitated. Even its problem areas, such as the densely sited and poorly maintained apartments found on Beechnut in the southern part of the community, are examples of what to avoid. In recent years, Asian merchants have moved into empty shopping centers along Bellaire Boulevard and their groceries, restaurants and small shops now thrive. Demand in these areas is strong, resulting in the conversion of warehouses and apartments to meet the demand for retail space.

  • Houston City Council Districts C, F
  • Houston Independent School District (8 public schools; 7 private schools)
  • 5,625 acres (8.8 sq. miles)


The River Oaks/Afton Oaks super neighborhood in located between Downtown and the Galleria and is bounded by Highway 59, Loop 610, Westheimer Rd, Bissonnet Street and Shepherd Drive.

Cultural identity and general community characteristics

The combined Super Neighborhood is defined by a network of historic neighborhoods and major economic centers. This group of neighborhoods with their unique characters and identities encompasses River Oaks, Afton Oaks, Greenway Plaza, and Upper Kirby.

The area boasts large retail centers such as the Highland Village and the River Oaks Shopping Center, and it is immediately adjacent to the Galleria. With a median household income of over $90,000, retail in this area continues to thrive and is expanding daily. These centers offer consumers a varied retail and restaurant experience.

Brief History

River Oaks was Houston’s first master planned community. The area was purchased and developed by Michael and William Hogg and Hugh Potter in the 1920’s. Although it was originally planned as a middle-income development, the area soon became an enclave for the wealthy and has remained so to date. For one week each spring, River Oaks’ mansions and well-kept properties are the centerpiece of a home and garden tour called the “Azalea Trail.” The tour features rows of magnificent hot pink, red, and white azaleas along with tours of select houses. For a more detailed discussion of the history of River Oaks visit

The River Oaks/Afton Oaks super neighborhood includes several residential areas located in quiet tree-lined neighborhood pockets. Afton Oaks, one of these quiet neighborhoods, is a subdivision composed primarily of 1950s ranch-style homes. The fact that it’s close to downtown, as well as its proximity to Uptown and the Galleria area, has made it a destination of choice for two-income families wanting to be near both work and the Inner Loop’s numerous entertainment venues.

Community Venues

  • Area Churches: Lakewood Church, St.Luke’s United Methodist, St.Anne’s Catholic Church, St.John’s Episcopal Church
  • Theaters: AD Players
  • Shopping and Commerce: Greenway Plaza, Highland Village, River Oaks Shopping Center
  • Historic Property: The River Oaks Garden Club


  • River Oaks Elementary
  • Lanier Middle School
  • Lamar High School
  • St.John the Divine
  • St.Anne’s Catholic Church and School

Famous or Well-Known Residents

Current notable residents include former Mayor “Bob” Lanier, developer/restaurateur Tillman Fertitta, and numerous socialites including Carolyn Farb and Lynn Wyatt.

Famous graduates of Lamar High, include Broadway performer Tommy Tune, singer Kelly Rowland, and actress Jaclyn Smith.

Civic Associations

  • Afton Oaks
  • River Oaks
  • Avalon Place
  • David Crockett
  • Glendower Court
  • West Court
  • Alabama Place
  • Ferndale
  • Madison Place
  • Highland Village
  • Colquitt Court
  • Chatham Place
  • Normandy Place
  • Westlawn Terrace

Key Planned Projects (public and private)

  • Kirby Drive Drainage and Mobility Improvements Project-Upper Kirby
  • Kirby Drive Streetscape Improvements Project-Upper Kirby
  • Proposed Upper Kirby Civic Complex and YMCA-Upper Kirby
  • Highland Village Residential Traffic Mitigation
  • 2 Proposed Metro light rail transit lines bisecting and adjacent to the Super Neighborhood
  • Because of its active civic club, Afton Oaks was selected as part of a “Neighborhoods to Standard” four-year renovation program. The program set out to install new streets and curbs and storm sewers in Afton Oaks as needed.