Upper Kirby is considered to be in an area west of South Shepherd Drive, east of Buffalo Speedway, north of Bissonnet Street, and south of Westheimer Road. The Upper Kirby Management District, officially registered as Harris County Improvement District #3, was created by the Texas Legislature and governs the Upper Kirby area. In 1999 the Houston city council created the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 19, which covers 15 acres.
Upper Kirby is an upscale, diverse urban neighborhood with vintage and recent single family homes, townhomes, luxury highrises, and apartments interspersed with high-end retail venues and trendy restaurants. In a city famous for dependence on the automobile, Upper Kirby residents defy that stereotype by walking nearly everywhere they need to be within their neighborhood. One of the neighborhood’s signatures is its old-fashioned English red telephone booths on several corners.
Upper Kirby is home to The River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly a county schoolhouse, the building is currently the administrative center for the River Oaks Garden Club. Upper Kirby and surrounding neighborhoods are served by the Adele B. Looscan Neighborhood Library of the Houston Public Library. The current Looscan Branch building opened in 2007. The original library, which was established in 1956 and was non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, closed in 2005 and was demolished in early 2006. The group Friends of Neighborhood Libraries (FONL) raised a significant portion of the funds for the replacement library which has twice the staff and is two and one-half times the size of the original facility. Levy Park, operated by the City of Houston, is also found in Upper Kirby and includes a dog park and a softball field.
Single-family homes in Upper Kirby range in price from the $300,000s for older structures to well above $1 million for recent construction. Townhomes range from the mid $200,000s upwards of $700,000. Highrise condominiums range from near $200,000 in the older buildings to more than $900,000 into $1 million-plus at 2727 Kirby.