Another New Category for This Year’s Swampies: The Ground-Floor Retail Award

Earlier today we introduced a new category in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. There are a total of 3 so far: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolition and Best Houston Transplant. There’s another new category to introduce to you today: the Ground-Floor Retail Award.

What thing, place, or concept deserves this award? Feel free to nominate a particular instance of ground-floor retail, a particular place that’s lacking such an amenity, or any thing or concept you think is worthy of such an honor. It’s your award to redefine.

To get your favorite on the official ballot, submit your suggestion — along with a smart explanation for why it’s a good choice — in the comments section below. Or email it to us. Just make sure to do so no later than midnight on Monday, December 9. More thorough instructions can be found here.

The 2013 Swampies

12 Comment

  • The Hanover Rice village Apartments with Zoes Kitchen, Coppa Osteria, Fellini Cafe, Hand & Stone Spa and Cloud 10 Creamery, Cyclone Anaya’s, Punk’s Simple Southern Food and Saint Cloud Accessories Boutique

  • This is probably where Bork goes, not the design trend category.

  • The Ulta Beauty shop located below the new Texas Children’s pediatric facility on Kirby and Alabama. Somehow I doubt that women are popping into the store for a little makeover while they wait for their kids’ radiology scans to come back. Swamplot commenters all seemed to agree it was a strange combination. Yet somehow, it seems to be thriving.

  • On Travis @ Prairie on Parking Day, 9/20/2013 –nominated b/c to the best of my knowledge no participant got maimed or killed in traffic.

  • For the Ground-Floor Retail Award I nominate the folks (I know of Kevin and Gina; there may be others) who own/operate Duo, Wish, and Native Citizen — for how these shops keep Montrose unique, and celebrate its walkability.

  • I’d say BlackFinn American Grill has to be it! It’s the first floor of a parking garage and is usually pretty crowded!

  • i would give a big thumbs up for the revival of ground floor retail on the superblock of Main between Congress and Prairie. Goro and Gun, the Pastry War, Clutch City Squire, Capt. Foxhearts, Okra, Batanga and others with plenty more on the way. All are fresh, new and interesting places to eat and drink in a strip of downtown that has seen many failures and long term vacancies over the years. This time really feels different as the block is reaching a critical mass in terms of occupancy without getting all Washington Ave stupid.

    I would wag my finger at Trammell Crow for blowing off ground floor retail in the new Yale St development. While the folks at Dry Creek and Revival Market are probably happy to have 700+ new residents across the street, the potential for ground floor retail was excellent at this spot. It is right on the hike and bike path and two blocks from a popular park for the kids and the running trail on the boulevard. There is already retail development to the north (art gallery, furniture store, etc.) and will probably be some retail development just to the south someday. A good restaurant or two would have printed money at this location. Instead, there will be an exercise room and some lame coffee bar/lounge that no one will use and a giant over the top leasing office. Thanks, Trammell Crow for following the herd.

  • +1 for the Main St. superblock.

  • Minute Maid park… sort of….
    The Astros were in the basement all year long!
    Eh. Eh?
    Is this thing on?

  • +1 for Old School’s Main St. revival. I can’t think of anything better.

  • Phoenicia at One Park Place, for doing what no grocer and other retailers have been able to successfully do downtown. That place is always packed…

    Also, the 2300-2500 blocks of Mid Lane (soon to be demolished), 4300 block of Montrose, and 2700 block of Dowling for surviving so many decades without redevelopment, despite nearby gentrification. These places remind old Houstonians (the ones that continue to pronounce San Felipe like San Fill-ippy) of old Houston pre-1980s, as if Westbury Square were still around today :)

  • West Ave and the redo of Upper Kirby. The widened sidewalks, new trees and planted esplanades have really transformed the area. Even though West Ave has nearly zero setback from the street, it doesn’t dominate the streetscape, and actually has the effect of engaging both pedestrians and motorists. Not to mention that Tootsie’s window displays are a consistently awesome focal point!