Best Project Cancellation or Delay: The Official Nominees

Note: Voting for the Swampies has ended. See the bottom of this post (above the comments) for a link to the results!

Our second category in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate has its official slate of candidates!

As the nominees are announced, voting can begin. You can cast your vote by entering a comment below or by sending Swamplot a private message indicating your preferences. More details about voting rules for the awards are available here.

The nominees for Best Project Cancellation or Delay are . . .


1. Archstone Memorial Heights Redevelopment. Earlier this year, Archstone began work on its secretive 5-year plan to redevelop the 12-year-old apartment complex along Washington between Studemont and Heights Blvd. And then? “Management indicated that they would start in the second quarter, and here it is year’s end with the plans on an unannounced hold. The hold, alas, was not soon enough to prevent the stripping of fixtures and air conditioners from two of the three buildings slated for Phase 1. The final building was lucky to have been untouched long enough to be used as temporary housing while Hurricane Ike forced tenants from other buildings.

2. Boulevard Place. Over by the Galleria, Wulfe & Co.’s Post Oak redevelopment is still under construction, but the proposed 37-story Hanover apartment tower and 30+ story Ritz Carlton hotel won’t be joining the fun at Boulevard Place anytime soon. “Who’s dropping out next? Whole Foods?

3. Regent Square. Nixing the underground parking set off a series of chain reactions in GID Urban Development Group’s grand pedestrian experiment planned for the site of the former Allen House Apartments. The result? The new scheme is a lot less kinky — and the schedule’s been pushed back a whole year.

4. Turnberry Tower Houston. “What a shame the Turnberry got flushed down the toilet. Just supplying the fixtures for all those bathrooms would have provided a needed jolt to the economy.

5. Sonoma. First there were delays as Randall Davis and Lamesa Properties tried to convince the city that it should close a public street in the Rice Village and sell it to them; then there was the announcement that Davis would build phase II before phase I; and then there were more delays as he tried to sell enough units to get enough financing to start even one of the phases. And finally, there was the announcement that the project was on hold, but that they now have until 2015 to do something with the property. Meanwhile, a perfectly good mixed-use building with several popular restaurants and hangout spots was torn down, and the neighbors get to look at a work in progress for the next 7 years.

6. Ashby Highrise. “The easiest way to start a fight on Swamplot? Just post some news about the Ashby Highrise. I hate to think what will happen if the project goes ahead or if it’s killed. Clearly, the Ashby delay is the best delay of them all this year, because the limbo has managed to keep things relatively peaceful.

Which of the nominees deserves to win? Tell us with your vote!

Update: The winners have been announced!

Photo of Sonoma site on Bolsover St.: Miya Shay

95 Comment

  • Regent Square – that project had the most potential to completely transform a neighborhood.

  • No contest…Ashby Highrise. It has been very entertaining following Bill White’s machinations to satisfy a few wealthy constituents.

  • I’m going with Turnberry on this one.

  • Sonoma. It’s just so sad to think they tore down that great old building, and are about to close the city’s best Walgreens, all for naught. Now we get to look at a mudpit for seven more years.

  • My vote is for Sonoma

  • Best cancellation was Turnberry.

  • While I would normally say Ashby, anything that knocks Randall down a few notches (how much lower can he get, though?) takes my vote. I’m still bitter that he thanked everyone from KBH to his dog at the rededication of The Rice, but never thanked the residents. Brilliant!

  • I’d like to cast one vote for Sonoma, and one for Ashby, and both for completely selfish and short-sighted reasons. As someone who has to commute through the (already somewhat congested) area, the status quo is fine with me. I’m all for progress unless it means I have to spend more time in my car.

    Seriously, though, if we’re going for irony, these two projects are contenders. One has set off suburban yard warfare and the other one has resulted in a hole that looks a bit like a warzone itself.

  • Definitely Turnberry… when will they be taking down the model inside the Galleria?

  • My vote goes to Turnberry…I never really liked the look of this building.

  • I would normally vote for Turnberry, because its cancellation saved my view ;), but really it should get the award for “What Were They Thinking and Who Loaned Them Money for it?” So, my vote goes to Regent Square because I truly like this plan.

  • I’m still trying to define “Best” in this category. I find there is a lot to be disgusted about in all of these projects from a commuter’s viewpoint.

    BTW, Happy Holidays everyone.

  • what about 7 – all of the above?
    I’m thinking Blvd. Place. 3 years later, still no Whole Foods.

  • These are all very worthy nominees, but I’m going to have to go with Sonoma, for the “we’re going to hold onto the land for 7 more years” factor.

  • My vote is for Sonoma.

  • This was another hard one but my vote HAS to go to Ashby for the grass roots effect. Honorable mentions to Turnberry for their excellent marketing campaign and Sonoma for their cajones.

  • Sonoma is at the top measurement of my puckerometer. With lakes of investment cash for really lame concepts drying up – maybe a degree of sensibilty will creep in? But then again, I’m always the optimist.

  • Sonoma – hands down.

  • It was disgusting of Randall Davis to tear down a charming and popular city block for his “vision.” Even more disgusting that now everyone has to wait for 7 years, while he flaps around trying to get financing.

  • Ashby simply because it was and is fun to watch the mayor play king. Should be even more fun to watch him play king in court. Rumor is the developers are filing suit after the holidays. But Sonoma was and is fun simply because it’s fun to watch the mayor play king. Odd how he tells the same neighborhood they can’t do anything about Sonoma and then proceeds to issue permits and then tells the same neighborhood they can do something about Ashby and proceeds to pull permits already issued and harass the developers and generally make a total ass of himself along with a number of other elected officials. Most people hold their nose driving along Bissonnet. The attitude is overwhelming.

  • I vote for Ashby — I can only hope the developers finally see reason and build something to benefit the neighborhood, not scar it.

  • Ashby High Rise. Some of the projects on here are simply casualties of the economy, but this delay is the result of a tremendous coordinated effort by the residents of Boulevard Oaks and Southampton. The logo of the cartoon looming high rise is actually enough on its own to justify voting for this.

  • No doubt about it–Ashby High Rise! Maybe the new year and the economy will bring some civic sensibility to the developers.

    Sonoma is a close second.

  • The one I am happiest about? Turnberry. That’s a terrible design and the location was doomed to fail from the start.

    However, the BEST as it relates to “only in Houston” has to be Sonoma. Viable businesses forced out and a funky mid-century bldg too and now we get a clusterf$&% of a street grid scarred by chain link fencing and dirt.

  • Have to go with Ashby. My compliments to the Mayor and City Council for their thoughtful work.

    Sonoma would be my second choice-such a shame to have taken down the buildings that were there. What will happen to the vacant area other than what is there now?

  • Ashby Highrise-How sad to have people looking at our rooftops!!!

  • Ashby gets my #1 vote partly because the project has been thwarted but also because of the civic solidarity of the neighborhood residents, and the responsiveness of the City to our concerns. Sonoma has to be a close second, though. I want Bolsover back!

  • Ashby High Rise. May the delay eventually result in a cancellation or severe modification to those outlandish plans. How would those developers, both West U residents I understand, feel if it was in THEIR back yard?

  • BLVD Place will tie up Galleria area for years-the condmenation of the tiny “park” was outrageous and blatantly a misuse of power.

  • If only one good thing comes from this terrible economy, may it be the death of Ashby High-Rise!!!
    Cast my vote for Ashby.

  • My vote for worst project and therefore best delay is the Ashby High Rise. Notably greed driven, designed to be fueled by consumption of the niceness around it, and now in the ditch. Couldn’t happen in a more appropriate way.

  • Ashby Highrise – Not a good fit for the neighborhood. A poorly planned project.

  • 1 vote for Ashby highrise for best delay

  • The Ashby Highrise because it simply is the worst idea of them all.

  • Stop Ashby High Rise

  • Ashby. Ashby. Ashby. A misguided and counterproductive idea from the start. Nobody wants it. No room for it. No place for the inevitable traffic. Wrong project, wrong location, wrong, wrong wrong. Did I mention wrong?

  • My vote is for the Ashby High Rise. This 23 story project is completely out of character with the surrounding historic neighborhood and the surrounding infrastructure is not adequate to support the increased traffic flow.

    The cancellation of this project may actually be good for both the neighborhood and the developers given the economic downturn of the past year.

  • The proposed Ashby highrise is the best delay.

  • Ashby High Rise wins in a breeze as best cancellation or delay. Complete argument for government action to prevent projects that abuse neighborhoods.

  • Ashby High Rise.

  • Ashby High Rise – may it be delayed infinitely!

  • Poorly conceived with no thought for Boulevard Oaks/Southampton residents.

  • Ashby High Rise because it should never, ever be allowed to happen in such a beautiful residential neighborhood, because it will make driving down Bissonet to the heart of the Museum District a nightmare and because it is an issue that is bigger than just its effect on this immediate neighborhood.

  • Ashby High Rise because it’s time somebody took a stand against indiscriminate and irresponsible development.

  • My vote is for the Stop Ashby Highrise. This project would have such a negative impact.

  • The Ashby Highrise stop/delay is both reasonable and in the interest of all neighborhoods. b

  • Ashby-the most ill conceived plan ever! Pure greed on the part of Messrs. Morgan and Kirton.

  • Ashby High Rise

  • Ashby Hi Rise – Pure greed, and gross “misunderestimation” of the neighborhood!

  • I vote for Ashby

  • Ashby has to be the worst decision for any investor. I think it’s better to have the neighbors for you rather than against your project…TOO BIG for the neighborhood!

  • Ashby Highrise.

  • The Ashby Highrise is the best project to cancel. The proposed construction of an over 20-story building on a two-lane street will hurt the neighborhood and Houston commuters. This project is an excellent example of why Houston needs a plan for responsible development.

  • The Ashby Highrise has to be the worst and most out of place among the contenders

  • Ashby Highrise delay gets my vote!

  • Ashby Highrise needs to win this award and loose the neighborhood.

  • Asby Hihgrise is a definte winner for this catagory.

  • Ashby–may it never rise high!

  • Ashby Highrise – the absolute winner in this category!

  • Ashby Highrise is best project delay/cancellation because it would be such an eyesore for all the quaint neighborhoods around it and a traffic nightmare on already-gridlocked-at-rush-hour Bissonnet.

  • Ashby High Rise.

  • ashby highrise

  • Hope Ashby doesn’t go any farther, but at least something pleasant is there. Sonoma is just a traffic hazard and a blight into the future.

  • #1 Ashby highrise – Developers plans showed a total disregard for the neighborhood and the city of Houston in general

    #2 Sonoma

  • Ashby Highrise has to be at the top of the list….well, it’s a crowded ‘top of the list’ though with all the other crap that these developers are trying to get by with. Yes, Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation but why in the world we think we have to have highrises and midrises and apartments out the wazoo is beyond me… But yes, Ashby has to one of the top idiot jobs lately – maybe those clowns who want to build it could build it so it looks down on THEIR back yards and have all those folks watching every move they make or have to get out and fight all the traffic it will create…no thank you!

  • Ashby Highrise. What a total disgrace that would be. How would I explain it to my children?

  • Ashby High rise for sure! It never made sense to put this in the middle of a residential neighborhood on a two lane street. I hope it stays dead. I really liked the concept of the Sonoma project and am sorry that it won’t be a go. Now we’ll have to look at a mud pit for the forseeable future.

  • Ashby Highrise — hope it’s really doomed.

  • I vote for Ashby Highrise.

  • Ashby. Just look at the picture, what a joke. For some strange reason they failed to include the narrow two lane streets and hundreds of two story homes next to the obnoxious building.

  • Ashby Highrise does not need to be in the location they have chosen.

  • Kristi and I vote for the Ashby high rise (hopefully) delay to become Houston’s best ever building development cancellation. The developers, professed lovers of our Southampton and Boulevard Oaks neighborhoods, would destroy the very fabric of our large, unostentatious, non-trafficked neighborhood. Nothing about the Ashby high rise, proposed for the corner of Bissonnet (already heavily trafficked) and Ashby (narrow short street with parked cars), would help the area. It should never have been planned for this location. It deserves the #1 award!

  • Ashby High Rise! Previous entries have explained the reasons well. I’m glad to have this opportunity to express my disgust at the very idea!

  • The Ashby High-Rise well deserves the “Best Cancellation or (endless)Delay” designation. Never appropriate for the low rise mainly residential neighborhood, never reasonable for a two lane street very close to capacity, it would have an adverse impact on the area and set a bad precedent for development in other parts of the city.

  • Ashby. Houston has so few beautiful neighborhoods. Why ruin one? Seriously, no wonder outsiders think Houston is so poorly planned and so unattractive.

  • It’s a tie between Sonoma & Ashby Highrise – both are real eyesores on this beautiful area of Houston.

  • The Ashby Highrise is grotesquely out of proportion at its proposed site and would ruin the neighborhood. I trust that not all developers are so selfish and inconsiderate.

  • Sonoma was a loser all the way around. It’s a shame Council Member Anne Clutterbuck led the effort to sell the street to the developer.

  • Ashby high rise is a new low in poor judgment!

  • I vote for Ashby highrise as best project cancellation/delay. It is an inappropriate use of space for that location.

  • I have to go with #6, Ashby. It was so poorly conceived from the beginning that the developers must be secretly relieved it has been delayed. Sonoma gets a runnerup nod for chutzpah.

  • A great delay…so inappropriate for beautiful Southampton…and a terrible traffic addition. Let’s make Houston even greater!

  • Ashby High Rise.

  • Ashby. Southampton is one of Houston’s treasures.

  • Ashby High Rise

  • Down with Ashby highrise!

  • First, I’d pick the Ashby High-rise.

    But a clear second choice would be Sonoma. Walgreens in the Rice Village is closed because of Sonoma. And the building that was located in the 2400 block of Bolsover (that included the Nit Noi restaurant) ended up the same place as Sonoma’s financing, in the dirt.

  • Ashby HighRise for sure! The best/worst case of “Equity Theft” ever attempted in Houston, in which Buckhead Investment Partners (whose first name is only one letter away from perfect) try to line their own pockets with the reduced values of the surrounding properties. Attachments that big deserve SOME kind of recognition…

  • #6 – Ashby Highrise has our vote as the most poorly conceived building project imaginable. To erect this tower in the midst of a beautiful neighborhood is a disgraceful notion. Houston is trying valiantly to establish itself as a first class city. This helter skelter unregulated development would never ever be allowed in Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. These great cities take pride in historical values and neighborhoods. My wife and I are totally against the Ashby Highrise Project.

  • Ashby High Rise. A more inappropriate location for such a development cannot be found. Stick the darn thing near other high rises; Downtown, Med Center, or New York city!

  • The Ashby High-Rise deserves the “Best Cancellation or (endless)Delay” designation. Located on a two-lane street that is already very close to capacity, the building was never appropriate for the low rise mainly residential neighborhood. I hope we can continue to make it impossible to complete this obnoxious project.

  • Hands down……No. 6, The Ashby Highrise Project deserves this award! What a mess it would make of our neighborhood.

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