Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate, 2008: 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!

Here they are: the selected nominations for the final category of the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. They’re for the Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate of the last year.

Which nominee will you vote for? Read the descriptions below, then add your choice in a comment — or send it in a private email. Swamplot’s voting guidelines encourage campaigning for your favorite candidate. Just make sure all votes are in before midnight on Sunday, December 28th.

The official nominees for Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate 2008 are . . .


1. Construction Is Completed on the Katy Freeway. October 28.18 lanes of traffic-free glory — for a while, at least. Plus all that widening means an entirely new generation of feeder-road shopping centers.

2. Vestalia Opens for Business. September 29.Unfazed by the recent collapse of his home-construction empire, former Royce Builders President John Speer founds his next company: Vestalia, named after an ancient Roman pagan rite that commonly featured bovine abortions. The company lists its official address as Speer’s 2004 15,811-sq.-ft. estate on 80 gated acres in Cypress, already on the market for $9.8 million.

3. The Astrodome Goes Dark. July 17. “Just 6 months after officials propose turning the Astrodome into a stable for Rodeo animals, the fire marshall shuts the building down, citing insufficient water pressure in the sprinkler system and several other code violations. Instead of spending $250,000 to fix the problems, Reliant Park employees are moved into neighboring buildings — and the Dome is shuttered.

4. Discovery Tower Begins Construction. March 3. “It’s a spec office tower Downtown, and it’s going to have wind turbines on the roof. Sure, they’re mostly for show, but is this new style of development here to stay?

5. The Opening of Discovery Green. April 13.Thousands of Houstonians discover the strange new experience of walking outdoors, surrounded by large groups of other people, in an open, pleasant Downtown space that has no entrance fee. Most report that they actually enjoy it. Does Discovery Green count as public space? For most of us, it’s close enough.”

6. Inland Houston Escapes Extensive Flooding. September 13.Hurricane Ike’s storm surge causes flooding in low-lying and coastal areas of Houston. Winds cause extensive damage throughout the region. But . . . the storm passes through Houston relatively quickly. In contrast to Tropical Storm Allison 7 years earlier, most inland areas of Houston don’t flood.

7. Get-to-Know-Your-Neighbor Week. September 13-20:Large portions of the Houston-Galveston area are without power after Hurricane Ike, and some are without water. With the city at a standstill, many Houstonians meet their neighbors for the very first time.

Which moment meets the test of greatness? It’s your choice!

Update: The winners have been announced!

Photos: Rustypicstx (I-10 interchange); HAR (16427 Telge Rd., Cypress); Flickr user here_we_are (Astrodome); Jackson Myers (Discovery Green); Steven Evatt (Fallen Oaks); Daniel Sommars (neighbors)

16 Comment

  • I’m going with Discovery Green. Though if the River Oaks Theatre grassroots preservation movement had been one of the choices, I would have chosen that.

  • My vote is for Get-To-Know-Your-Neighbor Week.

    Discovery Green is a beautiful downtown park and the short-term traffic improvement on I-10 is a small but real comfort from having a gigantic cement boondoggle bestowed on Houston by John Culberson.

    But the fourth largest city in the United States going without power for weeks on end is one for the history books and stories to tell your grandkids, and the one that deserves this award.

  • I vote for get to know your neighbors week. But Discovery Green is a very close second. Great to have public fun space in downtown Houston – let’s start a trend!

  • I’ll go with Get To Know Your Neighbor Week as well.

    The whole Discovery Green concept is just so corporate that I haven’t been able to bring myself to go there. Hermann and Memorial are parks. From what I can tell, Discovery Green is a bombardment of corporate sponsorships masquerading as a park.

  • I-10 being completed because I really didn’t think it would ever happen.

  • I’ll go with Get to Know Your Neighbor Week. It was fun. And some of the neighbors are still fighting over who is responsible for the new fence and the tree removal. And of course none of the neighbors are talking to the one neighbor who kept everyone up all night with the constant noise of his generator which reminded everyone that not only could they not sleep but that he had air conditioning.

  • Get to know your neighbor week, because I got to know my neighbors.

  • Discovery Green. It almost makes Houston a real city.

  • Discovery Green. It was priceless to watch the ice skaters leaving wakes on the melting pond a week after the extensive coverage of how it is just like Rockefeller Center. Houston is not NYC – thank goodness! I love the space we have around us – it made the ‘get to know your neighbor’ week or two much more tolerable – and I appreciate most of my neighbors.

  • Discovery Green makes a real impact on the city.

  • Discovery green. Among other things, it generated development of Discovery tower, entry number 4, and Park Place One; not to mention the positive impact in making Downtown more than a business and clubbing destination.

  • I vote for the Katy Freeway. It has caused at least a spark of recognition in suburbanites for the need for mass transit in this city. If a lesson isn’t learned here, the result will be a concrete prairie when I-10 is rebuilt in 20 years. In between is the fate of Woodland Heights and I-45.

  • discoverey green-not discovery concrete-we need all the green space we can get-it is used and enjoyed; a jewel in the city’s crown.

  • Discovery Green has been a wonderful addition to Houston, so well-executed……we needed this!

  • Discovery Green closely followed by Get-to-know-your-neighbor-week!

  • Discovery Green, because it was fincanced in the private sector and it will impact generations of Houstonians. I’m very proud to tell people from outside Houston about our new downtown park! It is the antithesis of all that concrete on I-10! Get to Know your Neighbor Week was awesome, too, but lasted for only a couple of weeks, but will impact many of us for years, too.

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