Please vote for one of these official nominees in this, the second-to-last category of the 2012 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. It’s for one of the biggies: Neighborhood of the Year. Where’d all the nominations come from? From you!
You can vote for your favorite nominee any or all of 4 ways: in a comment beneath this post, in an email to Swamplot, from Twitter, or in a post on the wall of Swamplot’s Facebook page. Here are the official voting rules. If you want to start a campaign on Facebook or some online forum in support of your choice, go right ahead. Just make sure all the votes get in by 5 pm on Wednesday, December 26th.
Which Houston-area neighborhood deserves to be called this year’s Neighborhood of the Year? Here are the official nominees:
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1. Alden Place. “It’s at the crossroads of Montrose, Midtown, Downtown, and the Washington Corridor. So much that’s new is nearby: Whole Foods, revitalized bayou access, the Sovereign. The only downside is that people have noticed, so it is becoming a maternity ward for new $500k+ townhomes.”
2. Meadowcreek Village. “A beautiful neighborhood with an active civic club and park director. Huge wooded lots, with the majority of them backing up to Berry Creek or a natural gully. Right outside the 610 Loop, close to everything but far enough away to have the kind of lot space that’s usually unheard of so close to town. Plenty of midcentury Mods here — one of which was recently featured in the Houston Architectural Guide. Reasonable home prices; home to some elected officials, journalists, and young professionals. A true gem!”
3. Old Sixth Ward Historic District. “Bordered by Houston Ave. on the east, Washington on the north, Sawyer on the west, and Memorial Dr. on the south. It’s an archetypal neighborhood with a park and community center at its heart. Its relatively ancient structures are animated by an active neighborhood association and waves of new residents; turnover is partially the result of sales and new builds and partially a result of a relatively large number of rental properties. We have frequent get-togethers for the whole community. You have young professionals, multigenerational families, rich and poor, stay-at-home moms, liberals, libertarians; all in a relatively small area, and all socializing regularly at Dow Elementary Park, at St. Joseph’s, at Catalina Coffee, or out in front of someone’s house. Just about everyone knows everyone else — whose kid, whose dog. And it’s right in the center of things. In the last year we’ve seen the installation of new sewer connections, brick sidewalks, signs indicating the neighborhood’s historic designation, and ‘classic’-looking streetlights. Reasonably-priced homes have been selling quickly; others are being rehabbed and new construction is going up on the last few vacant lots left in the neighborhood.”
4. The Greater Heights. “No other neighborhood is as loved — or hated — as the greater Heights. Articles about the Heights, new construction in the Heights, teardowns in the Heights, WalMart, whatever are guaranteed ‘hit’ generators on this site. Post something positive about the Heights, and here come the negatrons to hate and troll on the crappy old houses and decrepit sidewalks. Post something negative about Heights, and here come the defenders to wax philosophical about the quiet simplicity of living small and walking in the street.”
5. Montrose. “Just because.”
6. Oak Forest. “A great neighborhood with a mix of original midcentury homes and new construction. One of the bestselling Houston neighborhoods over the past year, with increasing property values. Large lots, excellent schools, great restaurants nearby (Petrol Station, Plonk), easy access to 610, 290, and I-10, and proximity to other popular neighborhoods (Garden Oaks, Heights, the Galleria) make OF a desirable place to be. The Oak Forest Public Library was beautifully restored last year; Waltrip High School will be remodeled as part of the new HISD bond measure. Oak Forest Elementary is already known for being one of the best in HISD, and Black Middle school recently began a vanguard magnet program. So many great things happening in this neighborhood!”
7. Garden Oaks. “Houston’s ‘country village’ inside the city. A warm and friendly mix of neighbors of all sizes, ages, and persuasions; homes (some old, some new, some great, some not so great — guess that could apply to the neighbors, too); and businesses (the restaurant invasion is in full swing). New construction has been sprouting up like crazy; neighborhood hotspots have been growing in prominence. You can expect this community to grow even more in the coming years.”
8. Piney Point Village. “It’s a beautiful, safe, and peaceful enclave located in a convenient area of Houston. Strictly residential, with wide spacing between homes. Lots of trees. Public schools are great. Walking through the neighborhood is like a stroll in a park.”
9. Springwoods Village. “No, nobody lives here yet, but this brand-new and slightly mysterious neighborhood next to ExxonMobil’s new campus is already attracting a lot of attention for its eco-themery and insta-quaint home styles.”
10. Braeswood Place. “North of Brays Bayou — includes Ayrshire, Braes Heights, Braes Oaks, Braes Manor, Braes Terrace, Emerald Forest, and Southern Oaks. Lots of old ranch homes, although (too) many are being torn down and turned into monstrosities (some of them in interesting styles, however). But there are good-sized lots and friendly neighbors; there’s an active neighborhood association, and deed restrictions are enforced. Neighborhood residents have been responsible for updating Karl Young Park; earlier, they worked to get rid of some old apartments and replace them with the Y and the new library. Mark Twain Elementary and Pershing Middle School have been newly rebuilt.”
11. Knollwood Village and South Braeswood. “Lots of 1950s (some mod) homes being renovated — mixed with new construction. Deed restricted for single-family use. A place inside the Loop where you can raise a family — there are lots of kids around. Walk to Texans games, bike and jog along Brays Bayou to Med Center and Hermann Park. Minutes to the Galleria, West U, Rice Village, and the Med Center. A few more minutes to restaurants in Downtown, Midtown and Montrose.”
Time to make your choice! Which of these nominees should be crowned Neighborhood of the Year?
- How To Vote in the 2012 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate [Swamplot]
- Swamplot Awards Ballots 2012 [Swamplot]
Photos: HAR (611 W. Clay St., 2042 Forest Oaks Dr., 2110 State St., 1407 Herkimer St., 2606 Stanford St., 5030 W. 43rd St., 702 W. 43rd St., 11310 Williamsburg Dr., 3110 Stanton St., and 8315 Greenbush St., all listed for sale). Rendering: Sullivan Brothers Builders