Nominations Are Now Open for 2012 Neighborhood of the Year

We’ve almost reached the end of the 7 categories in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. So far, we’ve opened nominations for Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolition, the Swamplot Award for Special Achievement in Traffic, the “It’s Alive!” Award, and Most Overlooked Neighborhood. If you haven’t added your own suggestions for each of these, please do.

The next (and next-to-last) category is Neighborhood of the Year. What qualifications does a neighborhood need to meet in order to be declared Houston Neighborhood of the Year? You tell us — as you make your nomination! Of course, a neighborhood might be considered as a contender for Swamplot’s Neighborhood of the Year award for vastly different reasons than another one might be considered for an award of the same name from, say, a professional association of homebuilders.

Please note that entrants in this category — as well as all the others — need not be located strictly inside Houston’s municipal boundaries. Swamplot tries to track the idea of Houston as it regularly travels outside the city limits. (In fact, the 2009 winner of the Houston Neighborhood of the Year award was . . . yes, Galveston.)

We’re ready to receive your nominations — and convincing explanations — in the comments below, or in an email. If you’re new to this Swamplot-Award-nominating thing, please consult the official rules. This year, who are the contenders for this award?

13 Comment

  • Alden Place. Whole Foods, revitalized bayou access, the Sovereign, and at the cross roads b/n Montrose, Midtown, downtown, and Washington area. Only downside is others have noticed, so it is becoming a maternity ward for new $500k+ town homes.

  • Knollwood Village/South Braeswood area. Great family living in the loop. Lot’s of 1950′s (some mod) homes being renovated mixed with new construction. Deed restricted for single family use. A place in the loop you can raise a family with lots of kids around. Walk to Texan’s games, bike and jog along Braes Bayou up to Med Center and Hermann Park. Minutes to the Galleria, West U, Rice Village, Med Center, and 12 minutes to restaurants in Downtown/Midtown/Montrose. Zoned to Bellaire HS.

  • B, ditto Braeswood Place north of the Bayou. East of Stella Link zoned to Lamar, west zoned to Bellaire. Lots of old ranch homes, altho (too) many being torn down and turned into monstrosities (many with interesting styles however.) But good sized lots, friendly neighbors, active neighborhood association, deeds enforced. Neighborhood residents responsible for updating Karl Young park, and a longer time ago getting rid of old apts. and replacing it with the Y, the new library, etc. Newly rebuilt Mark Twain Elementary and Pershing MS. All w/in walking distance.

  • 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, well not so great – guess that could apply to the neighbors, too) and businesses (the restaurant invasion is in full swing!)

  • Love our neighborhood Meadowcreek Village. Active Civic Club and Park director, beautiful neighborhood Established in 1950 with an interesting history. Huge wooded lots, with the majority of them backing up to Berry Creek or a natural gully. Right outside of the 610 loop, close to everything but far away enough to have the lot space that is unheard of so close in to town. Houses from ultra modern to mid-century MOD, one who was recently featured in the Houston Architectural Guide. Reasonable home prices, home to some elected officials, Newspaper journalist, and young professionals. A true gem!

  • It has to be the greater Heights. No other neighborhood is as loved/hated as the greater Heights. Articles about the Heights, new contruction in the Heights, tear-downs in the Heights, Wal-Mart, 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 decrepid sidewalks. Post something negative about Heights, and here come the defenders to wax philosphical about the quiet simplicity of living small and walking in the street.

  • Heights. You know why.

  • Heights or future Springwoods area. Everyone has an opinion about the two.

  • Piney Point Village in the Memorial area. 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 a bit like a stroll in a park.

  • Garden Oaks. Construction and Development has been sprouting up like crazy and neighborhood hotspots have been on the rise. Look to this community to grow even more in coming years.

  • Surprised no one has mentioned Oak Forest yet so I’ll go ahead. Oak Forest is a great neighborhood with a mix of original mid-century homes and new construction. Over the past year, the Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area has consistently been one of the best-selling Houston neighborhoods with increasing property values.

    Large lots, excellent schools, great restaurants nearby (Petrol Station, Plonk, etc), easy access to the major freeways (610, 290, I10) and proximity to other popular neighborhoods (Garden Oaks, Heights, Galleria area) make OF a desirable place to be.

    The Oak Forest Public Library was beautifully restored last year and Waltrip High School will be remodeled as part of the new HISD bond measure. Oak Forest Elem. 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!

  • I’ll go ahead and make my obvious vote for Montrose :)

  • I nominate the Old Sixth Ward. (Protected historic district bordered by Houston Ave on the east, Washington on the north, Sawyer on the west, and Memorial Parkway on the south.)
    It’s an archetypal neighborhood with a park and community center at its heart, and its relatively ancient structures are animated by a wave 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—and an active neighborhood association. We have frequent get-togethers for the whole community. You have young professionals, multigenerational families, rich and poor, stay-at-home-moms, liberals, libertarians, etc., 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. And just about everyone knows everyone else—whose kid, whose dog, etc. Turning outward from the neighborhood, you have all that Houston can offer in close proximity.
    In the last year we’ve seen the installation of new sewer connections, brick sidewalks, signs marking off the neighborhood’s historic designation, and classic-looking streetlights. Reasonably-priced homes have been selling quickly, others are being rehabilitated and new construction is going up on the last few vacant lots left in the neighborhood. The spate of new builds and restorations shows that the City’s COA process, carried out in conjunction with neighborhood residents, is working and hasn’t impeded growth and progress in the OSW.

    It deserves to win.