Nominations Are Now Open for Swamplot’s 2014 Neighborhood of the Year Award

We’re almost done introducing 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, Best Body of Water, Best Mobile Food Vendor Location, and Best Sign of the New Houston. If you haven’t done so already, please add your own suggestions for each of these.

Every year, this next category gets pretty competitive: Neighborhood of the Year. Past winners have come from all over the greater Houston area, from Eastwood to Meadowcreek Village to — way back in 2009 — Galveston. (Oak Forest was last year’s runner-up.)

What qualifies any one of these neighborhoods to be declared neighborhood of the year? That’s for you to decide. When you make a nomination, be sure to say why your pick is especially award-worthy. You can submit your nominations — along with convincing explanations as to why your nominee should win — in the comments below, or in an email, by midnight on Monday, December 15. (If you’re just joining us, please consult the official rules for nominations.) Now tell us, who are this year’s contenders for Neighborhood of the Year?

The 2014 Swampies

23 Comment

  • I thought Swamplot was doing away with this award since every year HOA’s/Civic Clubs inevitably stuff the ballot boxes?

  • Second Ward … the neighborhood has seen tremendous change over the past couple of years. Neat projects have happened, such as the Navigation project, and others are ongoing, such as the renovation of Guadalupe Park, the East End Hike and Bike Trails, and the restoration of shotgun shacks off York. There is a surprisingly decent, and growing, variety of restaurants.The vibe of the neighborhood is definitely changing for the better, events and festivals are not uncommon on weekends. The East End Management District has definitely shown commitment to make it into a better area. There are other great neighborhoods in Houston’s East Side, such as EaDo and Eastwood, but I think the Second Ward is the next rising star.

    My second pick is much more high profile … Upper Kirby. Exciting ongoing and planned projects for the area.

  • I nominate downtown houston.

  • I’d nominate Old Spring Branch. As Swamplot has noted, there are now some large projects taking over large tracts that will be building houses in the half million dollar range where there have previously been low rent apartments. When David Weekly moves in (like him or not) the area is on the verge of change. Previously, the nicer stuff was south of Westview, but new development is pushing up to Long Point. The area has good access by I-10, and it’s not far from The Galleria, or to Memorial City. I doubt we’ll recognize the place in 5 or 6 years.

  • Agree. 2nd Ward. Re-awaking. Not without, sometimes, cranky feelings, either.

  • I second Downtown. As recently as a year or two ago, there wasn’t a whole lot going on Downtown on a weekend evening. At least not outside the Theater District. There are now at least as many lively spots as there were during Downtown’s previous renaissance in the late 90’s. With the reconstruction of Market Square, the new bars on the 300 block of Main, and the transformation of a number of surface parking lots into hotels and residences, one can see actual pedestrians all the way from the Theater District to Discovery Green on weekends.

  • Sagemont.

  • This year downtown, next year it will be 2nd ward… wait and see

  • This category is so comical. It’s Montrose by miles. So are the other votes just for second place seeing that Montrose is a given for the best area to live?
    Just look at demand for your best clue.

  • Meadowcreek village!

  • I think that Springwoods Village probably takes it. It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood that has mushroomed spontaneously into existence and that has served as the basis for developing the Grand Parkway and for housing speculation and a significant uptick in prices throughout north Harris and Montgomery counties. This has also in turn been used as justification by other land developers to develop dozens of other neighborhoods all throughout the area. I personally tend to think that the pace of investment has gotten to be a bit out of hand, but in 2014 it should certainly qualify for consideration as Neighborhood of the Year.

  • It’s the Heights for fucksake. This neighborhood just keeps getting better every year and has an unlimited upward trajectory. There are currently ~1,250-1,500 multifamliy units in various stages of development in the Heights (Trammell Crow, Greystar, JLB Partners and an whoever is planning the development where the Freedman’s Distributor is). This growth has finally caused the other retail shoe to drop in the Heights. Braun and Revive have a number of projects under development. The old Pappas distributor is rumored to be on the verge of having a developer announce a new mixed used project for the site. And even after all that goes up, there are still huge opportunities for redevelopment with a number of big lots sitting idle or crying out for redevelopment (City water treatment facility on 19th, old Flame and Forge site on 25th, Death Kroger strip mall on 20th, thrift shops on 19th, and so on). In the Heights, the best has still yet to come.

  • Spring Branch – it is the next West U/Bellaire/Garden Oaks/Oak Forest. So many homes are being torn down and rebuilt at a much faster pace than in the other communities I mentioned. On December 31st it will look entirely different than it did on January first of this year. Not only have the smaller builders moved in for tear downs but so have some of the larger builders as well as those larger builders who are devloping Townhome communities. At the very least vote for it because the K-Mart/Flea Market and the Walmart Mercado are gone. Longpoint by the end of next year will have most of it’s old roadbed replaced and every major intersection will have the round brick roadway.

  • This category is so lame…everyone just promotes their own hood (or the hood where the majority of their interests lie [Cody]). Still waiting for ZAW to plug Sharpstown…

  • Well, I gotta put my vote in for Swamplot’s Houston’s Most Underappreciated Neighborhood 2009 – Robindell. (full disclosure I live here) So many young homebuyers are snapping up homes in Robindell because where else can you find mid century modest homes, mature trees, it’s own neighborhood pool and dog park, an active civic club and neighbors – and just 7 minutes outside the loop. Home prices are starting to reflect it too. Back in 2009 you’d be hard pressed to find a Robindell home for more than $180k. The past year has seen homes selling for as much as $300k – one home was priced for over $600k (albeit it didn’t sell). If you drive across the street, homes are selling for hundreds of thousands more. Robindell is uniquely situated in that it’s insulated from some of the shadier elements of southwest Houston because N. Braeswood ends at it’s southern doorstep. The JCC is 3 minutes away. And you’re 3 minutes from the best bagels in town – New York Bagels and Deli on Hillcroft. Robindell 2014!

  • Tampico Heights, yes!!!

  • Briargrove is where it’s at! From the upcoming Shepard Ross place called “The Del” to Randy Rucker’s new “Bramble” plus a new Whole Foods right across Trader Joe’s and A new HEB down the street on San Felipe.

  • I nominate Oak Forest. Heights and Montrose are sooooo yesterday and just too darn expensive. I still love them, but you can’t beat the charm and wonderful people that makes up the Oak Forest community. Garden Oaks is also another worthy mention.

  • Nominating the Shepherd Parks, again! Shepherd Park Terrace, Candlelight Plaza, and Shepherd Park Plaza. Don’t forget to come see the Holiday lights, everyone!