Here are the official nominees for another signature category in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate this year: the Ground-Floor Retail Award.
The award is meant to celebrate — well, whatever you think it should celebrate: all manners of ground-floor retail, from surprisingly thriving retail centers to valiant attempts to plain ol’ missed opportunities. The nominees have been selected from reader contributions.
Which of them deserves to get the award? You tell us! You can vote by leaving a comment below or through email, Facebook, or Twitter. You can use all four methods (once each) to vote — but that’s the limit. And don’t forget to tell us why your pick should win.
The nominees for the 2013 Ground-Floor Retail Award are:
1. Centre at River Oaks, West Alabama at Kirby, Upper Kirby. “When Borders closed down last year, its 2-story space in this shopping center got split up. Now there’s an Ulta Beauty located below a new Texas Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Associates clinic. Somehow I doubt that women are popping into the store for a little makeover while they wait for their kids’ radiology scans to come back. It’s a strange combination. Yet somehow it seems to be thriving.”
2. Phoenicia Specialty Foods, 1001 Austin St. in One Park Place behind Discovery Green, Downtown. “For doing what no grocer or other retailer has been able to successfully do downtown. That place is always packed.”
3. Alexan Heights, Yale St. Between 5th and 7th, Houston Heights. “I would wag my finger at Trammell Crow for blowing off ground-floor retail in its new Yale Street development. While the folks at Dry Creek and Revival Market are probably happy to have 700-plus new residents across the street, the retail potential was excellent at this spot. It is right on the hike-and-bike path and 2 blocks from a popular park for the kids and the running trail on Heights Blvd. There is already retail development to the north (art gallery, furniture store, etc.) and there will probably be some retail development just to the south someday. A good restaurant or 2 would have printed money at this location. Instead, there will be an exercise room and some lame coffee bar/lounge that no one will use. Not to mention a giant over-the-top leasing office.”
4. Skyhouse Houston, Main Street at Leeland, Downtown. “Atlanta’s Novare Group appears to be going ahead with its out-of-the-ordinary (for Houston, at least) plan to put actual ground-floor lease spaces in both its recently topped-out apartment tower as well as the adjacent parking garage. There’s nothing to see yet, but the drawings make it look kinda quaint, don’t they?”
5. Main St. between Congress and Prairie, Downtown. “I would give a big thumbs up for the revival of ground-floor retail here. There’s Goro and Gun, the Pastry War, Clutch City Squire, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, and Little Dipper; the OKRA Charity Saloon, Batanga, and others are nearby, and there’s plenty more on the way. All are fresh, new and interesting places to eat and drink in a strip of downtown that has seen many failures and long-term vacancies over the years. This time really feels different as the block is reaching a critical mass in terms of occupancy — without getting all Washington Ave stupid.”
6. Hanover Rice Village, 2455 Dunstan St., Rice Village. “This brand-new apartment block that rose from the ashes of Randall Davis’s Sonoma flop is lined with restaurants along Morningside and Kelvin. When everything’s open, you’ll have a Zoës Kitchen, Coppa Osteria, Fellini Cafe, Cloud 10 Creamery, Cyclone Anaya’s and Punk’s Simple Southern Food. Plus there’s a boutique called Saint Cloud and the Hand and Stone spa. The real innovation isn’t putting retail in Rice Village. It’s adding the apartments above. This sets a model for the redevelopment of the entire district — though it doesn’t look like even Hanover will follow it.”
Which one of these nominees are you buying? Add your vote now!
- How To Vote in the 2013 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate [Swamplot]
- Swamplot Awards Ballots 2013 [Swamplot]
Photos: The Ainbinder Company (Centre at River Oaks); H-Town in Pics (Phoenicia, Main St.) Trammell Crow Residential (Alexan Heights); Wulfe & Co. (Skyhouse Houston); Allyn West (Hanover Rice Village)