What Was the Best Neighborhood Upgrade in the Houston Area in 2011?

We’re on the home stretch! Yesterday Swamplot opened 2 more categories for nominations in the 4th annual Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Here’s the list of what we have so far: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolition, Best Parking Lot Dining Experience, Most Notable Recycling Effort, the “No Zoning” Award, and the Award for Special Achievement in Sprawl.

Already, great suggestions have come in for each of these. But to make these awards as smart and razzle-dazzly as they can be, we still need your help!

The next category up: Best Neighborhood Upgrade. Yes, this category is meant to be just as ambiguous as it sounds. Is it meant to celebrate an upgrade in one of the city’s best neighborhoods? An upgrade that happened to take place in a particular neighborhood? Or a neighborhood that itself has been upgraded? And what exactly is an upgrade, anyway? We hope you’ll take a stab at answering those questions with your own clever nominations and explanations. Look around you: What thing, place, or effort deserves this award?

If you’ve been following the Swampies, you know what to do by now: Add your smartly worded nomination as a comment below — or send it in an email to Swamplot. Be sure to include a convincing explanation for your choice. You’ll find the complete nomination rules here. Who we got this time?

20 Comment

  • I nominate Montrose due to the addition of two new amazing grocery stores.

  • Probably eastwood because so much is going on over there (new stadium, rail, etc). Lindale is on the rise as well!

  • The new sidewalks on White Oak just East of Houston Avenue connecting the Woodland Heights and the Near Northside as you walk over I-45. There has not been a safe pedestrian access on this block for decades. It gives Northsiders safer pedestrian access to Woodland Park and Stude Park; while giving Woodland Heights a convenient pedestrian route to the upcoming Light Rail stop at N. Main and Quitman.

  • What about that neighborhood that’s getting the golf club turned into a park by the COH over near Ella? I think that would be a big upgrade.

  • Calling dibs for EaDo next year!

  • My vote goes with Ryan.
    HEB upgraded the area and paved the way for high density development, as the local residents in the area supported.

  • The east Downtown warehouse district (I refuse to call it Eado!) has a lot going for it. As mentioned, there will be the new soccer stadium, and two light rail lines are under construction that will converge there. Each of these projects entail some much-need street reconstruction. (But I’d point out that neither of these are actually in Eastwood.) The Columbia Tap hike and bike trail was installed just a year or so back. Finger Furniture ended up re-opening. New restaurants and entertainment venues such as Huynh, Moon Tower Inn, Calliope’s, and Epicurean Express continue to filter in. Multiple new museums are opening up nearby. And it seems like there may actually be some momentum on the Promenade proposal, along with the proposed convention hotel…which would be the first highrise for that neighborhood.

  • Kirby Drive between Westheimer and the Southwest Freeway!!

  • White Oak from Studewood to Heights. Christian’s, D’Amico’s, BBs, Tacos Agogo, renovated Fitzgeralds, Happy Fatz, Revival Market and soon to be French cafe Sale-Sucre. Beer Island is no longer an island, but more of an archipelago. Write Now! leading the way with a new record shop and dress shop following up on the retail front. Also, a new Sonoma wine bar and retail coming soon just up the way on Studewood. Plenty of sq ft available for more shops and restaurants.
    It used to be that if you told someone you wanted to go to ____ on White Oak, they would say “are you sure?”, meaning why go to that dumpy street? Now, people say “are you sure?”, meaning do you want to deal with the crowds and parking?

  • Reading these comments warms my heart as I think of all the great things going around town.

  • Godwin park in Meyerland. There are always families on the playground, young people on the basketball courts, older folks playing chess, and mommies doing bootcam. Every weekend Houston’s racial, ethnic and religious diversity is reflected in this community park.

  • Agreed with old school. White Oak has had an amazing transition over the past year.

  • I nominate the works of Coolidge and other street artists as an upgrade to the greater Heights and Montrose. Each time I see one of Coolidge’s pink pigs, little ponies, boston terriers and T-Rex, it makes me smile and happy to live in the Heights! I know this is somewhat controversial and that these guys/girls are breaking the law by defacing public and private property, but at the same time these peices bring joy and life and humor and perspective. And I am not alone, google Coolidge and you’ll see links to peoples’ photobucket accounts and blog entries where they have photosafari’d these “public works.” It appears that these guys and girls are creating a little micro-tourism hub in the Heights and Montrose.

  • The Oak Forest Library renovation. They kept the beautiful original mod look, but freshened it up a bit and added a neighborhood friendly second entrance on Oak Forest Drive. A great neighborhood just keeps getting better!

  • Wow! All the noms for improvements to a community, new businesses and sporting venues, blah blah blah. How about something Houstonians can really get behind, like their steering wheel!? The best neighborhood upgrade of 2011 goes to Rice Military and Magnolia Grove for the resurfacing of Shepherd from Memorial to Washington HANDS. DOWN. This move has truly changed the lives of anyone who drives this street and risked wheel and axle on that pock-marked stretch of asphalt. Now instead of my car sounding like tennis shoes in a dryer, it sounds like a sleek jet engine! Backhanded compliments to the City of Houston for finally getting around to doing their job. Thank you, COH, for making it easier to get to my home that I will soon not be allowed to park in front of (http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/traffic/traffic_rfq.html)!

  • Second for Kirby between Westheimer and Richmond. It’s now actually…nice.

  • St. Agnes’s sports stadium is a huge improvement to the corner of Fondren and Bellaire. I’ve driven that corner often in the last 30 years; it looks great. Such an improvement over a car lot or an empty lot or the renderings for a disco.

  • There is no eado. Only the east side, east end or even the southeast side.

    Whoever came up with that offensive term should be shot.