What Would You Consider To Be Houston’s Most Improved Neighborhood?

We’re on the home stretch! Yesterday Swamplot opened 2 more categories for nominations in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Here’s the list of what we have so far: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Teardown, Parking Lot of the Year, Drive-Thru of the Year, Walmart of the Year, and the Washington Ave Award. 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 is Swamplot’s version of the “Most Improved” award, the end-of-season back-pocket backslap of junior-high sports coaches everywhere. And it’s an award that often comes with a little jab: an implicit acknowledgment that — in the first part of the season — you kinda sucked. But if you were one of those coaches, and your team this year was a rag-tag crew of Houston-area neighborhoods, which of your players would be in contention for this blue ribbon? Every area has its ups and downs. For 2010, what parts of town have shown enough hustle to deserve the Most Improved Neighborhood award?

If you’ve been following these nominations, 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 nominating rules here. Who we got this time?

27 Comment

  • I don’t think that there was enough activity to improve any neighborhood on the basis of merit. The award would more likely go to a neighborhood improved on the basis of the demolition of something obnoxious.

    Mayor Parker’s demolition program early in the year seemed to disproportionately target black neighborhoods throughout the city. Those neighborhoods should share in the reward, if only to be geographically all-inclusive (for once).

  • I don’t think it’s exclusive to 2010, and it’s still got a ways to go, but I’d be willing to consider Eastwood.

  • While not a ‘neighborhood’, and not to be biased, but I’m happy I can walk by the two former Montrose area Skylane apartment buildings and not get shot.
    A few months ago, the 219 W. Alabama location (32 unit) had all weekly tenants. There were ALWAYS a ton of people hanging outside at all hours, selling drugs, sleeping in the courtyard, using the building as a bathroom, breaking into empty units to get high or prostitute. The cops would be out there every night…
    Today, 26 of those 32 units have been upgraded and modernized, the criminals booted, and new stable long term tenants put in their place. According to the new tenants and local police, activity at the complex has fallen to next to zero.
    I can walk by and even hang out with the new tenants in the courtyard and it’s really quite nice. The lights are on (and bright) at night, the couryard is typically quiet, the front of the building seems generally free of loiters.
    I welcome any of the other readers here to stop by sometime.

  • If you can vote for a zip code, I’d say 77023 saw the most consistent upward trend.

    If pressed on a specific neighborhood….Woodleigh. (Just north of Eastwood proper, between Polk and Harrisburg.)

  • That was a subtle promotion of your recent purchases, Cody. Well played. Speaking of, how did you like working with Tarantino Properties on your transaction?

    I would nominate EaDo, the hiply (sp?) named ghetto that is already chalk full of stadiums and just added one more, Dynamo Stadium.

  • @Fresh: I live and have a rental house right across from both of buildings (literally) and walk (and walked) by both of them almost every day. Meaning I don’t mean to suggest I did something oh-so-noble outside of what was my best interest to do anyway :)
    I’d rather not comment publicly about anyone involved in the transaction. Not to imply anyone wasn’t good to work with, just not appropriate. If you know brokers involved you likely know some details about the deal. You can e-mail me privately if you’d like. codybiz at gmail

  • Thanks to Extreme Home Makeover, the 3rd Ward wins this hands down.

  • If I knew what the neighborhood was called, I’d nominate whatever it is called located between West Gray and West Dallas, near Gregory Lincoln Jr. High. I can’t believe I used to live there back when it was drive-by central.

  • Montrose

  • Well, I know the area is part of Montrose, but it must have its own neighborhood name. Right??? 9 years ago I lived on Stanford, at Bell I think. The area was awesome, if you didn’t mind listening to gunfire and having helicopters hovering overhead all night long. I wish I lived there now, within walking distance of Pink’s pizza, Barnaby’s and IHOS, and with the new WF’s coming in! Man oh man!

  • On second thought, I suppose I’ll back the nomination for Eastwood, Greater Eastwood, or 77023 (the area code within which Eastwood is located). The reason: 2010 was the first full year that I’ve lived there. And my presence has transformed it into hallowed ground, perhaps on the order of Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, or the Vatican.

  • That’s Alden Place, and that’s my neighborhood.. I agree, that and Temple Terrace are making a lovely comeback, one of those lovely red brick 4 squares is mine! :)

  • Re: Mel’s post.

  • @Cody-
    pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease come in and do something with the Heights Skylane.

  • Midtown hands down. Even in the past two years alone (when construction was at a stop around town) we’ve seen Camden Travis built over a nasty strip mall, Farb built a massive development at Bagby and McGowen, The Mix on Elgin was built, the rehab next to Continental Club, HCC started construction on their next big phase, and not to mention all of the new restaurants and non “Washington club” type establishments that have opened.

  • Montrose, except for the southwest side near Richmond and Woodhead.

  • @Brian: Totally agree

  • I nominate Shady Acres. It stood derelict for so long while the Heights went upscale. Now, those nasty little, affordable houses on large lots are finally being replace by huge 3 story town homes- 6-8 of them per lot.

  • I don’t live there anymore, but….


    Formerly tawdry rent houses abounded.
    Now, thanks to Med. Center growth and great location, almost no “tawdries”, exemplary elementary school, good private schools, street repairs, responsible property owners, and proper deed restrictions, This ‘hood is nicer than it has been in 40 years.

    Developer planted LIVE OAKS 50-60 years ago and they are now mature and gorgeous.

    One of Houston’s greatest (and most quiet) comebacks. Check it out.

  • Westwood Gardens – the topic of so much Swamplotting a year and a half ago or so. I think all of the half built Royce houses have since been completed, weeds mowed, and a (sorta) new builder is actively marketing new homes in the subdivision. Much improved!

  • Then I nominate Alden Place! I wish that I had the foresight to purchase something back then.

  • @Tanith- I think all that can be done with Skylane would be by Cherry Demolition.

  • I nominate Brooke Smith. It has seen a lot of improvement in the past year, despite the recession. Remodeling is picking up, a few bungalows have been moved in to occupy some of the vacant lots, and there has even been some new construction of single-family homes. In addition, there have been some infrastructure improvements: the reconstruction of N Main to Airline is complete, Tabor St has been widened, and Enid St is being widened as well.

  • I’ll second the East Downtown nomination.

  • Woodland Heights

  • Another vote for Alden place. :)

  • East Downtown (Eado), despite the name.