Final Category in the 2011 Swampies: The Year’s Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate

We’ve announced 8 categories so far in the 2011 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolition, Best Parking Lot Dining Experience, Most Notable Recycling Effort, the “No Zoning” Award, the Award for Special Achievement in Sprawl, Best Neighborhood Upgrade, and Neighborhood of the Year. That’s a lot of ground to cover. What’s left?

Here it is, the 9th and final category. And maybe the biggest of them all: What was the Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate of 2011?

Covering great moments in Houston real estate is the whole point of Swamplot; it’s why we’re here. Browse through the site if it’ll help you to draw up a list of contenders; or raid your own memory banks. (Did we miss a few this year?) Tell us what moment deserves this recognition — and why.

A great moment is lost if there’s no one there to chronicle it or cherish it. Which is why we need your help. Add your comments or send us an email describing the moments you’d like to nominate. (If you’ve got questions about how to make a nomination, you’ll likely find the answers here.)

10 Comment

  • I nominate the passage of Historic designation in the Woodland Heights. The vortex of evil threatened by the anti-camp has thus far failed to befall the neighborhood, however the bungalows, the four squares and cottages now protected from the wrecking ball remain standing, still painted in the colors of the owners’ choosing, still selling within days of going on the market and still in keeping with what is left of the original charm of the neighborhood. My suspicion is that in a few year the historic designated section of WH will be an oasis in the middle of Bellaire Extension III.

  • The new Exxon campus, obviously. The level of secrecy maintained until even AFTER construction began trounced even that of Walt Disney’s theme parks, prompted TXDoT to commit to backing the Grand Parkway, and has delivered a death blow to Greenspoint even as it has enabled a new commercial node in our metropolitan area.

    A slight modification to the bundle of rights held in Woodland Heights is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. A small meteorite could destroy Woodland Heights, leaving only a smoldering crater, and Exxon would still win the big prize.

  • I nominate the drainage fee.

  • Wow Niche, since you went out of your way to attack my nomination, you’ve just made it my fulltime job to lobby against yours. If I recall correctly, the nomination is for the “greatest moment in HOUSTON real estate”, where exactly is this Exxon campus you wish to nominate?

  • I like some of the nominees thus far. But I would go with the announcement of (and groundbreaking of) the Post Midtown development. The current Post Midtown development is maybe my favorite area of Houston since it has a walkable, outdoorsy feel to it.

    Also, maybe the groundbreaking of the new Metro lines is worth mentioning?

  • The site is located along Cypress Creek, immediately west of I-45, only hundreds of feet from Houston city limits. The City of Houston will do a limited-purpose annexation of the site, and tax it without providing city services. It will represent a fiscal gain for the City that is several orders of magnitude greater than Woodland Heights has ever been.

    And on a personal note…I’m only pissing on your idea because you implicated me as being “evil”. And besides, you’re nominating for “greatness” a law that prevents people from actually doing something. A great moment should be an accomplishment or something that furthers other accomplishment; your nomination is an anti-accomplishment.

  • I’d nominate the West Avenue development’s opening as being something major in Houston real estate. You’ve got a high density, mixed use development in a high traffic corridor of the city that is well leased ( at least the retail portion) and adds more value to that plot of land than the Shell station, restaurant, and raquet club that existed there prior to this development. It’s possible that 10 years from now West Ave. will be regarded as the precursor to many other succesful mixed use projects inside the loop.

  • I am double proud of my nomination.

  • I’m with Mel, although I’ll point out that Woodland Heights wasn’t the only neighborhood that got protected on that particular round. Tacky comments about meteorite strikes notwithstanding, the idea that the people who actually live in an area can have a say in stabilizing it in the face of speculators is pretty novel for this city. I’ll also agree that ExxonMobil’s almost exurban campus is another great moment in sprawl – albeit perfectly in character, since one of its corporate ancestors originally developed Clear Lake 50 years ago, when it was simply half way to Galveston.

  • ExxonMobil campus is the biggest moment in real estate, but not exactly the greatest. Houston has been there and done that in terms of getting a corporate campus. What makes it interesting is that Houston has become so sprawled out that this corporate campus will in some ways mitigate sprawl by taking commuters out of the prevailing burbs to downtown daily commute. On the other hand, it is a typical corporate campus that is clear cut out of an undeveloped forrest and is not integrated with the existing development in The Woodlands. Had they thought outside the box and put something over by the Town Center/Anadarko area, they would have really done something “great” that would have established the Woodlands as having its own urban center.
    I have a threeway tie for greatness:
    1. Dynamo Stadium: A very good step forward for development on the eastside. The area has a long, long way to go before it can be called the “next Heights”. But, the Dynamo Stadium is going to do a lot of good for the area.
    2. The rise of the mixed use development. The tide may have finally turned in Houston real estate. While developers are still doing big box strip malls and low rise apartments, the success of West Ave and Post Oak on W. Gray have spawned plans for additions to both as well as big mixed use projects on Shep and W Alabama, San Felipe and possibly W. Alabama and Dunlavy (Fiesta rest in peace).
    3. The non-apocalypse after the historic districts were created or upgraded to lose the 90 day waiver. On a walk the other day in the Houston Heights West Historic District, I counted five different homes being rennovated and one new construction in the span of three blocks. Each was by a different builder. People in the Heights have gained far more in terms of property rights than they have lost with the historic ordinance/districts. Being protected from lot line to lot line McMansions is a very big stick in the bundle of property rights afforded to residents in the Heights.