Houston Neighborhood of the Year: Vote for One of These Official Nominees

This is it! You made the nominations. Now it’s time for you to vote on the official ballot for the 7th category of the 2009 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. You get to choose the Houston area’s Neighborhood of the Year!

What makes a neighborhood worthy of such an honor? You get to decide that, too! Put your vote in the comments section below (here are the rules) — or send us an email if you prefer. If you’d like to get an extra vote, send a second one to us from Twitter! All voting ends at 5 pm on Monday, December 28th.

The official nominees for 2009 Houston Neighborhood of the Year are:


Westbury. The sleepy neighborhood at the 8-o’clock mark outside the Loop scored an international PR coup when a local energy reporter followed a few local real-estate agents around the area and wrote about the experience for London’s Financial Times. Westbury is the next hot new thing! If you find any foreigners in the Home Depot parking lot asking how to get to Westbury Square, now you’ll know why.

Lancaster Place, Menil, and the University of St. Thomas. Between the clearing of Wilshire Village, the announcement of a new master plan for the Menil campus, and UST’s continuing push to pave and gate everything in sight, this belt of Lower Montrose — bounded by Woodhead, Montrose, Richmond and Alabama — is ready for a lot more changes in the next decade. Plus, there’s supposed to be a light rail line headed that way. But who’ll be calling the shots, David Chipperfield or Matt Dilick?

Westwood Gardens. This incomplete Outer Loop northwest neighborhood north of 290 gained fame this year as the poster child for Houston’s homebuilding-market crash. This is where Royce Homes collapsed — and where a number of unfinished and abandoned Royce homes continue to do so. But residents are doing what they can. Today the fun folks from Royce are back in business here, with a new, non-bankrupt company or two. Plus, scenic Woodwind Lakes is just across the street!

Galveston. “Sure, they had to chop down all those trees, and sure they’ll probably get pissed that some mainlanders are thinking of Galveston as a Houston neighborhood, but so what? They deserve it! — the award, I mean.”

“My heart says that the award should go to Galveston for their amazingly successful rebuilding efforts . . . it’s barely a year after Ike and their revenue-spawning festivals and events are up and running again.”

Eastwood. The east-of-Downtown district was also nominated this year for Most Underappreciated Neighborhood, but one local real-estate agent declares those days to be long gone: “When John Daugherty, Heritage, and Martha Turner agents are all over your listings, you’re not so underappreciated any more.”

St. George Place. Houston’s very first TIRZ was created here 19 years ago, to spur redevelopment in a scruffy neighborhood by the Galleria called Lamar Terrace. Today St. George Place boasts a new elementary school, a whole lotta somewhat-recent homes and townhomes, and a short but dreary walk along Richmond to the site of the new Uptown light-rail line. What’s the verdict on Houston’s tiny little zoning experiment?

Washington Corridor. 2009 saw the Washington Ave. land rush kick into high gear, as businesses and investors brought a second wave of development to what was until recently Houston’s sleepy live-music and used-car-lot district. “The Wild, Wild West of Houston nightlife.” Also nominated for Most Overappreciated Neighborhood. Could it be both?

Morgan’s Point. “Topping out at nearly 30 feet above sea level — thereby making most of it immune to storm surge — yet enjoying sweeping views of Galveston Bay, this neighborhood features luxurious mansions at faux-mansion West U pricing. I just don’t think it gets much better. Just watch out for the mini-tsunamis created by the wakes of loaded-down tankers coming into port.”

EaDo. Houston’s lively East Downtown district gave itself a new name, is making way for a new rail line, and just might get a new soccer stadium. Is that enough for a win?

Time for you to vote! Which one of these nominees merits a Swampie for Houston Neighborhood of the Year?

Photos of 5219 Starkridge Dr., 1615 Colquitt St., 9222 Cholla Walk Ln., 2217 Broadway St., 4343 Leeland St., 5517 Fairdale Ln., 2019 Washington Ave., 1001 Sandy Ct., and 1720 Hutchins St.: HAR (and all for sale!)

47 Comment

  • I vote for St. George Place.

  • neat write-up. My vote is for St. George Place.

  • For sure the new & improved & full of character, Washington Avenue Memorial Park Super Neighborhood 22!!!

  • St. George Place. The Press story seemed kind of epic.

  • I nominated Galveston, and they’ll get my vote. What they had done nine months after Ike, to actually have a HOME TOUR in houses that had three feet of water in them, and a book signing in a bookstore that had had six feet of water, that’s too epic to resist. Not really Houston, I know, and next year I’ll probably vote for some up-and-comer like Westbury or EaDo, but for this year it’s the old gal on the island!

  • For sure St George Place. Hands down it is the most transformed and deserving neighborhood in the entire past decade (few know it is the ONLY zoned area in all of Houston, a true success story known nationally ironically but not in its own city); glad it was part of nominations finally for this year. … a bit worried though the word will get out about this heart-of-the-Galleria gem.
    And to that photo and nominee blurb above, why would anyone walk down Richmond when they can stroll down gorgeous Hidalgo Blvd from SGP past beautifal landscaped esplanades and then right past the Galleria/Nordstorms and land at the landmark Wall of Water (most photographed art/monument in entire city). Like I said, SGP is true gem and most deserving of Neighborhood of Year.

  • Absolutely St George Place! By far and away the friendliest, most pedestrian-oriented neighborhood in the city!

  • St. George Place seems to have an active civic association, given the votes so far, but is probably the least interesting of any of the neighborhoods that were nominated. And nothing at all of interest happened there in 2009.
    I nominated Morgan’s Point specifically because it’s an awesome neighborhood that I **do not** live in or own property in (not that I hadn’t tried to buy one of the Victorians there). Taking into account that one of the nation’s largest container terminals is in its back yard, the juxtaposition of things qualifies it as characteristically HOUSTON. It is unique in its layout, geography, and surroundings. It has plenty of history going back to the Texas Revolution, and has many very old mansions including a mini-White House with a stone facade that was built by Governor Ross Sterling. And while Galveston spent 2009 rebuilding, Morgan’s Point made history in 2009 by overlooking the water and NOT having to rebuild. That should count for something.
    It is one of the completely unknown gems of the entire Gulf Coast and it receives my vote for the 2009 Neighborhood of the Year.

  • Galveston. I vote Galveston.

  • Westbury! I’ve lived there for a year and a half and I love it. It’s a quiet area, but convenient to everything. And I can drive to work without ever getting on a freeway!

  • Washington Corridor.

    Sure it has it’s problems and it’s not for everybody, but you can’t find another neighborhood in Houston thats undergone a renovation of that scale…and mostly for the better. I can barely recognize the street that was nothing but car lots and a few taquerias only a couple of years ago.

  • St. George Place, easy decision

  • Lancaster Place, because that is the most logical place.

  • Galveston – I like the “can do” and action oriented attitude, a much more laudable approach than incessant whining like post-Katrina New Orleans.

  • Galveston. Not a neighborhood, but there has really been nothing of interest in the rest of Houston over the course of the past year. Well, I guess here are some new bars on Washington…whoopty do

  • Galveston, oh Galveston

  • Westbury! For sure.

  • I vote for Galveston as well. I live in one of the other nominated ‘hoods, but this award is for neighborhood of the year, and none of the other nominees have been anything special this year–just merely existing isn’t enough!

    Sure we’ll miss the oaks, but considering what Galveston could have become after Ike, it deserves some recognition.

  • The “W”….Westbury definately!….definately a Cinderalla story!

  • Galveston.
    Dealt the most adversity, expended the most effort, achieved the most progress.

  • My vote goes for Lancaster Place.

  • Definitely Timbergrove. One of the best investments in town over the last decade. Not many other places in town where a person can turn a six figure profit in just a few years on a little 50’s/60’s ranch flip, but many have done it here. Find the cheap treasures before they’re all gone!

  • My vote is with Galveston.

    The phrase “EaDo” sets my teeth on edge.

  • St George Place. Convenient to the Galleria and the loop, protected from traffic, well-managed, having its own little security detail, the list goes on.

  • I vote for Galveston – Annexation is an integral part of Houston’s history. So annexing Galveston, even if only in rhetorical terms represents a perverse manifest destiny to be embraced by all Houstonians.

    Early front runner for next year’s neighborhood of the year…Port Arthur!

  • Lancaster Place – what a joke! I wonder if the shooting on Woodhead last month added to the property values there? A declining neighborhood thanks to the Fotey family and the neighborhood association who is more concerned about opposing Ashby Tower and ALL townhouse development than anything else. They like to think Lancaster Place compares to Winlow Place when in reality, there is no comparision.

  • My vote’s for Galveston..

    and St. George Place? Ack! The picture of the house alone is enough to just say no.

  • Easily Lancaster Place.

  • Washington Ave. Corridor. Completely like Houston, no zoning and no deed restrictions. Unabated development. Old crappy run down shotgun shacks, warehouses, used car lots and taquerias replaced by mixed use development of all kinds. Close in location drives dirt values up, which in turn drives/keeps dirt bag property owners out for the most part. Best of all, Lauren and her privately owned and operated transit operation succeed in the face of the corruptocrats at Metreaux and their bleeding-money-like-a-stuck-pig-coupled-with-diminishing-ridership danger train. Maybe this is one area where mayor elect Parker will clean house…Metreaux.

  • I have to say Washington Corridor. Yes, the neighborhood has plenty of challenges, but there are also plenty of great things about the area. Just to name a few: a virbrant arts community, a very active superneighborhood, wonderful parks, an historic district, new restaurants and shops moving in every day, involved neighbors and peace from the trains coming soon in 2010. Most people just think about coming to party in the area, but those who live there find new things to love about the corridor every day.

  • Westbury. And what will cap off the renaissance will be someone managing to buy Westbury Square from Al Antonini and finally restoring it.

  • Westbury gets my vote, and the square is so past renovation I am afraid, it is tear down at this point. There are some great houses at great prices (though parkwest is getting up there in price, though worth it)

  • We moved to Westbury 1 a year a go this week. I’m in love.

  • We moved to Westbury 1 a year ago this week. I’m in love. It will never win any awards based on old-world charm, but the neighbors are lovely and interesting, we paid next to nothing for a house near everything, and we still get to have a yard, a pool, and privacy. Yay Westbury!

  • (Sorry for the double comments, not trying to double dip on the votes!)

  • @ EKMG –

    Not sure I agree about Lancaster Place being in decline, but I certainly agree with the take on the Foteh family. I quickly found that “Foteh” was connected to every slum in the area via hcad. I’ve personally never had a problem with any of the inhabitants of said slums unless they are the ones that occasionally tag the area at night. Surely the Fotehs will sell out someday…right? Surely…

  • Eastwood is a great neighborhood working to preserve the largest intact stock of Arts and Crafts homes in Houston. A real community of people know their neighbors and meet on each others porches for fun and to address area issues. Not just a home but a hometown within the city.

  • I agree with CK on this one. Washington Corridor.

  • Galveston and Morgan’s Point are not Houston Neighborhoods.
    My vote is for St. Thomas/Menil; once the Menil master plan and the rail line are complete, this will be the best place in Houston; it already almost is.

  • Morgan’s Point. I don’t live there, but I always enjoy driving through this historic area.

  • Washington Corridor – although I’ve only lived in Houston for a year, from what I’ve read – it’s a great example of economic revitalization with top notch restaraunts, lively bars, and beautiful parks to the immediate north and south of the corridor.

  • Write-in candidate: Glenbrook Valley. It’s still intact.

  • Galveston – as so many others have said, they’ve done so much with so little to recover from Ike. I have to applaud the tremendous output of effort.

  • Washington Corridor hands down. Bars aside, there are great restaurants up and down this street opening up faster than I have time to try them. The neighborhood should have the density to sustain much of them long after the club scene has found a new home.

  • Washington Ave.

Comments are closed.