How the 610 Loop Earned Its Prestige

HOW THE 610 LOOP EARNED ITS PRESTIGE Traffic on West Loop, Galleria, Houston“I’ve heard 610 called a lot of things, but never ‘prestigious,'” writes a Swamplot reader who is curious to learn how the phrase “the prestigious 610 Loop” nevertheless came to appear in Wikipedia — in the entry for Hines’s gated Somerset Green complex, now under construction on 46 acres of an old industrial operation at 7002 Old Katy Rd., just east of the Houston Design Center. Ah, but such is the value of Wikipedia’s references and external links sections: The source of the phrase turns out to be Hines itself. A press release that predates by a couple of years the billboards now seen advertising the 500-home development along a few (less-prestigious, no doubt) Inner Loop highways still bears the implicit declaration in its headline: “Hines to Develop 46-acre Planned Community Inside Houston’s Prestigious 610 Loop.” And so it is. [Wikipedia; press release] Photo of the 610 Loop: PINKÉ (license)

10 Comment

  • “The master-planned development recreates the notion of community that has been present in Europe for hundreds of years.”-Somerset Green website

    It’s a town home farm pretending to be European to distract from being a town home farm. In older European communities, houses in smaller towns were still built with private outdoor spaces. Also, the lack of street parking and tight design makes this look like a traffic nightmare in the making.

  • I don’t see anything wrong with this. People always talk about either living in the loop or not. “I wish I could live inside the loop but it’s too expensive”, etc.
    So assigning the word ‘prestigious’ doesn’t seem far off.

  • With 500 or so homes going in Hines deal, who know how many people going into Westcreek, the new towers in the Galleria, apts. near Afton, just think how much more prestigious people we will be able to ride with on 610.

    How will they be able to expand the prestigious Loop 610 to house all of these new riders?

  • When people say Prestigious 610 Loop, they really mean River Oaks, West U and parts of Bellaire, the rest of inner loop is mediocre west of 45/288 and total crap east of them.

  • I’m getting claustrophobic just looking at the map of that place. While the parts of Houston that *are* prestigious are inside the loop, *this* area was a swamp, than an oilfield, than an industrial zone. And industrial it still remains — there is not one single thing you can walk to from here. I guess, technically, you could walk a mile down the ex-highway Old Katy Rd to a Denny’s. Or, if they build a path across the railroad track on the north side (not gonna happen), you could walk a mile down the ex-highway Hempstead Rd to a crappy Citgo station.

    Between the freeways and the railroad interchange, there is no safe way to bike out of the area, either. Enjoy your traffic.

    This is going to sound like I’m coming at the industrial thing from both ways, but hear me out: It’s a little disconcerting that all over Houston, businesses that produce things (like steel, pipe, equipment, etc.) are failing and then getting bulldozed for either consumption (Heights Walmart) or cheap townhouses (Somerset “Green”). Hopefully the industry is just going to the Beltway, and not to China.

  • 610 can be seen as a symbol of untethered free-market- and auto-culture.
    If prestigious means renowned/remarkable, then 610 is.

    Also in 1976, it was out in the affluent suburbs

  • Oh, I get it. It’s not the loop that’s prestigious, it’s being inside the loop that is. Hines’s advertising just needs a little editing.

  • Commonsense just called where I’ve lived most of my years in Houston “total crap.” I feel strangely honored.

  • yes, because the location of our homes and class status is what makes all us inner-loopers so deserving of respect and admiration. prestige is something earned, not bought. some advertisers/marketers are worse than lawyers, what an ugly bunch to be associated with.

  • LOL, so living in the loop makes someone prestigious because it’s more expensive? Uhh, I guess our expensive house in a nice neighborhood outside the loop makes us low class? Get real..