Now Open for Your Nominations: Neighborhood of the Year 2011

We’re almost to the end of the categories in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. So far, we’ve opened nominations for 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, and Best Neighborhood Upgrade. Have you added your own suggestions for each of them?

The next category is Neighborhood of the Year. What qualifications does a neighborhood need to meet in order to be declared Houston Neighborhood of the Year? You tell us — as you make your nomination! Of course, a neighborhood might be considered for Swamplot’s Neighborhood of the Year award for vastly different reasons than another one might be considered for an award of the same name from, say, the GHBA.

Please note that entrants in this category — as well as all the others — need not be located strictly inside Houston’s municipal boundaries. Swamplot tries to track the idea of Houston as it regularly travels outside the city limits. (In fact, the 2009 winner of the Houston Neighborhood of the Year award was . . . yes, Galveston.)

We’re ready to receive your nominations in the comments below, or in an email. If you need more guidance, consult the official rules. This year, who are the contenders for this award?

22 Comment

  • Without question State Highway 99 is the most impressive Special Achievement in Sprawl, and by far the most unsustainable public project in the nation. I second all previous nominations for this absurd, dangerous, wasteful, unnecessary project.

  • Beware people, in addition to the Swampie award, neighborhood of the year also picks up a Wal-Mart and a healthy dose of bedbugs.

  • Easy: Montrose : )

  • @2 Mel,

    You must not have gotten the March 10 update, they were not bedbugs.

    Carpet beetles!!

  • Montrose
    What other neighborhood has residents that:
    1. Have a super neighborhood president that received money from a major business while he was supposed to represent and support residents involved in a battle with the business, and then later received money from that business to run for city council?
    2. Have local civic associations that think property values will increase if a major grocery store moves behind their neighbors’ homes?
    3. Have a city council person living in the neighborhood that fought against green space advocates, and stated that there was plenty of green space available at local school playgrounds, especially in an area of high-density pedophiles.
    4. Think a grocery store is the most exciting event in their lives when they live in an inner city environment with over 100 restaurants, billions of bars, and specialty shops.
    5. Think that another Mexican restaurant will actually be different.

  • I will go against my own grain a bit and say Shady Acres. While I cannot stand the add-water townhome clusters that go up faster than weeds (in a non-drought year), I think this part of Houston just might work in its own odd way. The addition of the Corkscrew and Hubcap grill make for a nice afterhours scene that isn’t too douchey or too scary. And a nice little restaurant scene exists over on Ella with a neat new place called El Gran Malo serving tasty mexican bites and margaritas, in addition to stallwarts like Rainbow Lodge, Cavatore and Tony’s. Not a model of new urbanism or of anything for that matter. But Shady Acres is making it work despite itself, which is really true of Houston, in general.

  • Garden Oaks is the best neighborhood in the city. A great mix of young and old. Great churches. Great schools. Big yards, Where else do they have a bike parade at the 4th of July and a Christmas caroling potluck party. There is an active neighborhood association that pays for extra constable patrol. A maintenance organization that enforces deed restrictions. An active moms group that delivers meals for a month after a new baby arrives in the ‘hood. They also a benefit to help a widow remodel her fixer-upper that her husband never quite got to… Like a small town in the middle of houston

  • I think its time for some outside the loop love this year and I simply love the mid-mod’s of Glenbrook Valley.

  • Stella:

    You must now be disciplined for letting our little Garden Oaks secret out of the bag. Whatya want, people to move in? Shhhh.

  • I nominate Tranquility Park for neighborhood of the year. Those occupy guys and girls have got it going on. Downtown views? Check. Armed security? Check. Short commute? Check. Open concept living? Check. Easy access to dining, entertainment and recreation? Check!

  • I have to nominate the Washington Corridor. 2011 was perhaps the worst year in my lifetime for commercial real estate and yet, you wouldn’t have known it from the rapid gentrification on Washington. The newly paved roads don’t hurt. And I must remind all the doom-sayers on this blog that development is going strong despite all the issues (parking, decrepit sidewalks, mean bouncers that tell patrons to go home and change their shoes) that were supposed to doom the area to become the next Richmond Ave.

  • let’s face it..Eastwood.
    Houston’s neighborhood of the future.

  • @Mel… wouldn’t a short commute mean you have somewhere to go?

  • Caneco, Tranquility Park is the ultimate mixed use! Work, play, eat, sleep and recreate– all in the same place!

  • Montrose, now and forever.

  • midtown has stayed impressively strong this year

  • @ Mel/ PYEWACKET2 –

    Hehe. At least demolition for the new Wal-Mart hasn’t started yet and the carpet beetles are no longer a problem. :)

  • Eastwood is superior.

  • I agree with Old School that it should be Shady Acres but not for the same reasons. If you thought the town homes in the Heights were ugly, you need to take a stroll around my neighborhood. Add the lack of sidewalks and street lights plus the parking lot like streets thanks to all the new “cool” places to hang out and you have yourself a neighborhood that went from modest but livable to urban nightmare.

  • p.s. I don’t want to dilute my nomination of Tranquilly Park, but the Woodland Heights is the best neighborhood in Houston. Garden Oaks, you are a sweet little neighborhood, but we do all the same type of stuff, plus we host the entire city for the biggest bestest funnest holiday party around. If you don’t believe me, ask Stella Sola, the Glass Wall, Liberty Kitchen, BB’s and all the other restaurants crowding around our little slice of heaven, trying to get in on our action. :).

  • I’ll go with Eastwood on this, too.