Now Open: Nominations for Swamplot’s 2016 Neighborhood of the Year Award

We’re almost done introducing the categories in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. So far, we’ve opened nominations for Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolitionthe “Where Are They Now?” AwardBest Industrial Incident, Special Achievement in Parking, and  The Houston High Water Award. If you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to put in your own suggestions for each of these.

This next category can get pretty competitive: Neighborhood of the Year. Past winners have come from all over the greater Houston area — the last honoree was Downtown, while the 2009 winner was . . . well . . . Galveston. (Robindell snagged the second place spot, last time.)

What qualifies a neighborhood to pick up that coveted “of the Year” designation? That’s for you to decide. When you make a nomination, be sure to say why your pick is especially award-worthy. You can submit your nominations — along with convincing explanations as to why your nominee should win — in the comments below, or in an email, by midnight on Friday, December 9. (If you’re just joining us, please consult the official rules for nominating.) Now tell us, who are this year’s contenders for Neighborhood of the Year?

The 2016 Swampies

12 Comment

  • The Historical Greater 5th Ward-
    The 5th Ward is by far one of Houstons MOST prominent neighborhoods. Having a rich history of over 150 years, this majority black & latino and unfortunately low income has truly stood resilient through several decades of EMMENSE disinvestment. several prominent leaders living and deceased hail from the neighborhood. The 5th Ward is also bringing in much development for local residents WITHOUT SEVERE DISPLACEMENT, like in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wards. Thanks to the 5th Ward Development Corp. and the 5th Ward TIRZ development has been mainly in preservation and AFFORDABLE housing. Lyons Ave (main thoroughfare/business district) has been transformed into a truly urban, cultural, WALKABLE, high density, high transit neighborhood that is sadly lacking many deserving amenities that are slowly starting to come about. notable mentions of why the 5th Ward should win include Lyons Ave Restoration, Cleme Manor (Coke Apts) Renovation, KBR Site Redevelopment, DeLuxe Theatre Restoration, several amazing and updated HISD schools including the renowned mickey leeland All boys Academy.

    now i know this isn’t a usual submission, however if the category is neighborhood of the year, that neighborhood should have made huge strides in the improvement of itself for its residents THAT YEAR. and the 5th Ward unlike last years winner is an actual neighborhood with actual people of all races and incomes. it has definately proved that a neighboorhood can stand the test of time while also staying relevant and updated for ITS RESIDENTS NOT NEW ONES. and NIMBYism doesn’t exist there HOW IRONIC? several prominent churches, schools, politicians, educators, rap/music groups,black owned businesses, several transit centers and high frequency bus routes, several free clinics, TONS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING STOCK IN DESPERATE NEED OF CASH INFLOW! and not a single murder in years despite its notorious reputation as a HIGH CRIME neighborhood. And what other Houston neighborhood is tatted on more people than the BLOODY NICKEL? you haven’t seen a downtown or a robindale or a heights tattoo?

    If that last fact alone doesn’t win it for the 5th ward, everything else should. because if you can love your neighborhood so much even though it is deemend the MOST IMPOVERISHED GHETTO IN HOUSTON that is hands down NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE YEAR!

  • It is time again for my annual protest against the existence of this category. You just end up getting a bunch of comments by people feverishly promoting their own neighborhood in the hopes of drawing attention to it and buoying property prices there.

  • Superdave: Yeah that, or some who loves the CAPITAL LETTERS. :-)

  • @Al he couldn’t have been referring to me as our comments from both saturday weren’t added till this morning and considering 5th Ward has some of the lowest property values in houston. im glad you agree enough to mention me in your comment. and you didn’t even nominate a neighborhood WASTE OF A COMMENT! and yes i love capital letters.

  • I think we’ve hit peak EaDo this year, so I’m going to go EaDo

  • Heights:
    We’re getting a new HEB.
    We’re less dry than before.
    Heights Mercantile along the bike trail.
    Bike trails along White Oak nearing completion.
    Heights Central Station (11th).
    New Texas Childrens facility opening soon
    The way better than Skylane Elan Heights spot finally opened (though I will miss the Google street view of the dude flipping the bird)
    The forthcoming Justin Yu/Bobby Heugel old Dry Creek destination
    The EL makeover into a spot that is worthy of my $$
    Shepherd at 19th is actually a foodie destination now
    We have Lights in the Heights, White Linen Night, an avid arts scene (even though Silver Street is looking awesome, its a quick hop across the street), First Saturday, Farmers Markets,
    We can take easy bike rides to I think around 9 different microbreweries from 77007/8/9
    Walk/Bike to White Oak Music Hall.
    The Treadsack guys have made North Main relevant again
    And finally the awesomeness that is the Heights Theatre reopening for our musical and artistic desires.

    Lots of people like to poke fun at the neighborhood and much of it is warranted, but people still want to live here in droves.

  • it looks like it was the winner last time (2 years ago), but i think downtown should be nominated again. even though there’s a lot of empty office space, and shell and exxon have left, the transformation of the market square, discovery green, and sky house areas of downtown are pretty significant progress away from the after hours ghost town that downtown used to be. i guess time will tell if all that new residential and convention-related construction was a bad investment, but if it holds on it’ll really change the character of our downtown.

  • Montrose. Always Montrose. The rest of Houston kinda sucks IMO :)

  • Ever since I first moved here ten years ago, Star Pizza’s refusing to deliver wine to me led me to believe I lived in the Heights and so I would have nominated the Heights. However, one result of the election was that I learned that I don’t actually live in the Heights.

    It turns out that the question of whether or not there would be a new HEB in our neighborhood would be a question decided by my neighbors twos doors and further down the street but not by those of us a few feet in the other direction.

    Ah, democracy!

  • The Heights because all that bitching has paid off. We have bitched about the quality of commercial/retail development in the area for years. Developers have actually listened and have had great success in the Heights by breaking the mold of strip mall development with the near rote list of national chain/franchise tenants. New developments have made good use of existing spaces and have engaged progressive architecture for new build. Leasing agents have done an excellent job thinking outside the box and working with local restaurateurs and retailers. We have bitched for years about the life and death game of frogger played when trying to cross Yale St. at the hike and bike path. The city finally gave in and installed a HAWK signal that actually works really well. We bitched about historic preservation. Landmark status helped preserve the Heights Theater and the waterworks. The historic ordinance gave residents a voice in the redevelopment of the post office property by getting the developer to make the retail front the street. It also preserved the bungalows on the Heights Mercantile project so they can be re-purposed as restaurant space. And there was even a bitch off between those who had been bitching for years to get HEB to open a store in the Heights and those who did not want to soften the dry restrictions to suit HEB’s needs. Finally, we will soon see the fruits of what may have been the nadir of Heights bitchiness. The Yale St. bridge reconstruction is way ahead of schedule and will probably be complete in early spring.

  • I said it in 2014 but downtown could win every year through 2017 because of its incredible ongoing transformation which just gets better every year. The energy and new development downtown is setting up an incredible background for the Superbowl next year which I think will blow people away (both visitors and people who have not spent time going out downtown).

    These projects came online in downtown in 2016:
    Market Square Tower (40-story apartment with a glass-bottom sky pool)
    609 Main Street (May be the best trophy tower this cycle. Occupancy in December)
    Marriott Marquis (December)
    George R Brown Convention Center updates which look amazing
    500 Crawford (apartments by the ballpark by Finger)
    Hamilton Apartments
    Sunset Coffee Building Renovations
    Second Skyhouse
    Block 334 apartments
    1110 Main (Hilcorp HQ in former Macy’s spot)

    Aloft Hotel
    A number of new bars and restaurants

  • Acres Homes

    The last great frontier for artsy folks inside the Beltway.