The Final Category of the 2016 Swamplot Awards: Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate

We’ve come to the eighth and final category for this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. So far this week we’ve opened up nominations for Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Demolition, the “Where Are They Now?” Award, Best Industrial Incident, Special Achievement in Parking,  The Houston High Water Award, and — just this morning — Neighborhood of the Year.

Here’s the last one — and perhaps the most sweeping of them all: What was 2016’s Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate?

Covering the real estate moments that make, change, and define the city is the whole point of Swamplot. So tell us: What real estate happenings from the past year stand out above the others? Was it something Swamplot wrote about? Or did we miss something that you think takes the real estate cake? Your nominated moments need not have taken place within city limits — but they should include sufficient Houston-ish qualities to be deserving of the award.

For this same category last time, the top spot went to the unexpected salvation and restoration of the Weingarten Mansion. The 2013 winner was Urban Living’s failed lawsuit against its own former customer, and in 2012, the award went to voter approval of funding for the Bayou Greenways Initiative.

We’ll need your help to pinpoint this year’s most award-worthy moment. Add your comments to this post or send us an email describing the moments you’d like to nominate — and don’t forget to tell us why. If you need to jog your memory, browse back through the site. And if you have any questions about how to make a nomination, you’ll likely find the answers here.

Now nominate away! As with each of the other categories, you’ve got a week to send in your top picks — so make sure you get your entries in by midnight on Friday, December 9, when the window to submit your choices will close for good.

The 2016 Swampies

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  • County’s plan to save the Dome in Sept. 2016. A rare victory for preservation and it kept the 8th wonder of the world from being nominated for the best demolition category.

  • Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate History? August 1836, when a couple of New York real estate speculators bought a few thousand acres from John Austin’s widow and founded the city, setting the stage for all future Houston Real Estate Moments.

  • All the freeway changes around the city – more than anything in Houston, freeways facilitate and shape the patterns of development, racial segregation, economic disparity, and accessibility to the rest of the city. This year, there were many changes – the rebuild of 290 and it’s interchange with 610, the re-positioning of the on-ramps at 45 and Allen Parkway, the completion of major segments of the 99 Grand Parkway, and the start of construction on the 288 toll lanes.

  • I’m using “great” in the “unusual or considerable in degree, power, intensity, etc.” sense of the word: oil hitting $26 (or whatever the floor was); set the tone for the coming year(s) in Houston real estate more so than anything else.

  • The defeat of the Fountain View affordable housing complex. While it raised lots of issues about nimbys, schools and Houston’s compliance with Federal Fair Housing standards (which may be moot under a Ben Carson lead HUD), the big news was that it marked a major shift in power in City Hall away from a powerful group of developers that pretty much had their way with Mayor Parker.

  • The preservation of the Mecom Fountain near Hermann Park. It’s a great coming together story of how preservationists rose awareness, got Mayor Turner to suspend work on the fountain that did not fit it’s original design and possibly caused structural damage, and lead a crowdfunding effort to help restore a city of Houston landmark.