ULI Houston News

2017 Development of Distinction Winners!

HOUSTON – January 24, 2017 – The Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and ten-year Presenting Sponsor Winstead tonight honored the 2017 finalists and some 61 honorees and winners over the last decade of the organization’s annual Development of Distinction Awards.
The Development of Distinction awards program is the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to recognize developments and public open spaces that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, healthy places, marketing and management and is modeled after the national Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence and Urban Open Space Awards.
In the For-Profit Category, the 2017 award went to Town Centre Development by Moody Rambin. Located adjacent to both CITYCENTRE and Town & Country, the Town Centre One development combines 256,000 square feet of desirable office space with amenities and luxuries of urban living including restaurants, retail, and entertainment like the 20,000-square-foot community theater on site. The seamless development, despite having different owners, serves as a transitional development between the walkable mixed-use development of CITYCENTRE and the more traditional suburban retail center of Town and Country leaving a modern, pedestrian-friendly design.
In the Non-Profit Category, the 2017 award went to MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston) by Jewett Consulting. The cultural anchor for Midtown was designed to meet the needs of Houston’s 540 cultural arts groups. With 46,000 square-feet of indoor and outdoor multi-use theatrical and exhibition space including four theaters, the MATCH facility marks a significant cultural contribution to Houston and was designed with the organization’s mission of neighborhood revitalization by working with amenities such as easily-accessible public transportation and walkability of the surrounding landscape.
Both finalists for the Urban Open Space award received top honors:

The 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park by Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the City of Houston is a critical urban green space that extends two miles from downtown Houston along Buffalo Bayou. With bike and pedestrian bridges that provide physical access and visual connection to the bayou while respecting Houston’s floodplain, the project transformed this under-maintained corridor into one of the country’s leading parks. The park is a desirable recreational amenity with its scenic natural setting; a tourism generator with its proximity to many of the city’s cultural, historic and culinary offerings; and also a sought-after amenity for real estate developers.
McGovern Centennial Gardens by the Hermann Park Conservancy is a new public garden in Hermann Park. The public-private project culminates the Conservancy’s 20-year redevelopment with a carefully curated 15-acre site that provides a unique visual experience with educational opportunities including edible gardening and healthy eating classes in collaboration with community organizations. Adjacent to well-established Houston destinations and Museum District, the Gardens provide a multi-sensory experience for Hermann Park visitors by successfully creating pedestrian and visual connectivity between the Park and its surrounding environment.
Winners in the People’s Choice categories included:
The 2017 People’s Choice and finalist in the For-Profit category was Southwestern Energy. As the new headquarter campus in Springwoods Village, the developers created a more efficient operations space to enhance teamwork, creativity, and innovation while increasing recruiting capability and community presence. The green campus operations offer recreational amenities to employees which encourage movement and healthy living throughout the campus including walking and jogging trails, an on-site clinic, locally sourced café and more.
An additional People’s Choice vote was presented in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Development of Distinction Awards and went to one of Houston’s most transformational multi-use projects: CITYCENTRE by Midway. The award-winning 47-acre pedestrian-friendly project includes office space, residential, retail, conference space, fitness facility, and destination hotels. The project has successfully brought an urban setting to the Energy Corridor and created a pedestrian-friendly district where Houstonians can live, work and play.
The 2017 Development of Distinction finalists were selected by a nominations panel of Houston real estate leaders that included Alan Bauer, Newland Communities; Joy Horak-Brown, New Hope Housing, Inc.; Doug Childers, HKS Architects; Anne Culver, Scenic Houston; Paul Dodd, BGE, Inc.; Anthony Marré, Wilson Cribbs + Goren; and Ed Page, Streetwise Retail Advisors.
A jury of three national real estate experts traveled to Houston to tour all finalists’ projects on Nov. 2-3, 2016, to select the 2017 Development of Distinction winners. The jury included:
Ed McKinney is interim planning director for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina;
Robert L. Morgan is development director for Greystar Real Estate Partners in Charleston, SC; and
Kim Wilson is an architecture professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research Institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 40,000 members representing all aspects of land use. The Houston District Council is ULI at the local level, facilitating the exchange of ideas and the transmission of ULI best practices. ULI Houston has nearly 1,000 members, who come together at educational programs and other events to share experiences and learn from each other.

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