East End Maker Hub, Houston Botanic Garden, La Colombe d’Or Hotel, M-K-T and SERJobs for Progress, earn top recognition by national jury. 3201 Allen earns the People’s Choice Award
HOUSTON – February 22, 2022 – Houston’s most compelling and innovative real estate projects were recognized by the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) at the 15th annual Development of Distinction Awards presented by Wilson, Cribbs and Goren.
Close to 300 guests gathered for ULI’s centerpiece awards program at Armadillo Palace, which recognizes developments and public open spaces that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, healthy places, marketing and management. The program is modeled after the national Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence.
In the For-Profit Category (large*), the 2022 award went to M-K-T, by Radom Capital, LLC and Triten Real Estate Partners. M-K-T is a trail-oriented, mixed-use redevelopment of formerly industrial buildings in Houston’s historic Heights neighborhood. Designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, M-K-T features over 200,000 square feet of thoughtfully adapted space for creative office users, merchants, and chefs. Developers Radom Capital and Triten Real Estate Partners have transformed the 12-acre site into a true destination with 4 acres of park space along the MKT Heights Hike & Bike Trail (formerly the Missouri Kansas Texas rail line, “M-K-T” for short).
In the For-Profit Category (small**), the 2022 award went to La Colombe d’Or by NewForm Real Estate. A historic landmark now reborn, La Colombe d’Or serves as Texas’s most unique boutique hotel. Set on two city blocks in Montrose, the property effortlessly blends the colorful character of the neighborhood with the charm of the Mansion’s past. Boasting 32 suites in 3 unique but collective styles, the hotel delivers a charming and personalized experience. Amenities include a private collection of nearly 400 original works of art, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, a resort-style pool, Bar No.3 and Tonight & Tomorrow, the hotel’s full-service restaurant serving seasonal European cuisine with southern influences. Multiple gardens and outdoor spaces provide a respite from the neighborhood’s electric energy. La Colombe d’Or provides guests a timeless experience set at the doorsteps of Houston’s culture.
In the Not-for-Profit Category the 2022 award went to SERJobs for Progress by SERJobs. SERJobs is a nonprofit community organization where opportunity works for all Houstonians. The organization serves low-income individuals, families and communities in Houston and beyond, by providing education, occupational trainings, employment and financial empowerment services. Through these opportunities, members can develop long-term, sustainable, and multi-generational success. Natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic have further emphasized the need for SERJobs and other similar organizations. SERJobs is located in the East End, a historic Hispanic community in Houston where the organization first took root fifty-five years ago. Today, the building serves as a hub for the community. Since opening in 2018, SERJobs has seen almost 20,000 members pass through its doors.
In the Open Space Category, the 2022 award went to Houston Botanic Garden by Houston Botanic Garden. Formed in 2002, Houston Botanic Garden is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich lives through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment. The Garden broke ground in 2019 on a 132-acre site located a short distance from downtown Houston. The first of several planned phases over the next 30 years opened in fall 2020 as a major addition to Houston’s cultural landscape and growing list of greenspaces. The Garden provides a place for visitors to learn about plants, conservation, and nature; connects Houstonians across different cultures and ethnicities; and closes an existing gap in the world-class city’s collection of amenities for residents and tourists.
This year our judges selected one finalist to receive what they have named the Impact Award. As ULI Houston does every year, judges were given leeway to award finalists as they deemed appropriate. The judges selected this project to be elevated outside of the standard categories as a project to emulate. The name for this award is based on the specific project receiving the award. In all aspects evaluated, the judges felt this project had, in its short time open, enormously and positively affected the surrounding neighborhood and the Houston region.
As the largest makerspace in Texas, East End Maker Hub’s 307,000 square foot space redefines entrepreneurship by ensuring equitable access to affordable workspace and training for local manufacturers, fabricators, crafters, and innovators. Co-developed between Urban Partnerships CDC and TXRX Labs, the team transformed a former industrial campus in Houston’s East End into a modern-day makerspace with classrooms, studios, and micromanufacturing hubs. Estimated to generate $153 million in annual economic impact as well as 400+ local jobs, this development is a transformative project that creates the perfect bridge between economic resilience and community revitalization. It is the sustainable new home for TXRX Labs and more than forty makers, manufactures and artisans.
3201 Allen won the People’s Choice award, garnering the most votes on ULI’s online survey.
Finalists were selected by a nomination panel of Houston real estate leaders that included: Anna Deans, Vice President, Investment + Development, Midway; Scott Evans, Director of Business Development, Hoar Construction; Wendy Heger, Principal, Page; Michael Montelongo, Partner, WGA; and Clay Pearson, City Manager, City of Pearland.
A jury of national real estate experts evaluated all finalists’ projects in November 2021, to select the 2022 Development of Distinction Awards winners. Our jury this year was: Kara Cooper, Director of Economic Development at Atlanta Beltline, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia; Chuck Gannaway, Principal at Hastings in Nashville, Tennessee; and Mark Marshall, Vice President of Real Estate Development at Rocky Mountain Communities in Denver, Colorado.
The following 2022 category finalists were also recognized during the awards:
For Profit (large): Houston Center Repositioning – Brookfield Properties
For Profit (small): 3201 Allen – Radom Capital
Not-for-Profit: The Center for Pursuit – The Center for Pursuit & Recenter – Recenter
Since 2008, over 125 projects and public spaces have been recognized as Development of Distinction finalists and winners. See a full list.
High resolution photos available here. All photos should be credited as follows: Photo courtesy of Urban Land Institute and (insert name of project pictured).