Top Houston Projects Recognized by ULI

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Good design can earn a project accolades. But to rank a Development of Distinction award from Urban Land Institute’s Houston District Council, it must also demonstrate and meet ULI’s mission: to shape the built environment for transformative impact in communities.

In Houston, the 2023 roster of winning developments resonates with best practices in design and construction, community focus and connection, public/private innovation, sustainability and stewardship, and financial viability. A national panel of judges selected the top projects and public open spaces for recognition from a short-list of locally selected finalists. At a ULI event held earlier this week, sponsored by Wilson, Cribbs + Goren, the following received awards. The winners with commentary:

For-Profit (Large)

Montrose Collective, a mixed-use project spanning two new commercial buildings and two remodeled ones on two city blocks near the northeast corner of Westheimer and Montrose Boulevard.

Colorful, textured and stacked four- to six levels into the scale of its setting, the project was deemed “porous” and walkable in its already vibrant neighborhood. Its mix of office, retail and restaurants “blurs the distinction between the public and private realm” via expansive sidewalks, patios, one-acre garden room — and public library branch to replace one formerly located in the area.

The project team included developer/owner Radom Capital, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and landscape architects Office of James Burnett, with finance partner JP Morgan Asset Management.

For-Profit (Small)

The Plant at Harrisburg received nods as a model for urban impact, community wealth and transit-oriented development as well as its “intentional and purposeful placemaking.” In other words, it is “hyper-local.”

Previously a 1940s warehouse and factory, it has been transformed into a neighborhood-centric mixed-use development that embraces five modes of transportation. In addition, an estimated 84 percent of the businesses located at The Plant are run by minority, women-owned control partners or entrepreneurs living within a quarter-mile of the project.

The project team included developer Concept Neighborhood, LH2 Architecture, CultivateLAND and financial partner NextSeed.


UTHealth’s John S. Dunn Behavioral Science Center brings behavioral health care closer to home to help support those with a spectrum of disorders.

The spaces are designed with beneficial interactions between patients and staff. Examples cited include the central living area surrounded by residential units, therapy mall, courtyards and communal dining.

The project team includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston with architect and landscape architect Perkins&Will.

Open Space

James Driver Inclusive Park, a 29-acre greenspace in northeast Houston near US Hwy. 59, was cited for its role in revitalizing the surrounding community and as a destination for others regardless of ability, age or economic status.

“The laughter, joyful screams, and smiles that the park has produced since opening are the true measurement of the success of this park,” noted the award announcement. And the project earned the People’s Choice award, having garnered the most votes on ULI’s online survey.

The project team included Harris County Precinct 2, Metalab architects, and landscape architects Four and One.

Renewal Award

Houston Farmers Market, the oldest, largest and only daily farmers market in Houston, was honored for “leveraging its legacy.” It has reinvigorated an institutional destination by not only bringing it new life, but in keeping the history and community alive within its 17-acre site.

The project team included developer/owner MLB Capital Partners, Studio RED Architects and Clark Condon landscape architects, with finance partner Prosperity Bank.

Houston ULI sources said all of the finalist projects announced last fall following local evaluation had met the criteria for consideration in the annual Developments of Distinction program. These included Railway Heights Market, The Center for Pursuit Campus, Avenue Center, East Aldine District Office & Town Center Park, The Park at JP Morgan Chase and Woodchase Park.

Since 2008, more than 125 projects and public spaces have been recognized as Development of Distinction finalists and winners.

Feb. 9, 2023. Realty News Report Copyright 2023


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Image: Montrose Collective. Courtesy ULI


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