By Olivia Pulsinelli – Assistant managing editor, Houston Business Journal

Photos: Heights Mercantile, downtown apartment tower, more win ULI Houston’s 2019 annual awards

  • Houston, TX - January 30,2019
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The Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute announced the winners of its 2019 Development of Distinction Awards on Jan. 29.

Nearly 200 guests attended the awards event at The Astorian, according to a press release. The awards recognize developments and open spaces that demonstrate best practices in design, construction, economic viability, healthy places, marketing and management.

Click through the slideshow above to see the winners of the 2019 awards and read more about them.

The Star, a historic building redeveloped into a residential tower, beat out a brand-new office tower to win the “For-Profit – Large” category. Heights Mercantile, which was recently sold to an out-of-state investor, beat out another mixed-use redevelopment in East Downtown to win the “For-Profit – Small” category. The large category is for projects over 100,000 square feet, and the small category is for those under 100,000 square feet, per the release.

In the “Not-for-Profit” category, the newly built, sustainability-focused headquarters for a local organization called HARC beat the redevelopment of a well-known aquarium.

The restoration of Houston’s Emancipation Park won the “Open Space” category, beating a waterway project in The Woodlands and a flood-mitigation project in Clear Lake, the latter of which took home the “People’s Choice” award.

“Houston-area developers are creating places for people of all ages to convene, whether for work, entertainment or healthy activity,” Houston District Council Board Chair Abbey Roberson said in a November press release announcing the finalists. “These projects show that Houston is on the leading edge of national building trends.”

Finalists were selected by a nomination panel of Houston real estate leaders that included Acho Azuike, DC Partners; Scott Saenger, Jones|Carter; Sherry Weesner, Scenic Houston; Roger Soto, HOK; and Anissa Sabawala, O’Donnell/Snider.

The following three national real estate experts toured all of the projects in November to select the winners:

  • Kim Kacani, president of HHHunt Communities in Virginia;
  • Amanda Rhein, executive director of nonprofit Atlanta Land Trust in Georgia;
  • Bob Springer, senior vice president of commercial real estate banking for the commercial real estate banking team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Colorado.
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