Driver Park wins ULI Development Award


East Aldine HQ building also wins runner-up

HOUSTON – February 7, 2023 – Houston’s most compelling and innovative real estate projects were recognized by the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) at the 16th annual Development of Distinction Awards presented by Wilson, Cribbs + Goren.

Close to 300 guests gathered for ULI Houston’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 2023 award went to Montrose Collective.

In the For-Profit Category (small**), the 2023 award went to The Plant at Harrisburg.

In the Not-for-Profit Category the 2023 award went to John S. Dunn Behavioral Science Center.

In the Open Space Category, the 2023 award went to James Driver Inclusive Park. James Driver Park, a 29-acre park located in northeast Houston along US Highway 59, is home to the newest premier green space in the region. Located in an underserved part of Harris County, the improvements added to James Driver Park should also help to revitalize the surrounding community and serve as a destination for visitors. James Driver Park was built to provide all people with a place to go regardless of their physical and mental condition and sense of belonging. It is a place that is truly made for the public, 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.

This year our judges selected one finalist to receive what they have named the Renewal Award. As ULI Houston does every year, judges were given leeway to award finalists as they deemed appropriate. The judges felt the Houston Farmers Market did a great job reinvigorating an institutional destination in Houston.

James Driver Park also 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: Lawrence Dean, Senior Vice President – Homebuilder Lender – Veritex Community Bank; Rachel Koehring, Director of Marketing – Goree; Kristina Malek, Landscape Architect & Shareholder– Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.; Abbey Roberson, Vice President of Planning – Texas Medical Center and Jay Tatum, Regional Principal – HOK.

A jury of national real estate experts evaluated all finalists’ projects in November 2022, to select the 2023 Development of Distinction winners. Our jury this year was: Kim Abreu with US Bank in Miami, Suleman Gajere with WS Development in Boston, and David Haltom with Patrinely in Denver.

The following 2023 category finalists were also recognized during the awards:

For Profit (small-scale): Railway Heights Market – 8200 Washington Purchase and Company of Nomads

Not-for-Profit: The Center for Pursuit Campus – The Center for Pursuit

Avenue Center– Avenue Community Development Corporation

East Aldine District Office & Town Center Park – East Aldine Management District

Open Spaces:

The Park at JP Morgan Chase – Hines

Woodchase Park – Westchase District

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

James Driver Inclusive Park Development Team

Developer/Owner – Harris County Precinct 2

Architects – Metalab General Contractor – D.L. Meacham Construction LP

Civil Engineer – IDS Engineering Structural Engineer – Fractal

Landscape Architect – Four and One

MEP – AOS Engineering