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National jury to tour and select winners among the nine finalists in the for-profit small and large, not-for-profit, and open space categories

HOUSTON – November 8, 2018 – The Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI-Houston) announced nine finalists for the 2019 Development of Distinction Awards. The prestigious award recognizes developments and open spaces that demonstrate 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.

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

For-Profit Large Category
Projects over 100,000 square feet

609 Main, by Hines

The Star, by Rusk at San Jacinto Partners LP, Provident Realty Advisors

For-Profit Small Category
Projects under 100,000 square feet

Heights Mercantile, by Radom Capital, LLC

East Village, by Eado Investments, LP, Ancorian

Not-For-Profit Category

Moody Gardens Aquarium Redevelopment, by Moody Gardens


Open Space Category

Emancipation Park, by City of Houston

Exploration Green, by Clear Lake City Water Authority

The Woodlands Waterway, by The Howard Hughes Corporation

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.

High resolution images for all 2019 finalists can be downloaded using this Dropbox link.

All photos should be credited as follows: Photo courtesy of Urban Land Institute and (insert name of project pictured). See a full list of Development of Distinction finalists and winners since 2008.

A jury of three national real estate experts will travel to Houston to tour all finalists’ projects on November 13-15, 2018, to select the 2019 Development of Distinction winners. The national jury includes:

Kim Kacani is the President of HHHunt Communities in Virginia;

Amanda Rhein is Executive Director of the non-profit, Atlanta Land Trust in Georgia; and

Bob Springer is SVP Commercial Real Estate Banking for the Commercial Real Estate Banking team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Colorado.

Finalists and winners will be honored on January 29, 2019 at a reception at the Astorian. For tickets or sponsorship information, visit