Houston park gets global award; housing development also honored

Date: 10/09/2018

HOUSTON - The Urban Land Institute announced today in Boston that the City of Houston's Levy Park and housing development project Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace have won awards for excellence in urban open space and workforce housing, respectively.

The ULI recognizes a variety of real estate development projects and leadership in urban development through its awards programs.

Levy Park, in the Upper Kirby District southwest of downtown, has won the Urban Land Institute’s 2018 Urban Open Space Award in a world-wide competition.

Built with public funds and sustained primarily by private lease agreements with the Midway Companies, the revitalized park features a performance pavilion, event lawns (in photo below), a community garden and a dog park. The children’s play area features an ADA-accessible tree house, fountains and sculptures.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious recognition from the Urban Land Institute," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "Levy Park is another example of how public-partnerships can enrich and revitalize a community. A once underutilized park has now become one of our city's hidden jewels. I salute the Levy Park Conservancy, Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority for their work on this great urban park."

Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace has been selected by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing as one of the five winners of the 2018 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. The award recognizes exemplary developments that meet affordable and workforce housing needs in the local community.

In 2009 and 2010, the city Housing and Community Development Department invested $2.5 million in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funds and $3 million in federal HOME funds toward the acquisition of land and development of Avenue Place and Avenue Terrace respectively. The result is an award-winning mixed income community of affordable single-family homes and multifamily home units in near north Houston.

"Avenue Place and Avenue Terrace serve as shining examples of what affordable housing should look like," stated Mayor Sylvester Turner. "As we continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey, affordable housing will continue to be an important part of our city's short-term and long-term needs."

Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace accounts for 287 new affordable housing located near public transportation, a walking trail and community park. The project was recognized for its affordability, design and utilization green housing practices which promote health, sustainability and the reduction of waste.

Both projects were judged and evaluated by multidisciplinary experts including developers, planners, architects, public officials, community members, and other professionals as required by the ULI award criteria.

For more information regarding the Urban Land Institute's 2018 Urban Open Space Award go to http://uli.org/programs/awards-competitions/urban-open-space-award/ and the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award athttp://uli.org/programs/awards-competitions/jack-kemp-awards/

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