Ten outstanding developments from the Americas have been selected as winners of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Awards for Excellence: The Americas competition, along with one winner of the Institute’s prestigious Heritage Award. The winners of the awards competition, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program, were announced today in Boston at the 2010 ULI Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum.
The competition is part of the Institute’s Awards for Excellence program, established in 1979, which is based on ULI’s guiding principle of recognizing best practice through the awards to promote better land use and development. ULI’s Awards for Excellence recognize the full development process of a project, not just its architecture or design. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial viability.
The 2010 winners are (developers in parentheses):
- Andares, Guadalajara, Mexico (Desarrolladora Mexicana de Inmuebles S.A.): Andares, one of the largest private investments in Mexico in 2009, is an open-air mixed-use complex that features a 197-store shopping center, nine apartment towers, two office buildings, and a luxury hotel.
- Bethel Commercial Center, Chicago, Illinois (Bethel New Life): Located in a low-income neighborhood on the west side of Chicago, Bethel Commercial Center is a mixed-use transit center equipped with retail space, employment offices, a bank, and a daycare center, allowing residents to drop off and pick up children and get to and from work, all without the use of a car.
- Columbia Heights, Washington, DC (The Government of the District of Columbia): Arising from a city-led initiative to revitalize a neighborhood destroyed in the riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Columbia Heights features 1.2 million square feet of new development, including more than 600 housing units, 650,000 square feet of large-format and community retail, and refurbished cultural and public spaces.
- Foundry Square, San Francisco, California (Wilson Meany Sullivan): Foundry Square is a four-building, 1.6-million-square-foot commercial development in San Francisco’s Transbay District that revitalizes an area that historically lacked pedestrian street life and significant public open space.
- LA Live, Los Angeles, California (AEG): The $2.5 billion LA Live is a 5-million-square-foot entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles, creating a 24-hour destination and sparking further private development in a formerly underdeveloped area of the city.
- Madison at 14th Apartments, Oakland, California (Affordable Housing Associates): The product of a complex and successful public-private financing scheme, Madison at 14th Apartments provides 79 affordable units for families and former foster youth in Oakland, California.
- Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas (Sundance Square Management): The culmination of a 25 year development process, Sundance Square is a 38-block mixed-use district in the heart of Fort Worth that has used pedestrian-friendly design to regenerate the downtown and stem suburban flight.
- Thin Flats, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Onion Flats): Certified LEED for Homes Platinum, Thin Flats is an eight-unit infill development in north Philadelphia that uses solar hot water heating, green roofing, and rainwater harvesting to reduce energy consumption by an estimated 50 percent.
- Vancouver Convention Centre West, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (BC Pavilion Corporation): Knitted into the urban fabric of Vancouver’s downtown core, the 1.2-million-square-foot Vancouver Convention Centre West establishes an important link the city’s park system, connecting to the existing harbor greenbelt with a major civic plaza and a six-acre living roof—one of the largest in Canada.
- The Visionaire, New York, New York (Albanese Organization & Starwood Capital): The 35-story Visionaire—combining 247 residences, an organic and local food market, and a 44,000-square-foot maintenance facility—has achieved LEED-Platinum certification through the use of geothermal wells, photovoltaic solar panels, an on-site blackwater treatment plant, and a natural gas-fired microturbine.
The Heritage Award winner is (developer in parentheses):
- Battery Park City Master Plan, New York, New York (Battery Park City Authority): The Battery Park City Master Plan, adopted in 1979, has facilitated the private development of 9.3 million square feet of commercial space, 7.2 million square feet of residential space, and nearly 36 acres of open space in lower Manhattan, becoming a model for successful large-scale planning efforts and marking a positive shift away from the urban renewal mindset of the time.
The Heritage Award, also announced this year, is not an annual award, but rather is bestowed periodically to developments that have demonstrated industry excellence and made substantial contributions to the greater community’s well-being for at least 25 years.
Over the years, the Awards for Excellence program has evolved from recognition of one development in North America to an international competition with multiple winners. The ULI Awards for Excellence: Europe was added in 2004, followed by the ULI Awards for Excellence: Asia Pacific and the Global Awards in 2005. Throughout the program’s history, all types of projects have been recognized for their excellence, including office, residential, recreational, urban/mixed-use, industrial/office park, commercial/retail, new community, rehabilitation, and public projects and programs.
The 2010 winners were selected from more than 170 entries. The jury was challenged by the large number of applications and the high quality of the projects, which struck the judges as particularly significant in the current economic environment.
According to Jury Chair Marty Jones, president, Corcoran Jennison Companies in Boston, the awards winners are all exemplary models of best practices in land use and property development. “Many of these developments involve environmentally sustainable features, public/private partnerships, and innovative financing,” said Jones. “All have proven to be financially successful in their industry class while enhancing and strengthening the surrounding community. Especially in these challenging times, ULI hopes to inspire others to by sharing the stories of these creative, high quality finalists.”
The 2010 Awards for Excellence: The Americas finalists were selected by a jury of renowned land use development and design experts. In addition to Jury Chair Jones, other jury members are Michael S. Balaban, president, eastern region, Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, Washington, D.C.; Amanda M. Burden, director, New York City Department of City Planning, New York; Thomas E. Cody; principal, ProjectPDX, Portland, Oregon; William A. Gilchrist, senior associate, AECOM, Atlanta; Gary A. Hack, professor of urban design, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Kenneth H. Hughes, president, Hughes Development, LP., Dallas; Christopher W. Kurz, president and CEO, Linden Associates, Inc., Baltimore; David Malmuth, managing director, RCLCO, Los Angeles; Randall K. Rowe, chairman, Green Court Partners, Lake Forest, Illinois; John B. Slidell, executive vice president, The Bozzuto Group, Greenbelt, Maryland; Rebecca R. Zimmermann, principal, Design Workshop, Inc., Denver; and ex officio advisor Joseph E. Brown, group chief executive, AECOM, San Francisco.
More information about ULI’s Awards for Excellence program is at www.uli.org/awardsandcompetitions .
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 33,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.
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