20 developments from the Americas have been selected as finalists in this year’s Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Awards for Excellence: The Americas competition, widely recognized as one of the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program. From this elite group, up to ten will be selected as winners of the competition, which will be announced May 20, 2011 in Phoenix during ULI’s Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum.
Each of the finalists, selected from 148 entries throughout North and South America, have succeeded in raising the bar in demonstrating creativity and best practices in land use and property development, said Jury Chair Marty Jones, president, Corcoran Jennison Companies in Boston. “All of the finalists prove once again that, consistent with ULI’s mission, building more than just ‘bricks and mortar’ can be financially successful and also enhance and strengthen the surrounding community.” The finalists (developers and architects in parentheses) are:
- 1706 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Developers: Scannapieco Development Corporation and Parkway Corporation; Architect: Cope Linder Architects) With 31 luxury condominiums on 31 floors, 1706 Rittenhouse Square is a bold development designed to draw high-income earners back into downtown Philadelphia. The slender tower is situated on a 7,000-square-foot shoebox site that was otherwise destined to remain a nonconforming surface parking lot.
- 300 North LaSalle, Chicago, Illinois (Developer: Hines; Architect: Pickard Chilton) 300 North LaSalle is a 60-story, 1.3-million-square-foot office tower on the north bank of the Chicago River. The LEED-Gold building maximizes day lighting and minimizes solar gain, uses river water for cooling, and features a half-acre plaza that has helped activate the riverfront.
- Artscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Developer: Artscape; Architect: du Toit Architects) Artscape Wychwood Barns reclaims one of Toronto’s oldest surviving car barns, with space for 13 non-profit organizations, 15 artist studios, 26 live/work spaces, and a fully-functional greenhouse. The self-sustaining, 60,000-square-foot facility brings together the arts, urban agriculture, and affordable housing without the use of any ongoing subsidies.
- Broadway Family Apartments, San Francisco, California (Developer: Chinatown Community Development Center; Architect: Daniel Solomon Design Partners) Designed for low-income families, Broadway Family Apartments threads 81 residential units through three buildings joined by interior courtyards in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. The project complements the historic character of the waterfront district, gives affordable housing a sense of permanence and dignity, and helps heal the scar left by the Embarcadero Freeway.
- The Burnside Rocket, Portland, Oregon (Developer/Architect: Cavenaugh+Cavenaugh LLC) The LEED-Platinum Burnside Rocket features a ground-floor pub, two levels of creative office space, a top floor restaurant, and outdoor terraces on each level. The four-story building is multifunctional: operable window panels double as canvases for local artists, the roof garden provides fresh produce for the restaurant, and water from an underground aquifer both cools the building and provides an additional income stream-17,000 liters can be bottled and sold each day.
- Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Developer: City of Cambridge; Architect: William Rawn Associates) The restoration and expansion of the Cambridge Public Library features a striking new glass addition to the late 1880s original structure. A double-skin curtain wall forms multi-story thermal flue, reducing energy consumption, and its transparency creates a permeable civic space that is inviting to the public.
- Center for Urban Waters, Tacoma, Washington (Developer: Lorig Associates; Architect: Perkins + Will) Perched along the Thea Foss Waterway, the Center for Urban Waters is a shared research facility for the city of Tacoma, University of Washington, and Puget Sound Partnership. The LEED Platinum building, with state-of-the-art marine laboratories for solving pollution problems facing urban waterways,, represents the leading edge of redevelopment along the city’s industrialized waterfront.
- Chandler City Hall, Chandler, Arizona (Developer: City of Chandler; Architect: SmithGroup) The Chandler City Hall, four structures interwoven by inviting open spaces and shaded walkways, creates a sense of place and identity for suburban Chandler, Arizona. Designed to promote development and increase density in its historic downtown, the city built the new civic complex without incurring any public debt or requiring a bond release.
- The Eastside: Phases I & II, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Developer: The Mosites Company; Master Planner: The Design Alliance) The Eastside: Phases I & II-the first of a five-phase classic “zipper” development-is designed to revitalize East Liberty, a community damaged by the urban renewal of the 1960s. The high density, multi-level commercial scheme comprises 116,000 square feet of retail and office space, restaurants, and a grocery store.
- Ed Roberts Campus, Berkeley, California (Developers: Ed Roberts Campus/Equity Community Builders; Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects) Conceived by a consortium of partners committed to serving people with disabilities, Ed Roberts Campus is an international center for the Independent Living Movement in Berkeley, California. The 1.6-acre, 65,000 square-foot facility was constructed using universal design principles and provides mutually-supportive office space, a childcare center, and direct access to a Bay Area Rapid Transit station.
- Euclid Avenue Transportation Project, Cleveland, Ohio (Developer: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Urban Designer: Sasaki Associates) The $200 million Euclid Avenue Transportation Project brings bus rapid transit (BRT) and an improved streetscape along 8.3 miles of Cleveland’s historic Euclid Avenue, connecting the central business district with major cultural, medical, and education users-all at one-fourth the cost of light rail. The transit project has helped catalyze $4.7 billion in spin-off investment and 11.4 million square feet of new and planned development, offering a successful example of the economic leverage potential for BRT.
- The Fitzgerald, Baltimore, Maryland (Developer: The Bozzuto Group; Architect: The Design Collective) On the site of a former coal yard, the Fitzgerald comprises 275 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail in midtown Baltimore. Adjacent to the light rail line and walking distance to Penn Station, the new residential building is a leading investment in a larger neighborhood redevelopment effort led by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
- Mosaica, San Francisco, California (Developer: Citizens Housing Corporation; Architect: Daniel Solomon Design Partners) Mosaica creates a new mixed-use block in San Francisco’s Mission District with 93 units of low-income family housing, 24 apartments for formerly homeless seniors, 21 subsidized ownership units, 13 market-rate condominiums, and 11,600 square feet of light industrial workshop space. The mix of incomes and uses is an appropriate addition to this diverse neighborhood, helping mediate demands for affordable housing and preservation of working-class jobs.
- New Hope Housing at Bray’s Crossing, Houston, Texas (Developer: New Hope Housing; Architect: Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects) Bray’s Crossing is the conversion of the former HouTex Inn-a 1960s-style derelict motel located along a major freeway-into 149 single room oc
cupancy apartments for low-income citizens. Operated without the use of government rent subsidies, the project integrates a public art display into the building design, turning a former eyesore into a community canvas.
- New World Center, Miami Beach, Florida (Developer: New World Symphony; Architect: Gehry Partners) The New World Center is an innovative facility for classical music education and performance in Miami Beach, Florida that sits at the intersection of architecture, technology, education, and culture. An 80-foot-high glass-and-steel box contains the free-flowing theater space, while the front facade-which doubles as a 7,000-square-foot projection wall-displays concerts and video art to patrons in an adjacent 2.5-acre green space.
- Riverfront Park, Denver, Colorado (Developer: East West Partners; Master Planner: Design Workshop) Integrated into the downtown grid of Denver and built on the site of a former rail yard, Riverfront Park is a new urban neighborhood with more than 1,400 residential units and 62,000 square feet of retail space. Designed and built under a form-based zoning code, Riverfront Park also features four parks and a landmark bridge, reclaiming the riverfront from an abandoned brownfield.
- The Saint Aidan, Brookline, Massachusetts (Developer: Planning Office for Urban Affairs; Architect: The Architectural Team) Located in the highly-desirable market of Brookline, Massachusetts, the Saint Aidan provides a mix of 36 workforce housing units and 23 market-rate condominiums. The mixed-income project preserves a historic church while increasing density and affordable housing options in the affluent single-family neighborhood.
- Silver Towers, New York, New York (Developer: Silverstein Development Corporation; Architect: Costas Kondylis & Partners) Helping to extend Midtown Manhattan to the Hudson River, the 60-story Silver Towers features a broad mix of units-from high-end rentals to corporate apartments to 234 low-income units-along with a quarter-acre public park and 20,000 square feet of retail space.
- Tassafaronga Village, Oakland, California (Developer: Oakland Housing Authority; Architect: David Baker + Partners) Located in an underserved neighborhood of Oakland, California, the Tassafaronga Village comprises 157-low-income rental units and a medical clinic on a 7.5-acre brownfield site. A careful site design that modulates the scale and mix of buildings helps to repair a deteriorating neighborhood fabric and soften the borders of an industrial neighborhood.
- Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco, California (Developers: Forest City Enterprises and the Westfield Group; Architects: Kohn Pederson Fox/RTKL/Westfield Design) After an eight-year development process, Westfield San Francisco Centre has restored the city’s historic Emporium building, boasting 1.5-million-square-feet of commercial space and attracting an estimated 25 million visitors to this once-distressed area of San Francisco.
The competition is part of the Institute’s Awards for Excellence program, established in 1979, which is based on ULI’s guiding principle that the achievement of excellence in land use practice should be recognized and rewarded. 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.