ULI Announces 14 Finalists for the 2010 Awards for Excellence Competition Covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Winners to Be Announced at 2010 ULI Real Estate Summit at Spring Council Forum in Boston

For more information, contact:
Trisha Riggs at 202/624-7086 or email: priggs@uli.org
Robert Krueger at 202/624-7086 or email: Robert.krueger@uli.org

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2010) — Seventeen 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 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 April 16 in Boston during ULI’s 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 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.

The finalists (developers in parentheses) are:

  • 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.
  • Bethesda Row, Bethesda, Maryland (Federal Realty Investment Trust) Bethesda Row—a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use district with 182 luxury apartments, a strong mix of national and local retailers and restaurants, and 187,000 square feet of office space—creates a lively downtown destination adjacent to mass transit in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Bywater Art Lofts, New Orleans, Louisiana (HRI Properties) Formerly a vacant and blighted garment factory, Bywater Art Lofts provides affordable rental housing and exhibit space for artists, in an effort to draw the creative class back to a post-Katrina New Orleans.
  • 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.
  • Merrill Gardens and Cordyon Apartments, Seattle, Washington (Merrill Gardens/SRM Development) Establishing a model for intergenerational living, Merrill Gardens and Corydon Apartments combine 123 independent and assisted living senior apartments and 103 market-rate apartments on an underutilized site near the University of Washington.
  • National Association of Realtors Headquarters, Washington, DC (NAR) Situated on a narrow triangular site, the sleek and energy-efficient National Association of Realtors Headquarters has transformed a former brownfield on a key parcel near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
  • The Piers, San Francisco, California (San Francisco Waterfront Partners) One of the largest surviving pier complexes in San Francisco, the meticulously rehabilitated Piers includes 66,000 square feet of office space, 18,000 square feet of premier restaurants and retail, and publicly-accessible marina and dock area.
  • South Campus Gateway, Columbus, Ohio (Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment/The Druker Company) The product of a public-private partnership among The Ohio State University, the City of Columbus, and neighborhood stakeholders, South Campus Gateway—with extensive neighborhood retail, 88,000 square feet of office space, a cinema, and dozens of restaurants and cafes—transforms a 7.5-acre blighted site in an attempt to reconnect the university campus with an adjacent low-income neighborhood.
  • 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.
  • UNO Veterans Memorial School Campus, Chicago, Illinois (United Neighborhood Organization) The LEED-Gold UNO Veterans Memorial School Campus reconfigures an abandoned warehouse into two elementary schools and a high school under a single roof, alleviating the severe overcrowding issues experienced at Archer Heights’ schools at half the cost of a traditional school.
  • 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) 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.
    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.

The 2010 finalists were selected from more than 170 entries. The Awards for Excellence 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.

“All of the finalists demonstrate best practices in land use and property development. In addition, many of these developments involve environmentally sustainable features, public/private partnerships, and innovative financing,” said Jury Chair Marty Jones, president, Corcoran Jennison Companies in Boston. “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.

Over the years, the Awards for Excellence program has evolved from the 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.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a global 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 nearly 33,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.