ULI Philadelphia Blog

Nine “Exemplary” Projects Win ULI Philadelphia Inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence

Philadelphia, PA– June 19, 2014 – Urban Land Institute Philadelphia (ULI Philadelphia), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities, is pleased to announce nine winners for its inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence. The winners were announced at a cocktail reception at the Ballroom at the Ben in Philadelphia on June 18.

ULI Philadelphia received 57 nominations of projects in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware which were completed within the last five years. Each was carefully reviewed by a 14-member panel of esteemed ULI members from across the country. The jury selected and announced 28 finalists last month and then voted on the winners. “This has truly been a night of celebration for our region’s real estate community,” said Chris Hager, Chair of ULI Philadelphia. “We were delighted with the quality of project nominations we received in our inaugural year and we look forward to even more terrific nominations and winners in future years.”

After careful deliberation the jurors identified the following projects (listed alphabetically) as being “truly exemplary:”

  • Amanda E. Stout Elementary School and Benners Court, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Reading School District was cited by the jurors for this “sophisticated community project that pioneered educational concepts and involved students in the construction process — an unusual public project that was completed on time and under budget without the school needing to close during reconstruction.“Kautter & Kelly Architects; MEP by Barton Associates; structural engineering by Multani Associates; civil and environmental engineering by SSM Group; general contractor Lobar; site contractor Empire Services. Architect Michael Kautter accepted the award.
  • Gateway to Camden, NJ, by the Campbell Soup Company and the City of Camden.This enabled Campbell’s Soup Company to remain in Camden and retain employees through a redesign and construction of a “beautiful corporate campus with many sustainable features and flexible workspace.  Architecture by Jacobs; geotech services by Langan Engineering and Environmental Services; vertical transportation by VDA; acoustics and audiovisual by Shen Milsom Wilke; hardware by Jack Soeffing Company; building simulation and energy studies by PennPraxis; general construction by Torcon; construction management by Greyhawk. Richard Farley, Division Vice President for Jacobs, accepted the award.
  • JBJ Soul Homes, an affordable housing project just off the North Broad Street corridor in Philadelphia, developed by Project HOME. The jury appreciated this strong integration of community mission, living space and supportive amenities, and how the team maximized a challenging site. Architecture by Kitchen & Associates; structural engineering by Michael A. Beach & Associates; civil engineering by Stantec; owner’s representative Innova Services Corp., construction management by McDonald Building Co. Joan McConnon, Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Project HOME, accepted the award.
  • Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and the Lancaster County Convention Center, created by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster, Penn Square Partners and the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority. The jury cited this as an “excellent example of historic preservation, creative public-private partnership using multiple financing vehicles, and an engine to help regenerate downtown Lancaster.” Architecture by Cooper Carry and Hammel Associates; civil engineering by Derck & Edson; facilities management by Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  Accepting the award on the team’s behalf was Thomas D. Smithgall, Senior Vice President for Development at High Associates.
  • Lenfest Hall, at the Curtis Institute of Music in center city Philadelphia, an “exceptional institutional infill project” by AthenianRazak and the Curtis Institute of Music. A unique combination of both public and private uses, it incorporates the first dedicated housing for students at what is probably the top music school in the country. Architecture by VSBA Architects and Planners; construction management by Intech; structural engineering by Keast & Hood; MEP by Urban Engineers; acoustics by Kirkegaard. Alan Razak, Principal with AthenianRazak, accepted the award.
  • Northern Liberties in Philadelphia, byTower Investments. Built on the long-empty site of the old Schmidt’s Brewery, this mixed-use adaptive project was cited as a winner for its “tremendous transformative impact on the community, particularly its open space at the Piazza which is one of the best-programmed public spaces anywhere,” and for some of the best new multifamily housing built in the country over the last decade.” Architecture by EM Architects; Beyer Beiler and Bell; and others. Bart Blatstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tower Investments, accepted the award.
  • Paseo Verde, located in Eastern North Philadelphia,Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) and The Jonathan Rose Company, is nation’s first Platinum LEED-Neighborhood Development project. The jury cited this affordable mixed-use development for its excellent contextual site planning, transit accessibility and creative supporting uses. Architecture and landscape architecture by Wallace Roberts & Todd; civil engineering by Urban Engineers; structural engineering by David Chou & Associates; MEP by CSA Group; environmental engineering by MaGrann Associates; Metropolitan Acoustics, consultant; general contracting by Domus. Accepting the award was Nilda Ruiz, President and Chief Executive Officer for APM.
  • Sister Cities Park,by Philadelphia’s Center City District, was recognized as “a cozy family room” for Philadelphia’s downtown core, welcoming to children and adults alike, and its ability to be replicated in other cities. The Center City District energized this public space along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway through a lease arrangement with Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department, adding green energy uses including geo-thermal and solar energy. Architecture by DIGSAU; landscape architecture by Studio | Bryan Hanes; engineering by Pennoni.  Paul R. Levy, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center City District, accepted the award.
  • SteelStacks Arts and Cultural Campus, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a collaborative effort by ArtsQuest, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem, and PBS 39. This “truly remarkable and creative adaptive reuse” transformed the old Bethlehem Steel plant into a state-of-the-art cultural center that “preserves the history of steelmaking while providing open space for events and setting a new course for the city,” according to the jury. Masterplanning by KostowGreenWood; site planning by Wallace Roberts & Todd; architecture and landscape architecture by Artefact, Spillman Farmer Architects, URS Corporation, USA Architects, and Wallace Roberts & Todd; lighting by L’Observatoire International and Speirs + Major Mark Major. Accepting this award was Jeff Parks, President of ArtsQuest.

Liberty Property Trust has made a five-year commitment to ULI Philadelphia’s Awards for Excellence to honor the legacy of the late business and civic leader Bill Rouse, one of the founders of ULI Philadelphia and a past Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. Rouse created and led Liberty Property Trust and its predecessor Rouse & Associates as a unique and visionary developer, kicking off a return to urban development with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Building, the Society Hill Sheraton and a generation of new skyscrapers and a modern skyline starting with Liberty Place and the redevelopment of The Navy Yard. As a tough-minded civic leader his achievements included We The People, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and the Kimmel Center.

About ULI Philadelphia

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute whose mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, ULI today has more than 32,000 members around the globe, representing the entire spectrum of land use and development disciplines including developers, builders, property owners, investors, architects, public officials, planners, attorneys, engineers, academics and others engaged in the land use field.
The Philadelphia District Council encompasses about 850 members throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, the southern half of New Jersey and the State of Delaware. It is one of the most robust District Councils in the country, providing education on best practices and important community outreach initiatives such as technical assistance, scholarships, mentoring and networking. For more information visit philadelphia.uli.org.


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Meghan McGarrigle



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