ULI Philadelphia Blog

Eight Winners Announced at ULI Philadelphia’s 4th Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence

The winners, announced at a celebration attended by more than 260 land use and real estate professionals are (listed alphabetically):

Bartram’s Mile (Philadelphia, PA) – Developed by the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. This latest extension of the Schuylkill River Trail transformed a contaminated, neglected stretch of the waterfront to a public space destination, providing a new means of transportation and development to Southwest Philadelphia. Engaging the community was an essential step in connecting Bartram’s Garden to the Schuylkill Trail, bringing green space and sustainable development to this underserved area. The jury commended the significance and civic commitment required to transform this brownfield site into a community destination in an area where reclaiming this land provides a public space, a community amenity and an access point to center city.

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South (Philadelphia, PA) – A ten-year effort has culminated in Brandywine Realty Trust’s development Philadelphia’s first vertical neighborhood, completing Cira Center South’s 2.5-acre master plan. The building stands at 49 floors with multiple uses adding up to more than one million square feet of space. Constructed on a relatively small site, surrounded by rail lines and elevated roadways, the building responds to these constraints with an elegant profile, creating a distinctive silhouette on the Philadelphia skyline and a gateway building for University City. The jury commended this project for thoughtful use of a difficult site with an outcome that integrates into surrounding context and transportation infrastructure, adaptive reuse, mix of uses and strong environmental performance.  The project demonstrates extremely high quality design and all elements of transformative impact.

Folsom Powerhouse (Philadelphia, PA) – A special community from conception, Equinox Construction and Postgreen Homes created thirty-one units distributed across single-family homes, duplexes, and apartments designed to encourage walkable urban lifestyles and includes stormwater management features far surpassing standards.  Designed to meet the needs and budgets of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, Powerhouse is designed to provide the best workforce housing available. For the jury, this project checked all the boxes. The project is terrific example of situating a new use in a changing neighborhood while displaying great social impact, financial success, innovation in planning and design, density and achieving high sustainability through LEED.

George Street Commons (York, PA) A transit oriented, mixed-use infill in York’s Historic District was part of public-private partnership between the YMCA of York and the Partnership for Income Restricted Housing Leadership (PIRHL) providing a state of the art living facility for families with incomes between 20 and 60 percent of the area’s median income. The project is easily replicable and provides a great example of how smaller cities can revitalize an urban block while addressing the need for affordable living. The jury was impressed with George Street Common’s social impact, improving the health of the surrounding community with accomplished market acceptance and the way it addressed health and sustainability through design and partnerships. This is a transformative project that overcame difficult planning obstacles in its municipality.

New Engine 38 Fire Station (Philadelphia, PA) – The City of Philadelphia Department of Public Property developed this station, the first new firehouse in 15 years, with the community in mind. The station includes a community room, a large front porch, and was built to be structurally cohesive with surrounding Disston Park, while the station’s underground truck entry reduces noise pollution from fire trucks. Engine 38 shows intention towards bringing minimum disruption to the community while maximizing public benefit. The jury praised this project as a thoughtfully designed public asset that contributes to the virtuosity of the built environment and serves the community in every aspect of its existence. The project demonstrates public sector investment with a carefully and beautifully designed station developed by the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Property.

Pennovation Center (Philadelphia, PA) –  developed by the University of Pennsylvania, Facilities and Real Estate Services. The University of Pennsylvania realized a critical element of creating an intellectual and entrepreneurial asset to Philadelphia’s Innovation Ecosystem in transforming a vacant, industrial building and an underdeveloped area of the city into a unique, modern campus that is fresh and functional. The Center brings together researchers, technologists, venture capitalists, and industrial partners, driving the burgeoning ecosystem for technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the Philadelphia area. The jury called this an extraordinary project with incredible design, strong integration of uses and powerful community impact.

South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center (Philadelphia, PA) – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The City of Philadelphia developed a health care, educational, and recreational facility in a diverse, economically stressed urban community. This co-locating of servicing and leveraging opportunities for joint programs have been powerful tools for community revitalization. The jury was impressed that this project could bring a rich mix of much needed uses to a diverse community which was needing these services. The co-location of a range of services and uses in a community in walking distance to a subway line was recognized as having a meaningful impact.

Swarthmore Town Center (Swarthmore, PA) – Swarthmore College developed a diverse team to tackle a variety of needs in Swarthmore Town Center West. Engaging the Borough and College in a zoning overlay and a referendum, engaging PennDOT and numerous other public partners in replacing a confusing and dangerous intersection, and providing a mix of uses to both physically and socially connect the college and the borough in a culmination of 15 years of planning, study, and strategy. The jury praised the project’s exceptional job linking communities, managing partnerships and diversity of uses. The project is a great success in establishing a transit connection for the university and represents a true public private partnership.

For a full list of 2017’s finalists please visit http://bit.ly/2oUKqet

Please see news coverage of the celebration here: 



ULI Philadelphia’s Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence  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.

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