ULI Philadelphia Blog

Announcing the Winners – Awards for Excellence 2018

The Awards for Excellence celebrate all aspects of development and land use and recognize superior projects completed in the region within the last five years. The winners represent a variety of project types and were selected by a national jury of 12 experts based on not just one element, such as innovation in design, but for a range of characteristics including high standard of real estate development, achieving sustainability and building performance, innovation in site reuse, social impact for the surrounding community and financial success. This year’s winners rose to the top amidst a group of excellent projects by impressing the jury in overcoming obstacles in development and representing models of innovation and leadership. The number of applicants received more than doubled previous years. The ULI Global Awards for Excellence recently recognized 2017 Rouse Award Winner Downtown Allentown Revitalization District and an earlier phase of this year’s winner, Capital Flats.

“This year, the jury was struck by the extent to which so many of the submitted projects exceeded standards that ULI members deem worthy of recognition. Many projects demonstrated best practices and were models for land use and development,” said Tony Greenberg, Chair of the National Jury serving in his second year of this role, ULI Washington Member and Executive Vice President, Development at JBG Smith in Washington DC. “Our jury is proud to elevate those projects among this impressive group that embrace all aspects of the ULI mission.”

“After an exhilarating and foundational year embracing change that enhanced our mission at ULI Philadelphia, this year’s Awards winners embody all the basic tenets of ULI and showcase the innovation of our robust development community,” said Paul Commito, Chair of ULI Philadelphia and Senior Vice President of Development at Brandywine Realty Trust. “We are proud and grateful to have this distinguished jury of ULI members from Charlotte to Detroit to San Francisco elevate the Philadelphia region’s accomplishments, and we thank them for their expertise and time!”

The winners, announced at a celebration featuring Inga Saffron, Pulitzer Prize winning Architectural Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer are (listed alphabetically):

bridge – Developed by Brown Hill Development. Adjacent to Philadelphia’s iconic Ben Franklin Bridge and the first development in the city to incorporate a Mixed Incoming Housing component, bridge confronted a challenging but valuable rezoning exercise to create an active street presence and unique, well-scaled mixed-use design with attention to synergistic, neighborhood retail. The Jury recognized bridge for excellence in site design, mixed-use development and social impact. 

Capital Flats Phases 1, 2, 3 – Developed by the Onion Flats. Transforming an abandoned meatpacking plant in the once industrial hub of Philadelphia, Onion Flats’ three phase, 18-year development was designed to be intentionally flexible to changing community and market needs while breaking national records in sustainable development. The jury recognized Capital Flats for excellent in real estate innovation, neighborhood revitalization and market flexibility.

El Corazón Cultural Center – Developed by Taller Puertorriqueño. Taller Puertorriqueño developed a community center on a former parking lot in the heart of a North Philadelphia neighborhood, providing a center for economic and social activity, contributing thoughtful design and exceeding revenue projections. The jury recognized El Corazon Cultural Center for excellence in community impact, sustainability, and financial success.

Nursing and Science Building at Rutgers University – Camden – Developed by Rutgers University – Camden. Located in the heart of Camden’s Central Business District, Rutgers developed a Nursing School embedded in and serving the community while embracing a high quality of design and enhancing the surrounding burgeoning “Eds and Meds” corridor. The jury recognized the Nursing and Science Building at Rutgers University – Camden for excellence in design, site utilization, and community impact.

South Point –  Developed by Innova Redevelopment. The project utilized a strategic approach to infill workforce housing in completing a multisite project that served a missing market while achieving passive house standards. The jury recognized South Point for excellence in equitable development, community impact, and sustainability.


Spruce Street Harbor Park – Developed by Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. The flexible design and cost-efficient materials used by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation for this public realm reclamation created an adaptable, replicable, and desirable waterfront connection ensuring a welcoming and diverse public space. The jury recognized Spruce Street Harbor Park for excellence in placemaking, economic success and community impact.

Information about all finalists can be found here. Information about this year’s national jury can be found here and the ULI Global Awards for Excellence, which recently recognized a phase of Capital Flats (2010) and 2017 Rouse Award Winner Downtown Allentown Revitalization District here.

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