Transit-friendly measures which promote mobility and walkability, sustainability, community and culture, and “celebrate visionary thinking,” were some of the criteria judges used to determine the winners of this year’s real estate Trends Awards announced at the annual conference of the Urban Land Institute Washington District Council.
Winners were Market Square, Atlantic Plumbing, the Monroe Street Market, the Foggy Bottom Campus Plan, Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and the NPR building on North Capitol Street which is a few blocks behind Union Station.
Also, Sheridan Station in Anacostia won the Juror’s Choice Award for its “passion and commitment to bringing high quality and environmentally sustainable affordable housing to our area.” The residential complex has a green roof, a residents’ business center, a fitness center, community meeting spaces and, in its units, Energy Star appliances.
Across the street from the U.S. National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue are the two Market Square properties which form an arc around the U.S. Navy Memorial. Market Square won the Legacy Award for “transformational impact on its community.”
Nelson Mills, president and CEO of Columbia Property Trust, the property owner, called Market Square “the gold standard of D.C. office space,” which has recently enjoyed two years of “dramatic renovations” to maintain its reputation as “the premier destination for high-profile corporate tenants on ‘America’s Main Street.’”
Said Chris Roth, president of Eastern Operations for Trammell Crow which developed the property 29 years ago: “We were determined to deliver a quality development meant to stand the test of time” and the “Legacy Award has confirmed that we have done so.”
Winning the Housing Development Award for apartments and retail development was Atlantic Plumbing located at 2112 Eighth and V streets, N.W., next door to the 9:30 Club in the north end of the Shaw neighborhood, a project which helped upgrade U Street.
Bryan Moll, one of the principals at developer JBG, believes Atlantic Plumbing’s “iconic design,” steel exoskeleton, and “robust finish” with its combination of retail and other amenities, enabled it to beat the competition.
The Excellence in Mixed-Use Development Award went to Monroe Street Market which sits on five blocks at the Brookland-Catholic University Metro station, three miles from the U.S. Capitol.
In addition to its 718 residences and 45 townhomes, it has 15,000 square feet of art studio space, a 3,000 square foot community arts center and 83,000 square feet of retail space.
Mike Henehan is the vice-president of Bozzuto Development Company, who wrote: “We worked closely with the surrounding community to create a project that complements the area, while making it a better place to live.” And for artists and residents to meet and exchange and explore.
The Foggy Bottom Campus Plan won the Impact Award for “initiative that represents great promise and forward thinking” in its land use. Georgetown’s Continuing Studies won the Institutional Development award, and the NPR building won for office development.
Paul Angelone, the manager of ULI Washington, said this is the second year for the Trends Awards. Applicants are self-nominated and had to complete a detailed, eight-paged questionnaire describing property structure, marketing, community impact, financing, and reasons for a project to win its category. And pay a $250 fee.
All properties had to be completed in 2013, 2014 or 2015 with the exception of the Legacy Award which goes to projects up for more than 20 years.
Three Northern Virginia properties won last year: the Easter Seals Child Development Center in Falls Church, Arlington Mill Community Senior Center and Residences, and Reston’s Town Center Urban Core.
This year’s 11 judges included designers, architects, government officials, art consultants, developers, investment, financiers, and urban planners “with lots of experience,” Angelone said.
One of them was Barbara Byron, the director of the Fairfax County Office of Revitalization, who praised the strong nominees, two finalists which came from Northern Virginia: Tysons Corner Center and the well-known (to Tysons’ residents and employees) Silverline Center Building landmark with its colored, changing lights (sometimes to match the season) which hang in rows on all four sides of the building from top to almost bottom, and can be seen from far away.
As a judge, “I got to see them all,” Byron said, finding the competing designs “inspirational for my own work. I got a lot back” by participating, she said. “I hope more Northern Virginia properties compete next year.”
The jury foreman, Bryce A. Turner, an architect, called ULI Washington’s 2016 submissions “the best development trends occurring in the DC region and the country,” requiring “painstaking review and heartfelt deliberation” by the judges as they focused on innovative building solutions for education, renovation, affordable housing, and master planning.
ULI’s mission is “to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.” The Washington District Council has almost 2,000 members.