2011 MFE Awards - Merit Winners

Award:  Project of the Year, High-Rise, Apartment Project name: The Cameron Location: Silver Spring, Md. Submitted by: Behringer Harvard Residential Architect: WDG Architecture Developer and builder: Fairfield Residential  Number of units: 325 Unit mix: one- and two-bedrooms Rents: $1,400 to $3,600

Situated on just 1.62 acres near downtown Silver Spring, Md., The Cameron is a luxury apartment project offering 325 one- and two-bedroom units. The 15-story building also includes 7,300 square feet of ground-floor retail, along with a 434-car parking structure. Architectural elements blend classic brick siding with modern metal-and-glass details, including floor-to-ceiling in-unit windows. With an average size of 931 square feet, the apartments feature 9-foot ceilings, spacious balconies, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and condo-quality kitchen cabinets. Amenities are located on the 15th floor and include a residents club, which features a fireplace, wine cellar, bar area and billiards, along with a fitness center with adjoining yoga room. A resort-style pool occupies the roof.

Award:  Project of the Year, High-Rise, Apartment Project name: Gables Park 17 Location: Dallas Architect: Good Fulton and Ferrell Developer and builder: Gables Residential  Number of units: 292 Unit mix: one-, two-, and three-bedrooms   Rents: $1,550 to $7,515

Located on a site in Dallas’ Uptown area previously used for surface parking, Gables Park 17 is connected to an adjacent 300,000-square-foot office building via a six-level parking structure. The 25-story tower’s 292 luxury rental units range from 796 to 3,337 square feet and offer views of Uptown, downtown, and Victory Park. Unit build-out at the LEED-registered project includes custom kitchen islands; cabinetry by Armstrong; stainless steel, Energy Star–rated appliances; iPod docking stations; mosaic glass backsplashes; bamboo flooring; solar shades; and frameless shower enclosures. The community features an array of amenities, including a poker room, a demo kitchen, a theater, a game room, and a dog park. Moreover, the top of the parking structure houses a deck highlighted by 1 acre of green space, an infinity-edge pool, and a commercial-quality fitness facility.

Award: Project of the Year, Mid-Rise Project name: 777 South Broad Location: Philadelphia Architect: JKR Partners Developer: Dranoff Properties Builder: Intech Construction Number of units: 146 Unit mix: one- and two-bedrooms Rents: $2,200 to $5,000

Although Philadelphia’s South Broad Street is the heart of the city’s cultural scene, the southern end of the street was blighted until Dranoff Properties redeveloped it into 777 South Broad. The mixed-use project, which is situated on land formerly owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, offers 146 loft apartments, 191 parking spaces, and 18,835 square feet of ground-floor retail. Featuring a glass-and-brick façade accented by a dramatically lit beacon, the five-story building is set back 28 feet from the street to encourage sidewalk cafés and pedestrian-friendly activities. Located at the nexus of the city’s transit system and featuring Philadelphia’s first electric-vehicle charging station, 777 South Broad is the City of Brotherly Love’s first and only LEED Silver–certified multifamily building. Unit interiors feature 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows for unobstructed city views, bay windows, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The project’s lavish “sky deck” includes a hot tub, sun deck, and outdoor dining space.

Award: Project of the Year, Mid-Rise   Project name: Mill District City Apartments Location: Minneapolis Architect: BKV Group Developer: Village Green  Builder: Frana Cos. Number of units: 175 Unit mix: Studios to two-level penthouses  Rents:  $1,045 to $2,590

Located on 1.2 acres near downtown Minneapolis among historic flour mills, Mill District City Apartments fills a market niche for high-end market-rate housing. The five-story, wood-framed project consists of 175 rental units plus 3,400 square feet of ground-level retail space and two levels of underground parking. Composed of three wings interlocked together to create a U-shape around an outdoor park, the community’s units range from 495 to 1,402 square feet. The project’s design complements its historic neighborhood using contextual brick massing and details along with modern metal forms. Amenities include a multifunctional clubroom; a two-story lobby with a 30-foot-long, “living” green wall that brings in the outdoors; a fitness room; a sauna; an indoor swimming pool and spa; a business center; a dog park; and an outdoor fire pit. The nearly $33 million project, which opened in January 2011, is fully leased.

Award:  Project of the Year, Low-Rise Project name: The Crossing at Anaheim Location: Anaheim, Calif. Architect: KTGY Group Developer: Sares-Regis Group  Builder: Regis Contractors Number of units: 312  Unit mix: one- and two-bedrooms  Rents:  $1,320 to $2,165

As the first new development project within the city of Anaheim’s Canyon Specific Plan in more than a decade, The Crossing at Anaheim serves as a catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment. The 312-unit luxury rental project, which features 11 floor plans ranging from 639 square feet to 1,421 square feet, replaced a group of obsolete industrial buildings. Situated on 5.2 acres, it’s adjacent to a MetroLink/Amtrak transit station, providing a viable alternative in this car-centric region. Not only does the infill project utilize existing infrastructure, it also includes dedicated parking for 120 bicycles. The community achieved LEED Gold certification with green features such as cool-roof technology to reduce the heat island effect, a stormwater runoff system, and a green housekeeping program. The Crossing also features a host of amenities, including a resort-style pool and an organic courtyard garden with fruit and herbs.

Award:  Project of the Year, Low-Rise Project name: The Preserve on Fredericksburg Location: San Antonio Architect: Humphreys & Partners Architects Developers: Cambridge Development Group and USAA Real Estate Builder: C.F. Jordan Number of units: 376 Unit mix: One- and two-bedrooms Rents: $917 to $1,501

Situated on 25 acres of pristine Texas Hill Country land, The Preserve on Fredericksburg is an environmentally and architecturally sensitive project. The $42 million community offers 376 one- and two-bedroom units in a low-density, single-family design that integrates private parking garages into the buildings and provides direct tenant access to the apartments. The project’s Hill Country design features exteriors in a mix of siding styles with muted desert colors, architectural appointments, tapered columns of natural stone, and standing-seam metal roofs to reflect heat. A rainwater catchment system irrigates the landscaped site, which features indigenous plants, a natural preserve with walking trail, pet park, bi-level pool with waterfalls and spa, cabana, outdoor kitchen, and fireplaces. The developer provided water barrels for more than 100 mature live oak trees to lessen the impact from construction and the ongoing drought in the Lone Star State. The project also incorporates electric-car charging stations.

Award: Project of the Year, Adaptive Reuse Project name: Hayes at Railroad Square Location: Haverhill, Mass. Architect: The Architectural Team Developer: Planning Office for Urban Affairs Builder: Dellbrook Construction Number of units: 57 Unit mix: one- and two-bedroom units and duplexes Rents: $732 to $1,400

The two apartment buildings that make up Hayes at Railroad Square previously housed a mill, served as a shoe manufacturer, and later generated electricity. Working with the city of Haverhill, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, a nonprofit affordable housing developer affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston, adapted the 80,000-square-foot buildings into a mixed-income and mixed-use project. The $20 million reuse project offers 57 units: 52 affordable and five market-rate. Constructed in two phases in 1894 and 1911, the buildings feature architectural façades more commonly found on commercial structures. The buildings’ historic integrity was retained during renovations, which involved repairing the façade masonry and restoring the storefront wood framing and the original smokestack. The units are designed with a loft-style feel to take advantage of historic elements such as large windows, exposed wood beams, and decking. Amenities include a community room/café, indoor children’s play area, laundry room, and fitness center.

Award:  Project of the Year, Affordable Project name: Wolff Waters Place Location: La Quinta, Calif. Architect: Interactive Design Corp. Developer: Coachella Valley Housing Coalition  Builder: Brown Construction Number of units: 218 Unit mix: one- to four-bedrooms Rents: $388 to $858

Wolff Waters Place, located in an upscale single-family neighborhood, houses low-income families with children. The 22-building development, which was awarded LEED Gold certification, offers units ranging from 650 to 1,376 square feet. Designed in the Spanish Mission Revival style with smooth stucco buildings, red tile roofs, and Spanish tile accents, the project includes an underground podium parking structure. In an effort to create a “street” environment, the design team incorporated sidewalks, plazas, crossings, promenades, play areas, courtyards, and porches. Community amenities include a day-care center, a computer lab, meeting rooms, a spa area, tot lots, laundry facilities, and a basketball court. The $74.1 million project, which has a lengthy waiting list, received $33.8 million in 4 percent low-income housing tax credits, along with $30 million from the La Quinta Redevelopment Agency.

Award:  Project of the Year, Affordable Project name: Castle Gardens Location: New York, N.Y. Architect: Curtis Ginsberg Architects Developer:  Jonathan Rose Cos. and the Fortune Society  Builder: Lettire Construction Corp. Number of units: 114 Unit mix: studios; one-, two-, and three-bedrooms  Rents:  $755 to $1,130

Castle Gardens, a 112,000-square-foot building with residential and social service space in New York City’s West Harlem neighborhood, is associated with the Fortune Society, a nonprofit organization working to promote successful prisoner re-entry into society. The 11-story project provides housing for formerly incarcerated and other community members who need affordable housing. It houses 50 homeless individuals in 300-square-foot studios and 13 homeless families in larger units, as well as 50 low-income families earning up to 60 percent of the area median income and one live-in superintendent. The 20,000-square-foot supportive-service space houses a large conference room, a computer lab, and several community rooms. Programs include case management and counseling, vocational and educational services, and health-related services. The $43.5 million project was financed with a variety of grants and tax credits, including $16 million in low-income housing tax credits.

Before Award:  Project of the Year, Apartment Renovation Project name: The Marquee Apartments Location: North Hollywood, Calif.    Architect: Donald Shintani & Co. Architect Developer: Cirrus Asset Management   Builder: MTI Builders Number of units: 236 Unit mix: studios; one- and two-bedrooms  Rents: $1,100 to $1,500


Before Soon after Cirrus Asset Management acquired the 1960s-era community known as the Royale Sherman Apartments, the firm gave the 236-unit project a new moniker and tackled a $3 million renovation that included a new façade and significant interior improvements. The property, now known as The Marquee Apartments, offers rental housing to a segment of the population that was previously underserved—the middle market. The renovation was tailored to attract more-affluent renters from nearby NoHo Arts District. Outside, an exterior foam treatment transformed three separate structures into a single façade. Meanwhile, unit interiors received wood-inspired plank flooring, a three-color paint scheme, new cabinet doors, stainless steel appliances, modern lighting, and upgraded plumbing fixtures. The new owners also revamped the landscaping and expanded and upgraded the pool area.


Before Project name: CitySouth Location: San Mateo, Calif.  Architects: KTGY Group and Kephart Developer: UDR Builders: Ravco Construction and R.D. Olson Construction Number of units: 288 Unit mix: one- to three-bedrooms Average rent: $1,900  


Before After UDR’s extensive renovation of CitySouth, the 288-unit apartment community is almost unrecognizable. The scope of work on the 1970s-era project included construction of a new leasing center with a resident business center; a new main entrance; and the addition of a dog park along with renovation of the existing community building to include a fitness center, resident lounge with demo kitchen, and a media room. All the building exteriors benefited from improvements including new stucco, metal siding, and new windows and doors. Meanwhile, the unit interiors received new finishes and fixtures throughout plus the addition of washers/dryers as well as central heating and air-conditioning. The renovation incorporated green strategies and materials such as the recycling of demolition and construction debris; the use of recyclable materials; Energy Star–rated appliances; low-flow plumbing fixtures; high-efficiency lighting; and double-insulated windows with low-E glass.


Award:  Project of the Year, Green Project name: The Fitzgerald Location: Baltimore Architect: Design Collective Developer: Bozzuto Development Co. Builder: Bozzuto Construction Co. Number of units: 275 Unit mix: one-, two-, and two-bedrooms plus den  Rents:  $1,415 to $2,610

The 275-unit Fitzgerald is the largest residential property in Baltimore to receive LEED Silver certification. The luxury project is characterized by several transit-oriented attributes, including proximity to a light-rail stop and Amtrak train station; preferred parking for hybrid vehicles; bike storage; and car-sharing. It is also the first residential property in Maryland to offer public electric vehicle–charging stations. More than 20 percent of the building was constructed with recycled materials. Conservation-focused features include low-E windows, energy-efficient construction materials, Energy Star–rated appliances, and energy systems designed to be 14 percent more efficient than those at a non-LEED community. Moreover, the project purchases 100 percent of its power through renewable energy credits, a program that works toward the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Native plants, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and water-efficient appliances contribute to water savings of more than 40 percent compared with traditional communities.

Award: Project of the Year, Green Project name: The Austonian Location: Austin, Texas Architect: Ziegler Cooper Architects Developer: Benchmark Development Builder: Balfour Beatty Construction Number of units: 166 Unit mix: one- to three-bedrooms plus library; penthouses Prices:  mid-$500,000 to $8 million  

The Austonian is the only high-rise in Texas’ capital to earn a four-star rating from the Austin Energy Green Building Program, which is comparable to a LEED Gold rating. The luxury condo project was designed to consume less energy, provide higher indoor air quality, and reduce automobile use compared with conventional high-rises. The project offers 166 units ranging from 1,225 to 8,320 square feet on 0.67 acres. The 850,000-square-foot, 56-story tower, the tallest residential building in Austin, features floor-to-ceiling windows, 40,000 square feet of interior and exterior amenities, and more than 14,000 square feet of ground and mezzanine retail space. By employing wind-tunnel studies and creating an elliptical building space, the design team reduced the amount of materials needed to create the tower, preserved the view of the Texas State Capitol, and brought daylight to 75 percent or more of each residential unit. An estimated 87 percent of all construction waste was recycled.

Award:  Project of the Year, Green  Project name: Simpson Wisser Neighborhood, Island Palm Communities Location: Schofield Barracks, Hawaii Architect: Town & Home Developer: Island Palm Communities LLC (joint venture between Lend Lease and the U.S. Army) Builder: Lend Lease Number of units: 78 Unit mix: three- and four-bedrooms Rents: $3,319

Island Palm Communities’ Simpson Wisser Neighborhood, which includes 78 homes for soldiers and their families, is part of the $2.57 billion Army Hawaii Military Housing Privatization initiative. It is one of the first projects in the nation to receive LEED for Neighborhood Development certification. All new homes, which average 2,212 square feet, were built to LEED Silver standards. Sustainable initiatives include photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems, Energy Star–rated appliances, energy-efficient home design and materials, and smart meters. Old appliances and furniture were salvaged and donated to nonprofit organizations and charities. Forty-eight large trees were preserved in place, and 16 trees were relocated to the site. The payback periods for the green features range from 13.9 years for the photovoltaic panels to 2.6 years for the water-efficient technology.

Award: Project of the Year, Military Project name: Fort Carson Military Family Housing Privatization Location: Fort Carson, Colo. Architect: Pucciano & English, Inc. Architects Developer: Balfour Beatty Communities Builder: Balfour Beatty Construction Number of units: 404 Unit mix: three- and four-bedroom homes Rents: $1,161 to $2,058

The second phase of the Fort Carson Military Family Housing Privatization project consists of 404 three- and four-bedroom homes located in three villages: Dakota Ridge Village, Iroquois Village, and Ute Hill Village. The homes were developed to provide housing for various ranks of U.S. Army soldiers, including the enlisted, company-grade officers, and senior and general officers. All three villages feature homes designed in the Arts & Crafts style commonly found in Colorado neighborhoods. All homes were designed to take advantage of the area’s natural resources, and each of the new neighborhoods includes ample common space and amenities such as parks and playgrounds for resident children. Walking paths are prevalent throughout the installation to connect to on-post schools.

Award:  Project of the Year, Mixed-Income Project name: Savoy Square at Legends South Location: Chicago Architect: Landon Bone Baker/Brook Architecture Developer: The Michaels Development Co. Builder: Powers and Sons    Number of units: 138 Unit mix: one- to four-bedrooms Rents: $0 to $1,300

Built on 8.6 acres formerly occupied by Robert Taylor Homes, a public housing project, Savoy Square at Legends South is part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s plan to rehab or redevelop 25,000 units. The mixed-income project, which consists of 20 buildings, offers 60 units of replacement public housing, 50 affordable tax-credit units, and 28 unrestricted market-rate units. Designed by Landon Bone Baker/Brook Architecture, the project features masonry with brick façades in a variety of architectural styles that complement the historic Grand Boulevard community. The $45 million project included the reconstruction of historic streets that returned the grid pattern that existed prior to the 1960s construction of Robert Taylor Homes, which created a “super block” that physically cut off its public housing residents from the surrounding community. The project’s capital financing structure included $30 million in low-income housing tax credits and a $10.7 million Hope VI loan.

Award: Project of the Year, Mixed-Income Project name: Columbia Parc at Bayou District Location: New Orleans Architects: Broadmoor Design Group; JHP Architecture/Urban Design; and Krebs, LaSalle, LeMieux Developer: Columbia Residential Builder: BBL Builders Number of units: 466 Unit mix: one-, two-, and three-bedrooms Average rent:  $679

Built on the former site of the St. Bernard public housing project, Columbia Parc at Bayou District includes public housing and workforce housing and is part of the Housing Authority of New Orleans’ efforts to redevelop the Gentilly neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina. Affordability is provided at a mix of housing options and three levels: 60 percent area median income (AMI), market-rate, and public housing, with each level representing a third of the project. Because of the city’s unique architecture, the design team focused especially on redeveloping the site using contextual architectural styles. In keeping with New Urbanist design, all units orient to public streets with covered front porches, stoops, or balconies. Each block provides private access to interior structured parking and courtyard areas. The $72 million project utilized low-income housing tax credits, as well as funds from the Louisiana Redevelopment Authority. Amenities include a theater room, a computer/Internet room, a fitness center, a laundry facility, a demo kitchen for cooking classes, and an interactive water park and pool.

Award: Project of the Year, Best Reuse of Land Project name: The Fitzgerald Location: Baltimore Architect: Design Collective Developer: Bozzuto Development Co. Builder: Bozzuto Construction Co. Number of units: 275 Unit mix: one-, two-, and two-bedrooms plus den  Rents: $1,415 to $2,610

The Fitzgerald, named after famous Baltimore residents F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, serves as the cornerstone of the city’s redevelopment efforts. The 275-unit apartment tower, along with its 1,245-space parking garage, is situated on 4.5 acres that Bozzuto Development Co. ground-leased for 75 years from the University of Baltimore. The brownfield site previously housed a coal yard and a tire facility. The developer obtained approval for a response action plan from the Maryland Department of the Environment to remediate the site and went one step further to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project, which represents a $75 million investment, received a tax abatement of 95 percent over 20 years totaling more than $12 million from the city of Baltimore. It also received $50,000 worth of grants through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Brownfield Revitalization Incentive Program.

Award: Project of the Year, Best Reuse of Land Project name: Sandywoods Farm Location: Tiverton, R.I. Architect: Donald Powers Architects  Developer: Church Community Housing Corp. Builder: Behan Brothers Number of units: 50 Unit mix: one- to three-bedroom units Rents: $685 to $1,141

A local landowner’s vision of creating an affordable housing artists’ colony has come to fruition in Sandywoods Farm. The 175-acre project, located in rural Rhode Island, was designed to combine affordable rental and market-rate for-sale housing with a working farm and produce market, as well as a studio, gallery, and performance space. The environmentally friendly community features 50 affordable rental cottages and a future phase of 24 single-family homes situated on 27 acres, with the remaining 148 acres preserved for agricultural use and permanent open space. The homes draw from Tiverton’s historic New England architectural vernacular yet feature modern building techniques. The design incorporates insulated panels, cellulose insulation, and windows and overhangs designed to help heat and cool the interiors.

Award: Project of the Year, Senior Project name: South Franklin Circle Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio Architect: Gund Partnership Developer: Judson Services Builder: The Albert M. Higley Co. Number of units: 320 Unit mix: two- and three-bedroom townhomes and cottages Prices: $251,000 to $610,000

Situated on 88 acres of varied terrain, South Franklin Circle is a continuing-care retirement community with a variety of senior housing options that allow residents to age in place, including independent-living apartments, assisted-living facilities, townhomes, cottages, and garden duplexes, as well as 30 floor plans. Designed using New Urbanist principles, the project features a village square with an 80,000-square-foot community center that serves as a resident hub. The center offers several restaurants, fitness facilities with an indoor heated swimming pool, distance-learning classrooms, art and woodworking studios, guest suites, a bank, and other retail space. Only 40 percent of the site was developed, so that residents can enjoy 32 acres of woods and wetlands.

Award: Project of the Year, Senior Project name: The Coronet Location: San Francisco Architect: TWM Architects Developer: BRIDGE Housing Corp. Builder: Cahill Contractors Number of units: 150 Unit mix: studios; one- and two-bedrooms Rents: $263 to $811 depending on apartment size and resident income

The Coronet is one of the first projects in the nation to combine affordable seniors housing with an on-site senior health service facility. Nonprofit developer BRIDGE Housing Corp. partnered with the Institute on Aging (IOA), a senior care nonprofit organization, to construct the 150-unit project, which includes 25 units for formerly homeless seniors. The $55 million building received more than 2,500 rental applications and held a lottery to determine the eventual residents. The IOA’s senior services facility includes an adult day health center, an Alzheimer’s care center, a therapeutic rehab and primary care clinic, as well as space for case management, art, and education programs. The project, which required eight years of predevelopment along with two years of construction, received $33.5 million in state and local subsidies.

Award:  Project of the Year, Student   Project name: UCI East Campus Apartments Phase 3 Location: Irvine, Calif. (University of California–Irvine) Architect: KTGY Group  Developer: American Campus Communities   Builder: Morley Builders/Benchmark Contractors Number of units: 720 units; 1,760 beds Unit mix: studios to four-bedrooms   Rents:  $750 to $1,313

Undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California–Irvine now have an opportunity to experience an entirely new type of housing: on-campus townhome-style living. Developed by American Campus Communities, this student housing project sits on an 11-acre infill site. It offers 720 units ranging from 349 square feet to 1,499 square feet with a total of 1,760 beds. The project, which links directly to the campus core via pedestrian/bike trails and a shuttle, features dedicated bicycle parking and a seven-story vehicle parking structure nearby. The entire project was designed to LEED Gold standards, and its innovative design and layout provide daylight views for nearly 100 percent of its regularly occupied areas. The design also promotes a sense of community and encourages student interaction. A LEED Gold clubhouse serves as the focal point of the community and is packed with amenities, including a resort-style pool.

Award:  Community Service Project name: Homes Fit for Heroes Location: Ramsey, N.J. Developer: Raia Properties Corp.

After an executive at Raia Properties Corp. read a book written by wounded Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, whose hometown built him a home, the Ramsey, N.J.–based apartment owner and developer decided to launch Homes Fit for Heroes. The community service project provides free, fully furnished apartments to wounded U.S. Special Operations warriors while they’re undergoing treatment away from their primary residence or base. The company works with the U.S. Special Operations Command Care Coalition and other organizations supporting the soldiers. The program also fills the housing gap for service members who opt to receive treatment that is not approved by military health insurance. There is no limit on length of stay.

Award:  Best Use of Technology    Project name: Use of Technology to Increase Leads-to-Leases and Reduce Cost of Sales Company:  UDR  Location: Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Over the past three years, UDR has pursued a strategy of leveraging existing web-based technology to enhance its prospects’ user experience. The developer designed its new website around this strategy, with multiple embedded technologies intended to work in a cohesive back-end environment. Specific elements include a wall paint customization tool; user-interactive point-of-view walking tour technology; and social media integration with Facebook. The new website also incorporates 3-D photos—the first real estate–related website in the country to do so, according to UDR. The redesigned website contributes to the REIT’s online marketing goals and increases its sales lead stream at a lower acquisition cost. As a result, throughout 2010, UDR increased its organic-search ranking visibility as well as its accessibility from other online referral sources, which contributed to a year-over-year lead stream growth of 18 percent while decreasing the firm’s overall marketing expenses by 17 percent.

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