Twelve developments from across North America have been selected as winners of the 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence. The winners include 10 from the United States and two from Canada. ULI began the Awards for Excellence program in 1979 to recognize truly superior development efforts in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Winning projects represent the highest standards of achievement in the land use profession. The winners of the ULI Americas Awards for Excellence become finalists for the 2021 ULI Global Awards for Excellence, competing against projects from Europe and Asia. ULI will announce the winners of the global awards ahead of the 2021 ULI Fall Meeting in October.
This year, 72 projects and programs from across the Americas region were submitted for the competition. From this impressive field, the jury selected 23 finalists and, after speaking with the teams behind these projects and visiting as many as possible, chose the 12 winners. The public can view the winners, finalists, and submissions at the 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence gallery. More information about the winning projects is also available in a video, presented by members of the jury.
The 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence winners are:
- Alexandra Park Revitalization, Toronto, Ontario. Developers/owners: Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Tridel. Designers: Urban Strategies, LGA Architectural Partners, Teeple Architects, Janet Rosenberg Studio.
- Casa Arabella, Oakland, California. Developers: East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, The Unity Council, City of Oakland, Tableau Development, CTY. Owners: East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, The Unity Council, City of Oakland, S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. Designers: Pyatok Architecture, Branagh Construction, PGAdesign, IDA Structural Engineers, Cordoba Corporation, VST Engineering, Emerald City Engineers, Dilworth Eliot Studio, RGD Acoustics, Langan, Argus, Sunshine Design, Rockridge Geotechnical, Bright Green Strategies, RBA Creative, Davis Energy Group.
- Dairy Block, Denver, Colorado. Developers/owners: McWHINNEY, Grand American, Sage Hospitality. Designers: Crème Design, Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects, Johnson Nathan Strohe.
- EastPoint, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Developer: Pivot Project Development. Owners: Jonathan Dodson, David Wanzer, Ben Sellers, Sandino Thompson, Jabee Williams, Dr. Jeff Watts, Michael Davis, Garner Watson, Jamila Harvey, Dr. Patrina Sattiewhite-Walter, Dr. Quintin Hughes, Chaya Fletcher, Crystal Buggs, Steven Harris, Brittani Hunter, Jeff Engle, Brandon Birdwell, Levi Ballard, Emmanuel Sosanya, Cordell Love, Greg Johnson, Courtney Strickland, Kenyetta Richard, Steve Mason. Designers: Miles and Associates, Gardner Architects.
- Governors Island, New York City. Developers: Trust for Governors Island, New York City Mayor’s Office. Owner: Trust for Governors Island. Designers: West 8, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, AKRF, Hart Crowser, Pentagram, Tillotson Design Associates, Dagher Associates, Pine and Swallow Environmental, Northern Designs, Code Consulting, Faithful & Gould, ETM Associates, Langan.
- The Gravity Project, Columbus, Ohio. Developer: Kaufman Development. Owner: The Gravity Project. Designers: NBBJ, ICRAVE, Architecture Alliance.
- Grosvenor Ambleside, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Developer: Grosvenor Americas. Owners: Grosvenor Americas (retail), Strata Corporation (residential). Designers: James KM Cheng Architects, Mitchell Freedland Interior Design, SWA Group, Durante Kreuk Landscape Architecture. General contractor: Ledcor Group.
- New Hope Housing and Star of Hope’s Cornerstone Community, Houston, Texas. Developers/owners: New Hope Housing, Star of Hope Mission. Designers: GSMA, Kirksey Architecture.
- Plant Riverside District, Savannah, Georgia. Developers/owners: Plant Riverside District, The Kessler Collection. Designers: Sottile & Sottile, John T. Campo & Associates, PFVS Architecture, Thomas + Hutton Engineering.
- Promenade Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Developer/owner: Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. Designers/consultants: The Hagerman Group, Design Collaborative, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Engineering Resources, Hoch Associates, One Lucky Guitar, American Structurepoint.
- Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington. Developer/owner: City of Spokane Parks and Recreation. Designers: Berger Partnership, NAC Architecture, Jacobs, Dark Light Design, Land Expressions, Garco Construction, Hill International, Walker Construction, DH, GuildWorks, Stantec Engineers, Bernardo Wills, SPVV.
- Sawyer Yards, Houston, Texas. Developers: The Deal Company, Western General, Lovett Commercial. Owners: The Deal Company, Western General, Lovett Commercial, J5 Equities. Designers: Studio Red Architects, Asakura Robinson, StudioLFA, LH2 Architecture, Colby Design.
The awards are open to projects and programs in the ULI Americas region that are substantially complete, financially viable, and in stabilized operation. The program evaluates submissions on overall excellence, including achievements in marketplace acceptance, design, planning, technology, amenities, economic impact, management, community engagement, innovation, and sustainability, among others. In addition to an open category, which recognizes all product types, the awards this year offered recognition in the categories Equitable Development, Resilient Development, Small-Scale Development, and Urban Open Space.
The following winning projects received recognition in these categories:
- Equitable Development—Alexandra Park Revitalization, Casa Arabella, and EastPoint
- Resilient Development—Governors Island
- Small-Scale Development (under 100,000 square feet)—EastPoint
- Urban Open Space—Governors Island, Promenade Park, and Riverfront Park.
The winners were selected by a multidisciplinary jury of 12 ULI members representing a range of real estate and land use expertise, including development, finance, planning, urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture.
“Each of the finalists demonstrated a level of excellence and best practices in the competition criteria,” said jury chair Alex J. Rose, senior vice president, development, at Continental Development Corporation in El Segundo, California. “In addition to superior levels of achievement relative to the foregoing, the winners each exhibited a higher level of excellence in their community enhancement, uniqueness, innovation, and replicability—the characteristics that enable developers and communities to learn from one another and transport and adapt such excellence to their respective, unique circumstances.”
The list of winners is also a recognition of professional achievement against a constantly evolving need for land use professionals to address today’s global challenges such as the pandemic; economic disruption and disparities; urban resilience to the impacts of climate change; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and fuller community listening and engagement. By shining a spotlight on these exemplary projects, ULI and its members not only recognize “excellence above and beyond,” but also continually raise the bar for what constitutes execution of the ULI mission.
In addition to Rose, the 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence jury members are Janice Barnes, managing partner, Climate Adaptation Partners, New York City; David Crabtree, corporate, commercial, and civic practice leader, Perkins&Will, Charlotte; Doug Craig, vice president, RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture, Phoenix; Marilynn A. Davis, chief real estate officer, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta; Rosemary Feenan, executive vice president, QuadReal, Vancouver, British Columbia; Jane Jenkins, president and chief executive officer, Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership, Oklahoma City; Leroy Moore, senior vice president, chief operating officer, Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa; Paul Morris, chief executive officer, MCP Foundation., Atlanta; Benedict Tranel, principal, Gensler, San Francisco; JD Watumull, president, Watumull Properties Corporation, Honolulu; and Xiao Zheng, principal, SWA Group, Laguna Beach, California.