2015 Timmy Award Winners Announced

Contact: Lauren Anderson, National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
Phone: (202) 939-1773, E-mail: landerson@housingonline.com

Finalists emerge in competition to recognize the best redevelopments of historic properties

WASHINGTON, DC – November 2, 2015 – Buildings that once served as dilapidated reminders of decay are bringing new life to communities across the country. National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) today announced that nine of these projects rose to the top and won J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Historic Rehabilitation.

The winners were selected from 13 finalists in five permanent categories, as well as four Judges’ Award categories. The ceremony, which was hosted in downtown Boston, is being held in conjunction with NH&RA’s 2015 Fall Developers Forum.

“We take great pride in honoring the top historic rehabilitation projects each year,” said Thom Amdur, Executive Director of NH&RA. “But the reality is that the real winners are the people who live in these communities. Thanks to these projects, they can take greater pride in the place they call home and find more economic opportunity.”

Named for one of the pioneers of adaptive-reuse, the Timmy Awards honor outstanding real estate projects that transform older, historic buildings into housing, hotels, a school and other community resources. All of the projects were made financially feasible by Federal or State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Projects are judged for overall design and quality, interpretation and respect of historic elements, innovative approach to construction and use of building materials, community impact, sustainability and financial and market success.

The awards are selected annually by a multidisciplinary panel of judges with backgrounds in development, consulting, architecture and historic preservation. This year, the judges also selected awardees in four specialty categories:  Best Mill or Factory Rehabilitation, Achievement in Sustainability, Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse, and the David Reznick Award for Most Advanced Financial Structure. This is the first year the last of these awards is presented in memory of David Reznick, one of the founders of the accounting firm CohnReznick.

“As one of the great thought leaders in affordable housing, David Reznick was very insightful on how to structure deals doing more with less,” said Peter Bell, President and CEO of NH&RA. “He engineered innovative financial structures with the ultimate goal of maximizing benefits to owners, residents and communities. We renamed this award as a way to honor his legacy each year.”

NH&RA created the “Timmy Awards” in 2005 in memory of Boston architect and preservation advocate J. Timothy Anderson. A singular figure in the historic rehabilitation business, his legacy includes numerous Boston area projects and a seminal study that helped preserve Miami’s South Beach Art Deco District. The 2015 Timmy Awards are co-sponsored by the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

2015 Winner & Finalists

Best Commercial /Retail/ Non-Residential Project Winner

Dillon House (Topeka, KS)

In 1910, Hiram Price Dillon traded his house, plus cash, to purchase land at the corner of Harrison and 9th Streets in Topeka, KS, and built a home where he and his wife could entertain. Enduring threats of demolition and changes in ownership over the century that followed, parties at Dillon House continue today thanks to a $5.5 million rehabilitation that returned the space to its historic glory. After securing ownership in 2013, Pioneer Group, Inc. leveraged $1.6 million in federal and state Historic Tax Credit equity, a property tax rebate through the county’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program, and other financing sources to create a space to house its offices on the upper floors and an event place on the first floor. The design team wove modern amenities into the historic features of the space, which is adjacent to the Kansas State Capitol. Since opening to the public on March 7, Dillon House has already hosted more than 3,000 guests. Historic Consultant: Spencer Preservation, Architect: Treanor Architects

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Small Development Winner

New Center (Detroit, MI)

Like many parts of Detroit, the New Center Historic District lost its affluent residents to the suburbs throughout the end of the 20th century, and became a high-crime area that many were hesitant to invest in. Kathy Makino-Leipsitz, co-owner of Shelborne Development, began purchasing buildings in the area with the vision of restoring this once-cosmopolitan neighborhood. Shelborne rehabilitated buildings on Seward Street and Delaware Street with the modern renter in mind, including high-end amenities that would transform the neighborhood into a desirable one. All 49 units are designated for families making between 30% and 60% of the area’s median income, including five project-based voucher units. The $8.7 million project was funded through federal Historic and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, as well as City of Detroit Neighborhood Stabilization funds and a deferred developer fee. Architect: EGI, Inc., Historic Consultant: Kidorf Preservation Consulting

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing New Markets Tax Credits Winner

Cristo Rey Columbus High School (Columbus, OH)

When Cristo Rey bought the former Ohio State School for the Deaf in downtown Columbus, the project was faced with years of deterioration and low-quality renovations that had obscured the property’s historic character. Cristo Rey not only sought to reverse the effects of renovations, but align the historic features they revived with the needs of a 21st century school. In addition to funding provided by the Diocese of Columbus, equity from both Historic and New Markets Tax Credits financed the $18 million renovation. The school’s students and staff can now enjoy the building’s refurbished, original hardwood floors and gymnasium. The building’s third floor features a new chapel and chemistry laboratory. Cristo Rey Columbus High School supports the larger Special Improvement District of which it is a part, and provides students with a state-of-the-art school and close proximity to the work-study jobs that help fund their tuition. Historic Consultant: Benjamin D. Rickey & Co, Architect: Schooley Caldwell Associates

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Large Development Winner

El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109 (New York, NY)

Twenty years ago, Public School No. 109 was set to be dismantled and demolished. The New York City neighborhood, known as both “Spanish Harlem” and “El Barrio,” sprang into action, launching a campaign to earn the century-old public school building a place on the National Register of Historic Places. After it continued to sit empty, subject to years of vandalism and decay, Artspace Projects, Inc. and El Barrio Operation Fightback teamed up to transform the building into a space where arts could thrive. The $53 million project created 89 affordable homes for local artists and 14,000 square feet of community space. In addition to preserving the property’s historic character, the development meets (and exceeds) Enterprise Green Communities standards. El Barrio Artspace PS 109 received 53,000 applications for 89 units. Architect and Historic Consultant: HHL Architects

Best Market-Rate / Mixed-Income Residential Winner

Infinite Chicago (Chicago, IL)

The Steger Building and Gibbons Building on historic Music Row were once the tallest buildings in Chicago. Now they, along with Pickwick Stables between them, offer 124 units of market rate housing and retail to the revitalizing neighborhood. Developer CA Ventures and architect, Pappageorge Haymes Partners, rehabilitated the terra cotta and brick clad steel frame buildings, which were once known for displaying the most expensive retail frontage in the city. The team resolved access and exit issues by creating bridges between the Steger and Gibbons Buildings on the upper floors. They also decided to use an offsite district cooling utility, creating space for an outdoor terrace that maintains the property’s historic roofline. Financing for the $68 million project includes equity from federal Historic Tax Credits. The property boasts a 95% occupancy rate and has contributed to the rebirth of the city’s downtown district. Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors

Judges’ Award Winner: Achievement in Sustainability

Hampton Inn – Chicago Motor Club (Chicago, IL)

Throughout the early and mid-20th century, Chicagoans gathered in front of a 33-foot mural of the United States in the lobby of 68 E. Wacker Street to discuss the best routes to get away from the city. Today, most of us hold a digital concierge in the palm of our hands, but the map still lords over the lobby of that building, which is now itself a destination for out-of-towners. Developer Murphy Asset Management rehabilitated the old Chicago Motor Club into a Hampton Inn, blending relics of the past with a modern focus on sustainability that earned it a LEED certification. Murphy Asset Management leveraged a property tax incentive offered by Cook County that will result in reduced property taxes over 12 years, as well as federal Historic Tax Credits, to finance the $39 million project. Architect: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors

Judges’ Award Winner: Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation

DePaul Carriage Factory (Rochester, NY)

The Cunningham Carriage Factory spent the early 20th century moving people around, from carriages to ambulances to airplanes. Today, it provides 71 homes in Rochester, New York. Working with the New York Office of Mental Health, DePaul ensured 39 of these homes are uniquely designed for those with special needs, while the other 32 units are designed for individuals and families who earn less than 50% of the area median income. Financing for this $23 million project included federal and state Historic Tax Credits, a local historic tax incentive, federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, New York State Housing Trust Funds, an award from the Finger Lakes Economic Development Council, a $600,000 loan from the city’s HOME program, and a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement. Residents with special needs receive ongoing support from DePaul Community Services, Inc. DePaul Carriage Factory leased out within 30 days of opening. Architect: SWBR Architects, Historic Consultant: Preservation Studios

Judges’ Award Winner: Most Advanced Financial Structure

House of Lebanon (Washington, DC)

Once a vocational school for African America women, the Margaret Murray Washington School in Washington, DC, spent nearly a century teaching skills, like sewing, cooking, and nursing. After it closed in 2008, community leaders sought to transform the property into homes for local seniors who no longer wanted to be single-family homeowners, but did not want to leave the neighborhood.

Mission First Housing Group developed 82 housing units and created access to a wide range of services for residents, including health screenings and basic checkups, transportation, and social services. More than 20 residents attend classes each day that focus on wellness, exercise, and recreational activities. The mixed-income property offers 17 units for those making 30% of area median income, 61 units for those making 60%, and four market rate units. Mission First Housing Group financed the $23 million project using federal Historic Tax Credits, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds, and tax-exempt bonds. Architect: Cunningham Quill , Historic Consultant: EHT Traceries

Judges’ Award Winner Most Innovative Adaptive-Reuse

Voke Lofts (Worcester, MA)

Built in 1909, Worcester Vocational High School, or “The Voke,” was one of the first vocational institutions in the country. The three-story, red brick, Classical Revival style building earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The school closed in 2006 and the building, which included three additions, became available for redevelopment. Though the space presented a number of design and construction challenges, WinnCompanies adapted it into 84 homes for Worcester, MA, residents of multiple income levels. The $34 million project leveraged federal and state Historic Tax Credits, federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and tax-exempt bonds. Voke Lofts is 100% occupied, and serves as part of the city’s major revitalization efforts. Architect: The Architectural Team , Historic Consultant: Epsilon Associates

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About National Housing & Rehabilitation Association

NH&RA is a professional association of companies and individuals who are involved in affordable housing, historic rehabilitation and New Markets Tax Credit development. Designed to foster relationships, NH&RA’s meetings are renowned for the combination of cutting-edge information and opportunities to network and collaborate. Members meet quarterly for serious discussions of significant issues affecting the tax credit and affordable housing industry. The J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation are presented annually at NH&RA’s Fall Developers Forum.