ARC Names 2010 Developments of Excellence

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the Livable Communities Coalition (LCC) recognized five of the region’s most innovative developments with the 2010 Developments of Excellence Awards. The winners, announced at ARC’s annual State of the Region Breakfast on Friday, November 5, were:

  • White Provision, Development of Excellence
  • Mechanicsville, Exceptional Merit for Comprehensive Community Revitalization and Design
  • Southface Eco Office, Exceptional Merit for Leadership in Sustainability
  • City of Hapeville, Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award
  • Kirkwood Station, Exceptional Merit for Neighborhood-Sensitive Infill

The awards, presented annually by ARC and the LCC, recognize developments in the 10-county Atlanta region that exemplify cutting-edge, livable designs. 

 2010 Development of Excellence Award

White Provision by the White Provision Development Co. 

Nestled between Georgia Tech and Atlantic Station, this former meat packing plant, built in 1910, has been transformed into a self-contained community with creative connectivity to all the amenities around it. 

This innovative project included the removal of roughly one-fourth of the existing 220,000 square-foot building to allow an  extension of 14th Street onto the site. The remaining 170,000 square feet were renovated for retail and office use. In addition to the historic building, a new 94-unit condominium building with ground floor retail and parking deck was constructed.

By extending 14th Street, White Provision Development Company not only enhanced connectivity to the site and surrounding area, but also poised the project to connect to future developments in the surrounding area. A pedestrian bridge was also constructed over active rail lines to connect to a nearby retail center and add the finishing touch to this innovative reuse of an historic property.

Exceptional Merit for Comprehensive Community Revitalization and Design

Mechanicsville, Redevelopment Team — Columbia Residential, Atlanta Housing Authority, RHA, SUMMECH

Named for the railroad mechanics living there in the late 1800s, Mechanicsville is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta. The site is a former public housing project, bounded by I-20 on the north, the Downtown Connector on the east and railway lines on the south and west.  

Columbia Residential’s new Mechanicsville development features 813 residential units, all offered at below market rates, on 22 acres.  Columbia Residential and the Atlanta Housing Authority assembled a redevelopment team of RHA, SUMMECH, and JHP Architecture and Urban Design. The team worked closely with the City of Atlanta to transform and connect to an adjacent park. The team also worked with Atlanta Public Schools to update the local elementary school, which now offers a year-round Early Learning Center for pre-schoolers.

And with the addition of new cross-streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting, this area is now a safer, more walkable and pedestrian-friendly community. 

All units meet Energy Star requirements and the community contracts with a social service provider to offer its residents training in personal finance, family, employment and other life skills.

Exceptional Merit for Leadership in Sustainability

Southface Eco Office

To walk the walk of its mission, Southface designed and constructed a three-story Eco Office that serves as additional office space and as a training and demonstration facility.

Located adjacent to Southface Resource Center and the Atlanta Civic Center, the 10,100 square-foot building is comparable in size to many other commercial buildings. However, it uses 84 percent less water and more than 50 percent less energy — making it one of the most efficient office buildings in the world.

The Eco Office is open for tours to the general public and to professionals interested in duplicating its design and performance results.
2010 Development of Excellence Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award

City of Hapeville 

ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative provides grants to seed new ideas for more livable, walkable communities throughout our region. More than 100 communities have completed LCI studies that aim to transform our region. The LCI Achievement award is presented to a development that advances the goals of the LCI program and helps to implement the community’s LCI plan.

In 2000, Virginia Park was a declining, single-family neighborhood full of post-World War II houses and overgrown vacant lots. Beyond Delta Airline’s corporate campus, the Virginia Avenue corridor and in fact, all of Hapeville was economically depressed and showed few notable signs of investment. 

Ten years later, the success of the Virginia Park Livable Centers Initiative is overwhelming. New craftsman-style homes have brought young professionals into the neighborhood, spurring the rehabilitation of many existing homes and the launch of new businesses.  Together, the Virginia Park Neighborhood Association, the City of Hapeville, Delta Airlines and local developers gave the neighborhood new life. In all, 34 new infill homes were constructed and countless others were remodeled.

In 2005, building on the success in Virginia Park, the City of Hapeville applied for and received the Hapeville Town Center LCI grant to plan for the transformation of its downtown into a thriving town center. By rezoning roughly two-thirds of the city for higher densities and ensuring quality development through a series of design standards, the city welcomed the development of new townhomes, condos and the first new multifamily housing project in more than 30 years.  

Exceptional Merit for Neighborhood-Sensitive Infill

Kirkwood Station, The Plinth Group

At one time, Kirkwood was a bustling community that provided street car service to downtown Atlanta three times a day. Over time, it lost its sense of community and fell on hard times.

When the Plinth Group acquired its 1.5 acres, it consisted of four dilapidated commercial structures and two run-down residences.  But, today the bustling Kirkwood Station development includes seven shops, a restaurant, 23 residential units and 63 parking spaces. It has two bus stops and is one mile from the East Lake MARTA station. Within walking distance are a library, police station, two schools, a YMCA, a golf course and retail opportunities.

Most importantly, however, the Plinth Group, the architectural firm of Niles Bolton & Associates and the residents of the Kirkwood area have used this development as a catalyst to restore the Kirkwood neighborhood into a vibrant community once again.

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