Six Recognized as Developments of Excellence

ARC Press Release

Atlanta Regional Commission, Livable Communities Coalition Bestow Honor for 13th Year

(ATLANTA – November 4, 2011) The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the Livable Communities Coalition (LCC) recognized five of the region’s most innovative developments and one “Great Place,” with the 2011 Developments of Excellence Awards. The winners, announced at ARC’s annual State of the Region breakfast on Friday, November 4, were:

  • Perkins+Will Atlanta Office, Development of Excellence
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Great Place
  • Fairburn Educational Campus, Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award
  • Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, Leadership in Sustainability
  • Duluth Downtown Phase I, Exceptional Merit for Context-Sensitive Infill
  • The Brickworks, Exceptional Merit for Adaptive Reuse

The Developments of Excellence awards, presented annually by ARC and the LCC, recognize developments in the 10-county Atlanta region that exemplify cutting-edge, livable designs that are helping to create a positive framework for future development. The Great Place, making its debut this year, is given to a place in metro Atlanta that represents livability and sustainability, but is not necessarily a single, private development.

“We are proud to recognize developers, local governments and nonprofit organizations that change the way people and businesses in the Atlanta region interact,” said ARC Chairman Tad Leithead. “These projects and their success show us that metro Atlantans want to create a better region that is sustainable both economically and environmentally for future generations.”


2010 Development of Excellence Award

Perkins+Will Atlanta Headquarters

Looking for new office space, the architecture and design firm decided to stay close to their former Midtown home by renovating a nearby office building. Their location near the Arts Center MARTA station enables some 30 percent of employees to ride transit, carpool, bike or walk to work. The renovation allowed a branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Library to remain in the building and created space for the Museum of Design Atlanta, as well. It also includes many “green” features like captured rainwater being used in all flush fixtures and landscape irrigation and energy-efficient systems that have resulted in 58 percent lower energy costs and a 68 percent reduction in Co2 emissions.


Great Place

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area covers 64 square miles located in parts of DeKalb, Rockdale and Henry counties, including the City of Lithonia. A model for public-private partnership and inter-governmental cooperation, the area contains all types of development from single-family homes to office properties, Stonecrest Mall and schools like the LEED-certified Arabia Mountain High School. The heritage area also boasts the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, Panola Mountain State Park, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and Vaughters’ Farm. The South River flow through it, as do more than 20 miles of interconnected, multi-use trails. With help from local governments, corporations and individuals, the area is overseen by the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance.


Development of Excellence, Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award

City of Fairburn Educational Campus

ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative provides grants to seed new ideas for more livable, walkable communities throughout our region.

Looking to boost economic development in its downtown area, the City of Fairburn and the Fairburn Development Authority decided that investing in education was the answer. With an anchor tenant waiting in the wings, the collaborative used $10 million to finance a ready-built college or technical school campus. Today, satellite campuses of Georgia Military College (GMC) and Brenau University occupy space in classically-designed education buildings. Situated along Highway 29, the campus will eventually consist of four education buildings, an administration building and two commercial buildings to provide needed services to the campus and to downtown Fairburn.


Exceptional Merit for Leadership in Sustainability

Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center

Living up to its mission of “greening Atlanta,” Trees Atlanta rehabilitated an existing industrial building on Chester Avenue and converted it into a platinum LEED-certified headquarters. The public is welcome to visit and/or schedule meetings in the nonprofit’s new office building, which features a green roof, an urban forestry demonstration site, porous landscaping pavers, rainwater collection, geothermal heating and more. While this award focuses on Trees Atlanta’s new headquarters building, it also recognizes that since its inception in 1985, the organization has planted, distributed and cared for more than 100,000 trees and educated an average of 2,000 children and adults annually. After 26 years Marcia Bansley has stepped down as head of Trees Atlanta. This award is also a tribute to her tireless work.


Exceptional Merit for Context-Sensitive Infill

Duluth Downtown Phase 1, Stantec Consultants and Mathias Construction

The Developments of Excellence jury found that Duluth struck a perfect balance between old and new with this downtown project, tying the old part of Main Street to the new city hall and amphitheater, with thoughtful location and design. The two-story, 61,000 square-foot building provides Duluth’s residents with attractive office space and new retail capacity, while minimizing the visibility of the necessary parking by placing it to the side, behind and beneath the new building. Duluth’s downtown is frequently cited as a successful example of ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative program.


Exceptional Merit for Adaptive Reuse

The Brickworks, Midtown West Associates

Located at 1000 Marietta Street, the Brickworks development has helped transform Midtown West into an integrated live-workplay environment. This innovative 144,000 square-foot development is the latest of several rehabilitation projects in the Midtown West District, a 17-acre area created from renovated warehouses, many of which date back to the 1880s and are occupied by more than 44 businesses. The district includes spaces for retail, restaurant, entertainment, showroom, live/work and office/commercial uses. Midtown West paid careful attention to preserving the historic and architectural structures with a focus on the reuse of existing wood and antique brick.

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