HOUSTON – The 46-story BG Group Place, The Woodlands master-planned community and the redeveloped Fire Station No. 6 on Washington Ave. were among the winners in 2014 Development of Distinction Awards presented by The Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
BG Group Place was developed by Hines and is owned by Invesco. With its grand design, technological and sustainable innovations and its far-reaching vision, BG Group Place, located in the Central Business District, provides an image of strength and environmental responsibility to an area of the city that was primed for redevelopment. The Houston Chronicle called this site the “most blighted block in all of downtown” in 2007. However, the positive impact of this Hines development has radiated out and impacted the surrounding neighborhood, which includes several historic, important Houston assets now undergoing renovation. The design team included Pickard Chilton and Kendall Heaton Associates (architects), Harvey Builders (general contractor).
Historic Fire Station No. 6 was developed and is owned by 1702 Washington Avenue, LTD. On Washington Avenue’s east end, this fire station, which was originally established in 1903, was successfully repurposed from an historic but dilapidated structure into an adaptive new use, as offices of creative design firm Axiom. The National Trust of Historic Preservation in Washington D.C. noted, “Today, Fire Station 6 in Houston is a beacon for historic adaption done right.” Houston Archaeological and Historic Commission (HAHC) noted, “By capturing the spirit and character of historic Fire Station 6, while creating a 21st century purpose for the landmark, this great building will survive.” This privately-funded historic preservation not only saved the built environment, but also preserves our community heritage for future generations. The design team included Carlin/White Associates (architects), 12-15 Corporation (general contractor), Chaffin Associates (civil engineers), Wylie Consulting Engineers (structural engineer) and LANDology (landscape architects).
The Vision Award for Exemplary Leadership was awarded to The Woodlands Development Company for The Woodlands Master Plan. The Woodlands, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Howard Hughes Corporation, is a 28,000-acre development located 27 miles north of Houston. It ranks among the top –selling master-planned communities in the U.S. Opened in 1974 by visionary George Mitchell, The Woodlands from its inception was built as a “new town,” using successful models of the nation’s then few large master-planned communities as a foundation. The Woodlands went beyond the mortar of live-work-play fundamentals to add environmental preservation and social consciousness to the mix, considerations that color every aspect of development as evidenced by the forests that line major thoroughfares shielding homes and businesses. Home to 105,000 people, The Woodlands has strived to create jobs in the area and currently has a workforce of 51,940 and is the primary economic generator for Montgomery County. Furthermore, The Woodlands is a regional entertainment destination, with The Woodlands Waterway District, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands Resort and abundant shopping and dining opportunities.
The winner in the Non-Profit Category was James Berry Elementary School, which was developed and is owned by the Houston Independent School District.
The winner in the People’s Choice Category, and finalist in the Non-Profit Category, was Friends For Life – The Don Sanders Adoption Center, developed and owned by Friends for Life. Friends For Life is the only LEED certified animal shelter in Houston and one of only a handful of such shelters in the country.
ULI also honored these 2014 finalists and honorable mentions:
In the For-Profit category – BBVA Compass Stadium, developed by AEG / ICON Venue / City of Houston / Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, and owned by Harris County – Houston Sports Authority.
In the Non-Profit category – Friends for Life – The Don Sanders Adoption Center, developed and owned by Friends for Life.
Honorable mention – Casa de Esperanza, developed by David Weekley Homes and owned by Casa de Esperanza. Honorable mention – Dress for Success Houston, developed and owned by Dress for Success Houston.