Rebuilding Character

7 min read

2015’s Most Innovative Historic Rehabilitations Take Home Timmy Awards

“This is getting more and more difficult,” said Josh Anderson, Principal at Cedarbend Consulting, as he and other judges decided on the winners for his father’s namesake awards, the J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

Another judge, Karl Stumpf, RTKL Associates, agreed. “Every year the quality of the projects submitted is higher and higher. This year’s group raised that bar once again.”

This makes it all the more impressive that the nine “Timmy” Award-winners rose to the top in this outstanding group of projects. The developments that took home plaques from the Timmy Awards ceremony in Boston on November 2 were prime examples of quality design, respect for historic elements, market success, innovation, community impact, and sustainability.

The rehabilitated buildings range in size from 15,000 to 215,000 square feet. They were originally built over the course of more than three decades and the costs to rehabilitate them ranged more than $64 million. Despite their differences, every Timmy Award-winner demonstrates the intricacies of historic rehabilitation. They also represent an important industry that is supporting economic revitalization in cities and towns across the country.

“Buildings are the essence of our neighborhoods and communities,” said Stumpf. “They provide the rich urban fabric of our cities. We need to protect and reuse these types of buildings to maintain the character of our communities.”

This year’s Timmy Award-winners certainly met and exceeded this challenge. The awards are hosted annually by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association. For more information on these winners, and the five other finalists, please read “Building More Than Buildings,” in the October 2015 issue of Tax Credit Advisor.

Best Commercial /Retail/ Non-Residential Project Winner
Dillon House (Topeka, KS)
Developer: Pioneer Group, Inc.
Architect: Treanor Architects
Historic Consultant: Spencer Preservation
Year Constructed: 1913
Total Square Footage: 15,215
Total Development Costs: $4,183,525
Tax Credits: Federal Historic Tax Credits; State Historic Tax Credits
Original Purpose: Family home
Current Purpose: Public event space
Timeless Tidbit: Dillon House has been saved by not just one, but two land swaps. In the first, Hiram Price Dillon traded his house (plus cash) to purchase the land where he would eventually build Dillon House. In the second, the State of Kansas exchanged land with First Presbyterian Church to prevent the demolition of Dillon House.

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Small Development Winner
New Center (Detroit, MI)
Developer: Shelborne Development
Architect: EGI, Inc.
Historic Consultant: Kidorf Preservation Consulting
Year Constructed: 1910 and 1923
Total Square Footage: 39,000
Total Development Costs: $8,707,782
Residential Unit Mix:
33 1-bedroom, 8 2-bedroom, 8 3-bedroom
Tax Credits: Federal
Historic Tax Credits;
Federal Low-Income
Housing Tax Credits
Original Purpose:
Multifamily housing
Current Purpose: Affordable multifamily rental housing
Timeless Tidbit: The New Center project not only rehabilitated two buildings, but triggered the extension of a road in the neighborhood that would give law enforcement better access to an area that was plagued by illegal activity and bolstering crime prevention efforts.

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing New Markets Tax Credits Winner
Cristo Rey Columbus High School (Columbus, OH)
Developer: Cristo Rey Columbus
Architect: Schooley Caldwell Associates
Historic Consultant: Benjamin D. Rickey & Co
Year Constructed: 1899
Total Square Footage: 84,000
Total Development Costs: $21,100,000
Tax Credits: Federal and State New Markets Tax Credits; Federal and State Historic Tax Credits
Original Purpose: Ohio State School for the Deaf
Current Purpose: Private Catholic School for disadvantaged students
Timeless Tidbit: The centralized location of this school is integral to the success of its Corporate Work Study Program. The program funds most of the tuition for the students, which is important because many of them come from disadvantaged neighborhoods and low-income families.

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Large Development Winner
El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109 (New York, NY)
Developer: Artspace Projects, Inc.
Architect and Historic Consultant: HHL Architects
Year Constructed: 1898
Total Square Footage: 114,000
Total Development Costs: $53,427,473
Residential Unit Mix: 50 studios, 18 1-bedroom, 22 2-bedroom; mix of 40% AMI and 60% AMI
Tax Credits: Federal and State Historic Tax Credits; Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
Original Purpose: New York City public school building
Current Purpose: Affordable housing for artists
Timeless Tidbit: When Artspace chose to comply with Enterprise Green Communities criteria, it set out to meet the requisite goal of
35 points. Upon certification, PS 109 achieved 76 points – more than double required! The courtyards on the building’s north and south sides provide residents and neighbors with space to gather and enjoy the outdoors.

Best Market-Rate / Mixed-Income Residential Winner
Infinite Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Developer: CA Ventures
Architect: Pappageorge Haymes Partners
Historic Consultant:
MacRostie Historic
Year Constructed:
1910 and 1912
Total Square Footage: 215,200
Total Development Costs: $68,339,819
Residential Unit Mix:
11 studios, 4 1-bedrooms, 56 2-bedrooms, 19 3-bedrooms,
34 4-bedrooms
Tax Credits: Federal Historic Tax Credits
Original Purpose: Retail
Current Purpose: Mixed-use housing and retail
Timeless Tidbit: In order to improve issues with access and flow, the project team needed to build a bridge between the two buildings involved in this rehabilitation. There was no way to fit a crane into the congested space, so the builder created an alternative: The 18-foot column that forms the bridge was pumped into place. The bridge incorporates a rigid tie to one building, a sliding Teflon support pad at the other building, and rests on 19-foot square spread footing.

Judges’ Award Winner: Achievement in Sustainability
Hampton Inn – Chicago Motor Club (Chicago, IL)
Developer: Murphy Asset Management
Architect: Hartshorne Plunkard
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors
Year Constructed: 1928
Total Square Footage: 85,691
Total Development Costs: $39,230,481
Hotel Keys: 143
Tax Credits: Federal Historic Tax Credits
Original Purpose: Chicago Motor Club
Current Purpose: Hotel
Timeless Tidbit: There’s a certain irony in the fact that a building that supported the growth of the car culture was deemed the most environmentally-friendly project of this year’s Timmy applicants. But when you consider the energy efficient cooling and heating system, newly insulated exterior walls, low flow fixtures, and “green” roof that earned it LEED certification, it’s easy to see why.

Judges’ Award Winner:
Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation
DePaul Carriage Factory (Rochester, NY)
Developer: DePaul
Architect: SWBR
Historic Consultant: Preservation Studios
Year Constructed:
1900 (approx.)
Total Square Footage: 72,000
Total Development Costs: $23,654,733
Residential Unit Mix: 29 studios, 38 1-bedrooms, 4 2-bedrooms; all units for residents at or below 60% AMI; 39 units house individuals with special needs
Tax Credits: Federal and State Historic Tax Credits; Federal and State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; Local Historic Tax Incentive
Original Purpose: Horse-drawn carriage factory
Current Purpose: Multifamily affordable rental housing, including for residents with special needs
Timeless Tidbit: The property houses a vulnerable population that requires unique housing needs. Permanent staff from DePaul and other non-profits provide on-site mental health and social services to residents who require it. The staff works with these tenants on setting, and achieving, individual goals that will help then gain independence.

Judges’ Award Winner:
Most Advanced Financial Structure
House of Lebanon (Washington, DC)
Developer: Mission First Housing Group
Architect: Cunningham Quill
Historic Consultant: EHT Traceries
Year Constructed: 1912
Total Square Footage: 98,120
Total Development Costs: $23,334,721
Residential Unit Mix: 16 studios, 54 1-bedrooms, 12 2-bedrooms; mix of 30% AMI, 60% AMI, and market rate units
Tax Credits & Incentives: Federal Historic Tax Credits, Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt Bonds
Original Purpose: Vocational school for African American women
Current Purpose: Mixed-income senior rental housing
Timeless Tidbit:The financing for this project included a ground lease from the District of Columbia with a seller take-back note for building acquisition. This allowed additional tax credit equity to be generated.

Judges’ Award Winner:
Most Innovative Adaptive-Reuse
Voke Lofts (Worcester, MA)
Developer: WinnCompanies
Architect: The Architectural Team
Historic Consultant: Epsilon Associates
Year Constructed: 1909
Total Square Footage: 116,306
Total Development Costs: $22,600,000
Residential Unit Mix: 50 1-bedrooms, 31 2-bedrooms,
3 3-bedrooms; mix of 30% AMI, 60% AMI, and market rate units
Tax Credits & Incentives: Federal and State Historic Tax Credits; Federal and State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; Tax-Exempt Bonds
Original Purpose: Vocational High School (one of the first in the country)
Current Purpose: Mixed-income multifamily rental housing
Timeless Tidbit: Voke Lofts is critical to the revitalization of Worcester, according to the Timmy Award judge and Preservation Massachusetts President James Igoe. Providing a key component to a long-time transformation effort, Voke Lofts incorporates a new area into the downtown by connecting it with the city’s Main Street.

Thom joined National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) in 2004 and currently serves as its as Executive Vice-President and Executive Director. NH&RA is a national trade association and peer-network for affordable housing and tax credit developers and related professionals including: investors, lenders, public agencies and professional advisers. Thom directs the association’s day-to-day operations including legislative and regulatory advocacy, committee activities, conferences and events, publications, financial management and strategic planning. Thom also serves as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Developers Council, a state-wide trade association for affordable housing developers and professionals active in Tennessee. In 2013 he spearheaded the launch of NH&RA's Preservation through Energy Efficiency Project, a major educational initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Thom also serves on the Board of Directors for International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology (iCAST) as well as the Advisory Board for its ResourceSmart program, a turn-key, cost-effective, green rehab provider for multifamily affordable and market-rate housing communities and nonprofit facilities. Thom is a frequent speaker at affordable housing, sustainable development and tax credit industry events and has been published in a variety of industry journals including Tax Credit Advisor, Independent Banker, and the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credit Housing. Thom also serves as the Associate Publisher of Tax Credit Advisor, a monthly magazine for tax credit and affordable housing professionals and is an Executive Vice-President at Dworbell Inc., a boutique association management and communications firm in Washington, DC. Thom was previously employed at a national lobbying firm focusing on financial services and technology issues. Prior to moving to Washington, Thom worked in media relations in the New York State Assembly and as a research assistant for New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Thom graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a double major in Political Science and History.