Written by Erica Stewart, Public Affairs Manager
Old Naval Hospital, Washington, DC.
Each year the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) celebrates exceptional preservation real estate projects with its J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation (or, more casually, the Timmy Awards). Awards are based on overall design and quality; interpretation and respect of historic elements; innovative approach to construction and use of building materials; impact on the community; sustainability; and financial and market success of the project.
This year’s winners take the practice of historic rehabilitation and community revitalization to new heights, featuring exemplary work to restore the past while breathing new life into communities. From a 1920s apartment hotel in Kansas City renovated for affordable senior housing, to unique residential units in a mid-century Quonset hut in a small Virginia town, these projects are sure to motivate and inspire preservationists nationwide.
These are exactly the type of projects we at the National Trust had in mind when we joined state, local and national partners in a multi-year campaign to protect and enhance the federal historic tax credit -- which helped make all of these projects possible. As we close in on the first year of our Prosperity through Preservation campaign, the need to promote the credit is even more imperative.
As you learn about these remarkable transformations, please consider contacting your members of Congress with a request they support the historic tax credit during the tax reform debate expected for 2013. We have sample messages to Senators and Representatives that you may customize.
Best Commercial/Retail/Non-Residential Project: Old Naval Hospital, Washington, DC
The Old Naval Hospital, built in1864 to serve area seamen who fought in the Civil War, is now The Hill Center, a civic hub that offers skills workshops and events for children and adults.
Best Historic Rehab Using LIHTCs (Low-Income Housing Tax Credits) -- Small/Up to $5 MM development cost: Thomas Edison Apartments, Covington, KY
This 1938 Art Deco building served as a public elementary school for 71 years. After being decommissioned and abandoned in 2009, the site was redeveloped to provide safe and affordable housing, spurring several other reinvestment projects in the neighborhood.
Bijou Square, Bridgeport, CT.
Best Historic Rehab Involving New Construction: Bijou Square, Bridgeport, CT
After 86 years of operation, Bridgeport’s Bijou Theatre went dark in 1996. Following a two-phase redevelopment, Bijou Square now features first-floor theater space, an architectural studio adapted from the former ballroom, and retail and office space in a historic building next door. The second phase included a new building with first-floor retail and 84 affordably priced apartments.
Best Market-Rate or Mixed-Income Residential: Beckstoffer’s Mill Loft Apartments, Richmond, VA
This former lumber mill once provided custom woodwork to clients such as Colonial Williamsburg and the Governor’s Mansion. Today it has been transformed into high-quality, affordable apartments, providing a needed boost to the revitalization of the Church Hill neighborhood.
Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse: Martinsville Lofts, Martinsville, VA
The Martinsville Novelty Corporation Factory was built in 1929 to house a small manufacturer of small “novelty” pieces of furniture. Its rehabilitation created affordable housing from a diverse collection of buildings, including a factory building with kilns and a Quonset hut dating from the 1940s.
Chatham Senior Apartments, Kansas City, MO.
Best Historic Rehab Using LIHTCs -- Medium/$5-$15 MM development cost: Chatham Senior Apartments, Kansas City, MO
The Chatham Hotel, constructed in the 1920s, had become a notorious den for drug use by the 1970s. The developers restored the building’s original Georgian Revival features while integrating green technology to create 40 apartments for seniors ages 55 and older.
Best Historic Rehab Using LIHTCs -- Large/Over $15 MM development cost: Blue Plate Artist Lofts, New Orleans, LA
Originally a mayonnaise factory, the 1941 Art Moderne Blue Plate building was vacated following Hurricane Katrina, leaving it vulnerable to demolition. The plant now features 72 stylish loft apartments, studio/gallery space for art exhibits, a music rehearsal room, and other amenities.
Best Historic Rehab Using New Markets Tax Credits: Mayo 420 Building, Tulsa, OK
The 10-story Art Deco building had been mostly vacant for more than a decade by 2005, when its conversion into 67 market-rate loft apartments began. It now provides retail, offices, and a YMCA that serves disadvantaged kids.
Minvilla Manor, Knoxville, TN.
Achievement in Sustainability -- Judges Award: Oliver Lofts, Boston, MA
Two connected mill buildings from Boston’s brewing and manufacturing past were converted into a mixed-income rental community that created 62 apartments, some of which are reserved for formerly homeless families and for artists. The project was awarded LEED Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Most Innovative Finance -- Judges Award: Minvilla Manor, Knoxville, TN
Using creative financing such as historic and low-income tax credits, the Volunteer Ministry Center rehabilitated Minvilla Manor into a 57-unit permanent supportive housing development with offices and community space, spurring revitalization in the surrounding community.