The Curbed Awards continue today with selections for architect and developer of the year. The Curbed crowd is of course encouraged to voice opinions in the comments below. Here goes!
Architect— This is a tough and always arbitrary award to hand out, but the firm Curbed believes thrived the most at the intersection of production and aesthetics is bKL Architecture. 2013 saw a major completion from bKL in Coast Tower, and the commencement of work on two other large projects in GEMS Academy and the first Wolf Point residential tower. All are first class designs. Phase two of GEMS Academy will soon break ground and a 45-story apartment proposal by John Buck for Michigan & Lake has bKL signed on.
Developer— This prize has clearer metrics, and for that we're grateful. The developer of the year, based on quantifiable success in the local market, has to be Related Midwest. As a subsidiary of NYC-based Related Cos, the developer galloped into the Chicago scene a few years ago with tons of capitalization and proceeded to buy 500 unsold condos at the former Central Station development, build a luxury apartment tower in 500 Lake Shore Drive, direct redevelopment efforts at Lathrop Homes and Roosevelt Square, and resurrect the half-finished Waterview Tower as 111 West Wacker— now nearing completion. Oh, and they now control the very valuable ex-Spire site.