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Chicago Neighborhood Development Award Winners Announced

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Last night, the grand Conrad Ballroom at the Conrad Chicago Hilton played host to hundreds of planners, developers, architects and government officials paying tribute to the city's best neighborhood developments. The 21st annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Award, organized by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, turned the spotlight on important work being done outside of downtown, while celebrating projects and organizations for initiating innovative improvements. As Depuy Mayor Steven Koch said during his brief keynote address, these were the "Oscars of community development."


The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year Award: Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives for the Pullman Revitalization Strategy
With the President scheduled to be in town tomorrow to discuss Pullman's status as the latest national monument, it's been a good year for this neighborhood. Much of that has been due to the unified vision of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, an organization that has brought big-name projects, including the forthcoming Method Homes factory and a Super Walmart, to the far South Side.


The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award Winner: Skilken and Troy Enterprises for The SHOPS and LOFTS at 47
Celebrated for its decade-long fight to break ground on this mixed-use Bronzeville development, Skilken and Troy helped plant the seed for a wider, strategic redevelopment of Cottage Grove Avenue.


The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award Winner: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation for 1704 N. Humboldt Building
This top-to-bottom rehab of a canary-yellow courtyard apartment building at Wabansia Avenue and Humboldt Boulevard not only locked in affordable housing in a developing neighborhood, but worked with community groups and local construction companies to being even more value to Humboldt Park.


The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award Winner: Thresholds for Fred and Pamela Buffett Place
This slick conversion of an SRO hotel into a colorful rehab center by Thresholds/Brinshore and Landon Bone Baker Architects included an interior courtyard that acts as a shared living room and a green rooftop and gathering space. The project also won the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (1st Place).


Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (2nd Place): Weese Langley Weese Architects Ltd for Grove Apartments
A stunning adaptive reuse, this project transformed a Motor Row car dealership designed by Albert Kahn into a supportive housing that blended in with the neighborhood.


Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (3rd Place): Wrap Architecture for Bronzeville Artists Lofts
A old, dilapidated Borden's dairy was so far gone it contained a substance the architect's jokingly refered to as "urban mulch." A smart rehab turned the broken-down building into an expo space with 16 life-work lofts.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, awards were also given to celebrat exemplary leadership and community organizing. Sarah Ward earned a PrivateBank Norman Bobins Leadership Award for her work at the South Chicago Art Center, Earnest Gates was honored with the Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award for his leadership of the West Side Community Development Corporation, and the VOYCE Project in Albany Park was recognized with the Woods Fund for Chicago Power of Community Award for helping stem the drop-out rate by investigating student suspensions and dismissals.