2012 Best Development Awards Recipients

New Residential: Flood Recovery Infill

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize the City of Cedar Rapids and Skogman Homes for the Flood Recovery Infill project in Cedar Rapids, IA with our 2012 Best Development New Residential Award! The Flood Recovery Infill project takes a page right out of the Smart Planning Principles and puts it into practice. It does a great job of creating infill with new housing that fits the existing turn of the century neighborhood fabric. What is striking about this project is the wonderful job the developer did of maintaining front porch and alley accessed rear garages. By taking advantage of compact building design, the project provided a much needed answer to affordable housing.  It directed its product towards the existing community while providing a distinctive, attractive neighborhood with a strong sense of place. In addition, it reinforced walkablity and made development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective.

Renovated Residential: Riverpoint Lofts

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize Hubbell Realty Company for the Riverpoint Lofts project in Des Moines, IA with our 2012 Best Development Renovated Residential Award! As one of the first to projects to revitalize the neighborhood south of MLK Parkway, the Riverpoint Lofts has incorporated many Smart Planning principles.  Its location reinforces a walkable neighborhood, while the many green features make this a sustainable place to live.  The common kitchen, eating and lounge areas establish a strong sense of community.  The splendid adaptive reuse of a vacant building provides tenants with choices including moderate income housing and a great sense of identity.  The developer recognized a new emerging affordable housing population of young working adults, and created this distinctive community tailored to their needs.  The Riverpoint Lofts integrates housing within walking distance of not only downtown employment, but entertainment districts, the Civic Center, the Iowa Cubs, governmental offices, downtown learning, as well as the brand new DART bus transfer station.  This new station provides Riverpoint residents transportation opportunities to all of Greater Des Moines.

Renovated Commercial/Civic: The IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center for the Orpheum Theater Renovation in Marshalltown, IA with our 2012 Best Development Renovated Commercial/Civic Award! The completion of the IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center is a big deal for Marshalltown and a great boost for the east side of downtown. Started by grassroots effort that took eleven years to complete, this restoration and renovation project is a great community and cultural center that maximized community and stakeholder collaboration.  By also employing other smart planning principles, this Art Modern building provides mixed uses such as learning studios, a 152-seat movie house, a black box theater and a coffee shop.  The Orpheum Academy of Children’s Theater provides Saturday programming in the arts for kindergarten through sixth-grade students.  Affordable fees and local grants keep class cost low to open up the theater experience of all incomes, another Smart Planning principle.  In addition, by creating a great sense of place, it strengthens the downtown by encouraging day and night visits by townspeople and visitors.

New Commercial/Civic: Historic Millwork District Complete Streets

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize the City of Dubuque for the Historic Millwork Complete Streets project in Dubuque, IA with our 2012 Best Development New Commercial/Civic Award! The Historic Millwork Complete Streets Project proves that an award winning project does not necessarily need a structure to be representative of strong smart planning principles.  From the shared bike lanes (Sharrows), to reuse of historic pavers and train track, to the use of locally produced streetscape amenities by metalworkers and artists, the complete street improvement provides a foundation for sustainable development to grow and flourish. In addition to the conscientious reuse of crushed concrete under the streets, it provided permeable pavers, LED street lights and widened sidewalks. Its thoughtful use of recycled wood and black metal for bench planters and bike racks caps off a project filled with sustainable features. It has cleverly combined revitalization, sustainability, applied art, stormwater and complete streets to establish a distinct sense of place, thus encouraging investment. The Historic Millwork District Complete Streets is a fine example off Smart Planning.

Mixed Use: Riverworks Development

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize Chatham Bay Group and Miller Development Group for the Riverworks Development project in Dubuque, IA with our 2012 Best Development Mixed Use Award!  The Riverworks Development was selected to receive the Mixed Use Award because the project exemplifies quality sustainable development in Iowa. The project embraces Smart Planning principles with beauty and function by providing a mixed use building that creatively reuses a historically significant building to address a real need for high density living in Dubuque. It produced new housing opportunities while strengthening the existing neighborhood. These combined attributes endowed Dubuque with a unique, striking project and a strong sense of place.

Leadership: Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to recognize the Czech Village/New Bohemia Urban Main Street District with our 2012 Best Development Leadership Award! The project maximized community and stakeholder collaboration by having the most impact of any of the leadership nominations.  It directed development towards the existing community by encouraging public-private partnerships to work together in a collaborative effort to tackle a district overcome by the catastrophic floods of 2008. The leadership group could have walked away from the district and the buildings.  Instead, they led by example and became catalysts for restoration and rebuilding that fostered a distinctive, attractive community with a strong sense of place.  By providing mixed land uses, the leadership positively affected nearly 20 businesses that started or expanded their operations in this area—a true life “Field of Dreams” scenario.