Excellence in multifamily housing


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has sponsored the Pillars of the Industry awards for more than 20 years.

The awards recognize excellence in all areas of multifamily home design, development, building, management and marketing. In order that properties are compared to similar properties during the competitive judging process, NAHB presents awards in a variety of sub-categories of the multifamily housing market, including market-rate, affordable, green, senior, student and condominium.

Award nominees are judged on a wide range of factors including the features and amenities they provide, how well they support their particular market niche (green, affordable, senior, etc.), market acceptance and financial results.

The competition is intense and the winners really are the best of the best. Congratulations, winners. Those who make this industry great, and housing, a thing of beauty, inside and out.

Kirkpatrick Park, Nashville, Tenn.
Kirkpatrick Park, Nashville, Tenn.
Best Low-Rise Garden Apartment Community (5 stories or less)

Kirkpatrick Park, Nashville, Tenn.

Rebirth in Nashville

Kirkpatrick Park in Nashville, Tenn., won Best Low-Rise Garden as well as the coveted Community of the Year Award.

The community spans 94 units across a mix of affordable units for those earning less than 80 percent of area median income (AMI), workforce housing units affordable to residents earning between 80 percent and 120 percent of AMI and market-rate units affordable to residents earning more than 120 percent of AMI. The project comprises 15 two and three story buildings. It was released in 4 phases, opened in April 2019, and was fully leased before it opened.

Kirkpatrick Park is the first step in redeveloping Cayce Place, public housing built in the 1940s and 1950s. It exemplifies a new direction in public housing by deconcentrating poverty through mixed-income housing. Existing residents were able to remain in their community, minimizing disruption, while new housing was created.

In order to achieve a blend of lower, middle and upper income demographic, housing density was increased. When the redevelopment plan is complete, the original 716 Cayce Place public housing units will be replaced by 2,390 mixed income units on the original 63 acre site, plus an additional 33 acres acquired by the Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA).

Avoiding displacement during redevelopment is an issue across the county and MDHA’s commitment to it is notable. “Kirkpatrick Park will be a trailblazer, a template for communities across the country which are struggling to redevelop and repurpose aging, obsolete, and blighted public housing stock built in the 1950s to 1980s,” a judge said.

The individual units are configured as townhomes, stacked flats or townhomes over flats. The buildings present a variety of facades in keeping with the scale and character of the neighborhood.

“The level of commitment to building a neighborhood is rare. The neighborhood created is tremendous. The variety of forms and colors is terrific. Feels like it has been there a long time,” said one judge.

The units include open floor plans, stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops, wood cabinets, ceiling fans in bedrooms, tile backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms, video doorbells, designer colors and private entries. Select units have balconies, double vanities, walk-in closets and attached garages.

The community includes two pocket parks and a new internal pedestrian-oriented street.

All of the buildings are designed to LEED for Homes Silver standards.

“Kirkpatrick Park is a highly impressive mixed-income residential project, especially given the diversity of stakeholders, funding sources, neighborhood characteristics, and target residents,” a judge remarked.

Developer: Nashville Metro Development and Housing Agency
Architect: Smith Gee Studio
GC: R.G. Anderson Company
Green verif.: Wilmot, Inc.
Interior Dgn: Smith Gee Studio
Photography: Tom Gatlin Photography

Liberty Harbor, East Baltimore, Maryland
Liberty Harbor, East Baltimore, Maryland
Best High-Rise Apartment Community (10 stories plus)

Liberty Harbor, East Baltimore, Maryland

Reaching for the stars in Baltimore

Liberty Harbor East consists of 282 market-rate apartments and 33 luxury condominiums in two towers. The residences sit atop a two-story Whole Foods Market and 6 levels of above-ground parking. The project occupies an entire city block near Baltimore Harbor.

“The innovative building design utilizes transitions in the different building sections and facades, which makes it interesting and unique in the urban landscape,” said a judge.

Studio, one, two and three bedroom floorplans offer natural finishes with quartz countertops, tile backsplashes, stainless steel appliances, under cabinet lighting and hardwood-look flooring. Select units have harbor views and balconies or terraces.

Community amenities include a study lounge with computer workstations, library lounge with fireplace, clubroom with indoor/outdoor bar, infinity pool deck with cabanas and grilling stations, communal and private dining rooms with catering kitchen, fitness center and yoga studio, pet park and EV stations in the parking garage. Liberty Harbor East is a no-smoking community. The Wholefoods Market includes an outdoor café facing the Patapsco river.

Resident services include a concierge, 24 hour emergency maintenance, available furnished guest suite, complimentary bike storage, Butterfly MX intercom security system, keyless Bluetooth door entry system, curated fitness programming, valet dry cleaning and “away from services.”

Developer: Bozzuto for Harbor
East Management Group
Architect: Hickok Cole
GC: Bozzuto Construction Co.
Interior Dgn: Stonehill Taylor Architects, PC and Purple Cherry Arch
Photography: Jennifer Hughes Photography

Wyndwood 25, Miami, Florida
Wyndwood 25, Miami, Florida
Best Mid-Rise Apartment Community (6-9 stories)

Wyndwood 25, Miami, Florida

Making the scene in Miami

The Wynwood neighborhood began as a warehouse district, which was subsequently occupied by artists seeking inexpensive space. It evolved into an arts and entertainment area known for its splashy wall murals. In 2015, the area was rezoned to allow more residential construction, opening the door for Wynwood 25.

Wynwood 25 includes 289 studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments on 1.4 acres. It opened in June 2019.

Developers went the distance to fit in with the neighborhood ethos, like incorporating a 30,000 sq. ft. mural by Los Angeles-based artist El Mac into its exterior.

Units include 11 ft. high ceilings and floor -to-ceiling windows. They also feature stainless steel appliances, hardwood and tile flooring and in-unit washers and dryers.

Community amenities include a rooftop lounge with movie theater, rooftop workstation center, outdoor kitchen and dining areas, pool and sculpture garden. Interior amenities offer a clubhouse, lounge, library, fitness center, bike storage, pet washing station and multi-use rooms.

And, of course, the art.

“A beautiful building that went to some lengths to fit in with the history of the area as a warehouse district. While the presence of graffiti on the walls, lamp posts, etc. would not usually be considered a recommendation for the neighborhood, the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami has made it a feature. A great place, if you like the urban artsy, shabby chic vibe of the area,” said one judge.

Developer: Related Group
Architect: Kobi Karp Architecture
GC: Beauchamp Construction
Interior Dgn: Meshberg Group
Photography: Nick Garcia Photography

Broadstone Arden, Santa Ana, Calif.
Broadstone Arden, Santa Ana, Calif.
Best Low-Rise Non-Garden Apartment Community (5 stories or less)

Broadstone Arden, Santa Ana, Calif.

Making the good life in OC

Broadstone Arden in Santa Ana, Calif. includes 335 loft, studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom floorplans on 4 acres. Opened in October 2019, it’s the first of 3 planned adjacent communities. Each will share a central park and plaza, outdoor social spaces and a collection of cafes, shops and restaurants.

The target demographic is young professionals with strong ambitions and style. This group has a desire for work/life balance and a love of the finer things. The demographic vision informs the design and amenities.

Units come equipped with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, built-in wine fridges, soft close cabinets and drawers, full sized washers and dryers, walk-in closets and 9 or 10-ft. ceilings.

All units include either a private patio or balcony.

Tech includes Nest thermostats, keyless unit entry, Dwelo smart home technology and USB charging stations. Some units include wireless music systems or fitness mirrors.

Community amenities include a rooftop pool and spa, coffee lounge and conference space, chef’s kitchen and game lounge, golf simulator, cardio and strength training studio, spin studio, yoga studio and salt room. Outdoor spaces include courtyards with fire pits and dining areas.

“I like the non-monolithic facade. The common areas are very rich looking,” said a Pillars judge.

Developer: Alliance Residential
Architect: Architects Orange
GC: Alliance Residential Builders
Interior Dgn: H. Hendy Associates
Photography: Adrian Tiemens

225 Assay, Houston, Texas
225 Assay, Houston, Texas
Best Mixed-Use Community

225 Assay, Houston, Texas

A fresh look in Houston

The community offers 251 studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedroom and penthouse apartments with ground floor retail on a 4.9 acre site. It opened in December 2019. It is the first component in a larger, 52 acre development called Redemption Square.

The building is configured as a 5 story wrap above ground floor retail. Exteriors include three different looks in order to reduce its visual mass. The community is within easy walking distance of shopping, dining and services as well as trails and parks.

Units interiors include 10 ft. ceilings, stainless-steel appliances, gas stoves, washers and dryers, tile backsplashes in kitchens, butcher block islands, dark gray quartz countertops, private patios or balconies, oversized sinks with pull-down faucets, remote controlled ceiling fans and tile flooring in bathrooms.

Community amenities include a business center with board room and private conference room, large resident lounge with fireplace and pool table, multiple outdoor grilling kitchens and entertaining areas, and dog parks for large and small dogs. Fitness amenities include a 75 ft. lap pool, an outdoor yoga yard and a fitness center with Peloton bikes and Wellbeats virtual fitness instructors. There’s garage parking, controlled property access and on-site Amazon package lockers.

One Pillars judge said that 225 Assay was an, “innovative development, amenity rich with great design and reasonable cost.” Another remarked that the development provided “well thought out amenity space that residents can use and build community.”

Developer: McCord Development, Inc.
Architect: Steinberg Dickey Collab, LLP
GC: Arch-Con Corporation
Green verif.: Arch-Con Corporation
Interior Dgn: Kathy Andrews Interiors
Photography: Shoot2Sell

Princeton Bradford Apts., Haverhill, Massachusetts
Princeton Bradford Apts., Haverhill, Massachusetts
Best Repositioning/Redevelopment of a Multifamily Community

Princeton Bradford Apts., Haverhill, Massachusetts

Massachusetts rebirth

Princeton Bradford is a garden style apartment community with 410—1, 2 and 3 bedroom units in 46 buildings on 50 acres. The property was originally built in 1973.

The property changed hands in 2017. At the time, the tennis and basketball courts were in disrepair and the pool had been closed for several years. The property was far from being the jewel it had once been.

The new management repaved the tennis and basketball courts. They resurfaced the pool and added a new pool deck and furniture. The existing office building was redesigned to add a package area and a fitness center. All building exteriors were repaired and repainted and the common areas were given new paint and carpet.

Apartment interiors were upgraded with new paint and carpet, cabinets, appliances and countertops.

In order to pay for improvements, rents were raised 24 percent since the community changed ownership.

Residents have generally been willing to pay the increased rent because they can see the improvements. Occupancy has remained in the high 90s through the changes.

One Pillars judge called Princeton Bradford Apartments an “excellent and impressive rebirth of a super property.”

Developer: Princeton Properties
Architect: Market Square Architects
GC: DG Contracting
Interior Dgn: Princeton Properties
Photography: Princeton Properties

Villas on the Park, San Jose, Calif.
Villas on the Park, San Jose, Calif.
Best Affordable Development (under 100 units)

Villas on the Park, San Jose, Calif.

Do you know the way?

The community includes 83 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless people earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of area median income, many of whom were previously living in nearby St. James Park.

Villas on the Park was developed on a 0.4 acre site just north of downtown San Jose. The developers engaged the local community in order to gain acceptance for the project, overcoming initial resistance. Eventually, the project was approved by a vote of 6-1 at the Planning Commission and a vote of 12-0 by the City Council. The project opened in November 2019 and is 100 percent occupied.

The project is designed to reduce the anxiety of residents used to living in the open and who may not feel comfortable in enclosed spaces. Features include a semi-enclosed outdoor landscaped courtyard, open-air circulation hallways and a rooftop deck with views to St. James Park. Residents have access to raised bed garden planters to connect with nature.

Units are studio apartments with large windows. Residents have access to shared laundry facilities on each floor. Other amenities include a community room, a large teaching kitchen, flex spaces podium courtyards and bicycle storage.

The building also contains office for resident services management.

An “exemplary solution to address a complicated challenge,” said one Pillar judge.

Developer: Affirmed Housing
Architect: Dahlin Group Architecture
GC: Brown Construction
Interior Dgn: Affirmed Housing
Photography: Mark Davidson Photography

Bluewater & Stella, San Diego, Calif.
Bluewater & Stella, San Diego, Calif.
Best Affordable Development (over 100 units)

Bluewater & Stella, San Diego, Calif.

Developer: Affirmed Housing
Architect: Studio E Architects
GC: Arch-Con Corporation
Interior Dgn: Affirmed Housing
Photography: Mark Davidson Photography

Best Supportive Services at an Affordable Apartment

Anna Coumou, Seattle, Washington

Developer: Mercy Housing Development
Architect: Runberg Architecture Group
GC: Walsh Construction
Green verif.: Ecotope
Interior Dgn: Runberg Architecture Group
Photography: Shot2Sell

Plaza Verde, Irvine, Calif.
Plaza Verde, Irvine, Calif.
Best in Green Market Rate Multifamily Community

Plaza Verde, Irvine, Calif.

Developer: American Campus Communities
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
GC: Benchmark Contractors, Inc.
Interior Dgn: Sixthriver Architects
Photography: American Campus Communities

Third Avenue Development, Bronx, New York
Third Avenue Development, Bronx, New York
Best in Green Affordable Multifamily Community

Third Avenue Development, Bronx, New York

Developer: Bronx Pro Group
Architect: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
GC: Home Builders LLP
Interior Dgn: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Photography: Peter Mauss

Zephyr, San Diego, California
Zephyr, San Diego, California
Best Adaptive Reuse

Zephyr, San Diego, California

Developer: Affirmed Housing
Architect: Basis Architecture
GC: HA Builder
Interior Dgn: Affirmed Housing
Photography Applied Photography

Best Student Housing Rental Apartment Community

The Academic and Residential Complex, Chicago, Illinois

Developer: American Campus Communities
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
GC: Pepper Construction
Interior Dgn: Sixthriver Architects
Photography: American Campus Communities

The Waterline Club, New York, N.Y.
The Waterline Club, New York, N.Y.
Best Community Amenities

The Waterline Club, New York, N.Y.

Developer: GID Development Group
Architect: Rockwell Group
GC: AECOM Tishman
Interior Dgn: Rockwell Group
Photography: Evan Joseph

Epoque Golden Apartment Community, Golden, Colorado
Epoque Golden Apartment Community, Golden, Colorado
Best 55+ Multifamily Development

Epoque Golden Apartment Community, Golden, Colorado

Developer: Forum Investment Group
Architect: Lawrence Group
GC: FCI Wyoming
Interior Dgn: ESG Architecture
Photography: VonDeLinde

Best Condominium Community

Novel Park at Great Park Neighborhoods, Irvine, California

Best Interior Merchandising of a Common Area

The Angela, Phoenix, Arizona

Best Interior Merchandising of a Leasing or Sales Center

Ascend at Bridges, Humble, Texas

Best Interior Merchandising of a Model Unit

Three Waterline Square, New York, New York

Best Overall Leasing or Sales Campaign for a Multifamily Community

NOVEL Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Best Property Website

Crimson, Houston, Texas

Multifamily Builder of the Year

The NRP Group, Cleveland, Ohio

Multifamily Development Firm of the Year

The Michaels Organization, N.J.

Property Management Firm of the Year

Bozzuto Management Company, Greenbelt, Maryland

An individual for “accomplishments and commitment to the homebuilding industry.”

The One To Watch Award

Demeterio Jimenez, Tropicana Properties, El Paso, Texas

Author Michael Rudy