The IMPACT Awards are considered to be among the most prominent honors in the Detroit area commercial real estate community and recognize three recently completed, multi-disciplinary projects in Southeast Michigan that demonstrate a significant, positive impact on the region. The 2009 IMPACT winners and their corresponding categories are:
· New development: Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
· Redevelopment: The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel
· Special Impact: The Marquee of Redford Township
Judges for the 2009 Impact Awards entries were: Lawrence Marantette, Taktix Solutions,R.J. King (DBusiness Magazine), Helen Dennis (CBRE), Bob Washer (MICCO), Susan Harvey (Ashley Capital), Delia Rodi Barczys (Niagara Murano), and Katherine Banicki (Testing Engineers & Consultants).
The LEED Silver Registered Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, the winner in the New Development category, is a full service hospital serving the people of Oakland County and beyond. It originally began as a 270,000 sq. ft. medical office building/clinic in the 1970’s and was expanded in 2009 to become an 830,000 sq. ft. medical and surgical facility. IMPACT judges lavished high praise on the hospital, citing it as “a game changer” with “iconic impact,” a focus on “giving back to the patient,” and “attracting physicians and practitioners from around the world to learn about first class healthcare.”
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, the winner in the Redevelopment category, opened in October 2008 following a massive $200 million historic renovation. The Italian Renaissance-style hotel originally opened its doors in 1924 on what was called “The Fifth Avenue of the Midwest,” earning distinction as the tallest hotel in the world. The spectacular property, which is a member of the National Registry of Historic Places, now features 453 elegant rooms and more than 60 branded residences, as well as 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space. The judges all lauded the beauty of the Book. One judge deemed it the best redevelopment project in the metropolitan community in years, while another applauded its efforts to maintain a spot on the historic registry. Several noted they had been following talk of redevelopment plans for the hotel since the 1980’s.
The Marquee of Redford Township, the winner in the Special Impact category, is located at Five Mile and Beech Daly and is built on the site of the former Redford Township District Library, which was vacated in 2004 following the new construction of the current Redford Township District Library. The Marquee, owned by Redford Township, was completed in the summer of 2008 and revitalized the downtown district into a vibrant, central gathering area with an open-air, tent-like structure and an adjacent 250 seat amphitheater. The Marquee allows for community events such as farmers’ market, craft shows, concerts, plays and community movie nights. IMPACT judges hailed the Marquee as a positive community gathering space that complimented the neighborhood; “the little engine that could” in terms of its creative re-adaption from one community landmark to another.
According to CREW Detroit member and IMPACT Awards Chair Susan Cook, a Senior Project Manager with ATC Associates Environmental Services in Novi, this year’s awards experience was particularly rewarding.
“The 2009 IMPACT Award entrants included some of the most prestigious names in Southeast Michigan and reflected a deep commitment to long-term investment here, despite the region’s economic challenges,” notes Ms. Cook. “Plus, whether it was the redevelopment of historic hotel properties to their former glory or the adaptive re-use of once industrial sites into unique corporate offices, the IMPACT submittals all reflected a dynamic commercial real estate approach where environmentally sound principles are in harmony with form and function.”
Lawrence Marantette has served as a judge since the IMPACT Awards were established in 2001 and agrees that this year was a challenging one for the judges.
“Given the lack of significant development in southeastern Michigan, there was a surprisingly strong set of quality submittals for this year’s Impact Awards Program. The entries ranged from healthcare to housing to higher education, with a couple great community facilities projects. It shows the depth of CREW members in all aspects of real estate development,” offers Mr. Marantette.
The IMPACT Award winners were selected from an outstanding pool of eleven contenders. To be considered for inclusion, all projects entered for consideration had to involve at least one company with a CREW Detroit member and had to have been completed between January 1, 2008 and June 29, 2009. Project criteria was broad and included innovative design and/or construction, environmental consciousness, creative use of existing materials, sensitive land use and social/economic significance. In addition to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, and the Marquee of Redford Township, the other IMPACT award submissions were: Providence Park Hospital, Novi; The Courtyards, Ann Arbor; University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor ; The Water Wheel Centre, Northville; PM Environmental/Strategic Energy Solutions, Berkley; Fort Shelby (hotel/apartments/restaurant) Detroit; eTitle Building, Troy; and DTE Energy, Detroit.