Washington, DC - The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced the finalists today in the 2011 NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards, which honors the best and most creative work in multifamily housing. Finalists represent a wide array of projects featuring innovative concepts and trends in multifamily housing such as green and energy efficient features, community amenities and proximity to public transportation.
For a change of scene, the residents of Pillars finalist, Ashton South End, in Charlotte, N.C. can either hop onto the light rail line next to their high-rise community to head downtown, or choose the nearby hiker/biker trail and commune with nature. Other finalists also have co-located with train lines in Los Angeles and Haverhill, Mass., and a northern Virginia finalist -- Halstead Square Dunn Loring Metro - uses its name to ensure potential renters know it's near the area's metro rail system. If roads, rails and trails aren't enough, The Edge, a finalist in Brooklyn, N.Y., is next door to a water taxi that crosses the East River to Manhattan.
Easy access to transportation is not the only trend in the multifamily sector. Urban apartments and condos are getting smaller and more efficient, while communities' common areas are becoming larger and more inviting. Technological convenience in both those areas is considered a must. And growing numbers of developers have capitalized on increased interest in Green construction, building communities that attract renters and buyers who share those values, or who want to enjoy the lower energy costs associated with green construction.
"The 2011 finalists - building during the most difficult economy since the Great Depression - show that challenging conditions can result in creative, innovative approaches and solutions," said Charles R. Brindell, Jr., chair of NAHB's Multifamily Leadership Board, and CEO of Mill Creek Residential Trust, LLC. "The finalists responded to the market with creativity in floor plan design, engaging amenities, eye-catching marketing - even innovative financing."
A panel of nine industry experts judged the award entries, choosing 72 finalists in 29 categories. Beyond great apartment and condo communities, the panel judged examples of outstanding marketing, individual achievement, and corporate achievement.
This year's finalists also showed their tenacity. Most entries in this year's Pillars competition represent activity begun or completed during the housing financial meltdown, when the level of activity in the multifamily sector dropped to historic low levels. "These finalists not only survived the bad times, but also produced fine work, and should certainly be commended," added Brindell.
The list of finalists appears on the NAHB website, at www.nahb.org/pillarsawards. An interactive online presentation offers photos and comments on all the finalists. The winners will be announced in two stages, with Marketing and Individual award categories going live on the same website on September 22, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and Community and Corporate awards presented there on October 6, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 160,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.