2017 MHN Excellence Award Winners

The 2017 MHN Excellence Award Winners represent the multifamily sector’s most innovative and ingenious achievements. Winners of this year’s Gold and Silver awards were honored at an event Oct. 19 in New York City.

The 2017 MHN Excellence Award Winners represent the multifamily sector’s most innovative and ingenious achievements. Whether transforming an obsolete property into a 21st-century community, creating a cutting-edge design, or turning around an underperforming asset, the designers, developers, executives and real estate managers recognized here set a high bar. Also recognized are outstanding executives, top property managers and future stars.

Winners of this year’s Gold and Silver awards were honored at an event Oct. 19 in New York City. Stay tuned for details about the 2018 Excellence Awards. 

Adaptive Reuse: High-Rise

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Chisca on Main

Gold: Chisca on Main
Abandoned for 30 years, the Chisca Hotel in Memphis was transformed into a 161-unit, nine-story high-rise. Main Street Apartment Partners developed the 52,272-square-foot space into a community that is now 100 percent occupied. Designed by Bounds and Gillespie Architects in association with Looney Ricks Kiss, the property also includes two restaurants and a ballroom turned rooftop oasis. The judges said that Chisca on Main excelled at linking two communities and that redesigning the older and newer components, rather than demolishing them, was tricky and interesting. They praised the update of a 50-year-old building and the $20 million construction price, reasonable for the project’s size.

Adaptive Reuse: Mid-Rise

Adaptive Reuse Chestnut Park Apartments res
Chestnut Park Apartments

Gold: Chestnut Park Apartments
Thirteen years after being boarded up, the four historic buildings that once housed Holyoke Catholic High School, William Whiting Elementary School, Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame and Convent of the Sisters of Providence in Holyoke, Mass., were redesigned into 50 units of affordable housing. The project created 104 construction jobs and a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Chestnut Park Apartments encompasses both moderate-income residents as well as choice housing, a voucher program that assists low-income families. Judges gave high marks for the preservation of the buildings’ historic details and the church structure.

Development & Design: Affordable

Development & Design Affordable Selma Community Housing res
Selma Community Housing

Gold: Selma Community Housing
The $33 million transit-oriented Selma Community Housing in Los Angeles provides 66 one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans for families earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the Area Median Income. A joint venture of Abode Communities and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the community rose on an underutilized school district parking lot next door to an elementary school and two blocks from a light rail station. Judges appreciated that the property targets both school employees and families to foster employee retention at the school and create a sense of community. The mission-oriented programming engages children, adolescents and adults. Sixty percent of the units are reserved for members of the local teachers’ union, and the project is LEED for Homes Platinum-certified.

Development & Design Affordable Creston Avenue res
Creston Avenue Residence

Gold: Creston Avenue Residence
Located in the Bronx, N.Y., Creston Avenue Residences is the first multifamily project funded by the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team Housing Capital Program. Owned by Volunteers of America, the community brings together residents of different income levels and offers supportive services for homeless individuals. The building has earned LEED Platinum certification and, the judges said, “looks as good as any infill market-rate property.” The 63,000-square-foot building comprises 66 studios and one- and two-bedroom units, and includes such design features as a brick and metal panel facade, vertical shade structures, large windows, two green roofs and a recessed entry courtyard.

Development & Design Affordable Uphams Crossing res
Uphams Crossing

Silver: Uphams Crossing
With more than 20 percent of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood living close to the poverty line, Uphams Crossing presented an ideal location to offer mixed-income housing. The Architectural Team’s design combines adaptive reuse and new construction to transform a school building that served St. Kevin’s Church into a 102,000-square-foot community resource that includes 20 units of permanent affordable housing for formerly homeless families and another 60 units of workforce housing. Judges were impressed with onsite resident services and the presence of a full-time social worker. Its LEED Silver designation reflects more than the Uphams Crossing’s social impact; as one judge remarked, it houses the formerly homeless in a “reasonably successful design scheme.”

Development & Design: High-Rise

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Beekman Hotel and Residences

Gold: Beekman Hotel and Residences
This downtown Manhattan project is an adaptive re-use of a 1880s office building that now offers 68 apartments within a new 600-foot-tall tower. “The design successfully integrated the new tower with the historic hotel,” said the judges, who remarked on the Beekman’s innovations and high-quality finishes and restorations. The key structural solution is provided by a reinforced concrete shearwall and perimeter slabs and columns that leave interior floor plates column-free. Incorporating exterior columns, slab and shear wall into the facade required 30 percent less facade material.

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One Uptown

Silver: One Uptown
This 20-story mixed-use Dallas development features 198 energy-efficient apartments; 18,500 square feet dedicated to retail and two restaurants; and a 475-space underground parking garage. Judges thought the inclusion of two restaurants was impressive and also noted the building’s eye-catching sinuous forms. One Uptown faced the challenge of an oddly shaped footprint, but Humphreys & Partners Architects offset the hard angles of the tract by designing a curvilinear exterior. Glass, concrete and metal were used throughout the entire project, giving it a sense of motion.

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Adaire

Silver: Adaire
The 35-story, 400-unit Adaire in Tysons, Va., was developed to address the housing gap in Tysons Corner, where only about 17,000 of 120,000 daily workers are local residents. Design features included the first U.S. use of a modified Gen2 elevator, a custom-designed modular window wall system that eliminated field cutting, a cost-effective balcony railing system, dynamic glass and the relocation of the central plant from the penthouse to the garage to optimize rooftop amenity space. The project came in four months ahead of its original plan and $4 million under budget, despite having its footprint moved 18 inches. Judges praised the sheer elegance of the design, saying the project “took risks that pay off.” They also agreed that the community had well thought-out amenity spaces, which include a dog wash station, Wi-Fi throughout, indoor bike storage and repair, an eighth-floor fitness studio, resort-style swimming pool and more. Adaire received its first units in July 2016 and was 56 percent leased by the end of December. Originally projected for an 18-month lease-up, Adaire finished 2016 45.8 percent occupied, well ahead of the 32 percent forecast.   

Development & Design: Mid-Rise

Development & Design Overall Platinum Vue 53 res 800
Vue53

Platinum: Vue53
Offering what judges called “the best architectural design” of the competition, the LEED Silver-certified Vue53 in Chicago features 330,000 square feet on its 13 floors. The University of Chicago partnered with the city to resurrect the 53rd Street dining, shopping and retail corridor and create a 267-unit mixed-use property, which includes two towers and 28,000 square feet of retail space. The design features blue glass-clad exteriors and rectilinear concrete frames. All units are 800 square feet or less to maintain affordability, with 15 percent of the apartments designated as affordable. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, the project architect, worked with its in-house design studio Media-Objectives and Searl Lamaster Howe Architects to design graphic and interior spaces.

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Altana Glendale

Gold: Altana Glendale
With its captivating exterior sun detail, Altana Glendale offers a transformative two-building luxury community on the former site of a one-story building and parking lot in Glendale, Calif. Developed by Carmel Partners, Altana features 507 units of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans. Both buildings offer numerous spaces that promote communal living, such as a screening room, business center, fitness center, rooftop lounges, sky decks, vertical metal elements and loft-style units.

Developement & Design Mid-Rise The Corcoran res
The Corcoran

Silver: The Corcoran
The massing of the 35-unit, 37,000-square-foot Corcoran is composed of two architecturally subdued, contextually scaled masonry volumes that conceal a sculptural form. Composed of a glazed curtain wall system, the structure reveals itself from different angles. The judges were wowed by the building’s “jewel box with a crown” look and found the angles and design to be captivating, such as the top two floors’ setback from the street. Fitting for the downtown Washington, D.C., location, the asset also features 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

Development & Design Low-Rise The Michael res
The Michael

Silver: The Michael
Bringing luxury living to northwest Austin, The Michael offers a lodge-feel situated amid trees, canals and green space. Judges appreciated the community’s interior finishes and warm design, enhanced by the use of slate and wood. Featuring studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom townhomes, the units include granite countertops, gourmet islands, stainless steel appliances, solid wood custom cabinetry, 10- and 12-foot vaulted ceilings, built-in bookcases and desks, walk-in closets, private patios and more.

Development & Design: Low-Rise

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The Micropolitan at Larchmont Village

Gold: The Micropolitan at Larchmont Village
The 32,726-square-foot Micropolitan at Larchmont Village in Los Angeles offers 34 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 512 to 1,059 square feet. Located in a highly walkable neighborhood with access to Larchmont Village, Hancock Park and Hollywood, the three-story structure includes design details such as plank guardrails, deep eaves, intimate exterior spaces and broad horizontal massing. Judges said the development showed “reverence for historical context” to its low- to medium-density surroundings.

Development & Design: Community Impact

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The Beacon at South Market

Gold: The Beacon at South Market
Earning the judges’ recognition for its distinctive modern design, The Domain Cos.’ Beacon at South Market in downtown New Orleans captures the area’s revitalization after Hurricane Katrina. Winner of the 2017 New Orleans AIA Architecture Merit Award, the seven-story, 125-unit luxury community is part of South Market District, a $500 million transit-oriented development that spans five blocks. The Beacon is the third of SMD’s six phases and features a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans encompassing 88.4 percent of the development.

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The Scott at Brush Park

Gold: The Scott at Brush Park
Exemplifying Detroit’s urban core revival, The Scott at Brush Park was viewed by the judges as “a statement of hope.” The city’s first project of its kind in more than 15 years, the $63 million Scott includes 199 luxury units across five floors and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space. U-shaped massing created by Neumann/Smith Architects optimizes east, south and west exposures for low winter sun angles and passive solar heat. Deep cantilevered balconies over most of the community’s large windows act as sun shades to mitigate summer heat.

Development & Design: Student Housing

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Foundry Lofts

Gold: Foundry Lofts
Serving University of Michigan students, the $65 million, 216-unit Foundry Lofts provides an alternative to off-campus student housing in Ann Arbor. Designed by Humphrey & Partners Architects, the 12-story building employs an Industrial Modernist look to integrate the community between a historic building on one side and a busy street on the other. Judges praised the innovative design that fits well into the cityscape. Other highlights features include dark monochromatic brick, detailed edging, sash-style windows flanking the outside of the building and wood-framed storefronts across its 4,000 square feet of retail space.

Development & Design Student Housing Holly Pointe Commons res
Holly Pointe Commons

Silver: Holly Pointe Commons
Praised for its unique serpent-shaped design, the $133 million Holly Pointe Commons in Glassboro, N.J., serves the students of Rowan University. The 303,000-square-foot building offers 742 units and 1,415 beds. Developed by a public-private partnership of University Student Living and Rowan University, the project features a long seven-story western wing that wraps into a four-story curvilinear eastern wing. A glass bridge connects the two wings, creating a formal campus oval with central gathering spaces for students. Holly Pointe includes study rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass, views to the pond and courtyard and a 19,000-square-foot dining facility.

Unbuilt: Conceptual

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Apartment of the Future, Humphreys & Partners

Gold: Apartment of the Future, Humphreys & Partners
The proposed 71-story, 456-unit Apartment of the Future will feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 673 to 1,356 square feet, in addition to penthouses ranging from 1,974 to 3,425 square feet. The tower will incorporate a wide variety of cutting-edge sustainable features, such as battery-powered electricity sources with wall-mounted packs, solar charging glass window systems and green walls. Vertical planting systems will collect rainwater, harvest solar and wind energy and recycle gray water, which will be reused for vegetable and fruit gardens. Distinctive design elements include reflective glass, metal structural features and a kinetic facade. Humphreys & Partners envisions a robotic parking system with a V.I.P helicopter pad that will serve multiple units by moving vertically on the building’s exterior.

Unbuilt: High-Rise

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70 Rainey

Gold: 70 Rainey
Comprising residential, retail, amenity and parking space, 70 Rainey in Austin will feature 35 stories and 164 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, including dens and penthouses. Judges praised the design for incorporating Lady Bird Lake and its transition from the parking to the residential component by means of a 10th floor amenities deck. That level features an infinity edge pool, walking gardens, outdoor dining and kitchens and a dog run. The community has been designed for LEED Gold certification and will include a vegetative screen wall and green roof. Completion is scheduled for January 2019, with occupancy slated to follow that March.

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AMLI Fountain Place

Silver: AMLI Fountain Place
Judges were impressed with the all-glass design that mimics the look of AMLI’s Fountain Place neighboring Fountain Place Office Tower. Having been a landmark of Dallas since 1986, the I.M. Pei-designed Fountain Place Tower was to get an identical structure, rotated 90 degrees in orientation from the original. Like the office tower, the Page Southerland Page-designed Fountain Place sits atop a 192-foot square, glass-clad podium. The tallest new downtown building since 1987, Fountain Place rotates 45 degrees above the garage podium, the top of the tower being shaped with tapered glazing. In order to unify the two towers, the same type of glass used in the 80s-built office building was used in Fountain Place as well.

Unbuilt: Mid-Rise

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The Santa Monica Barrington

Gold: The Santa Monica Barrington
Designed by R&A Architecture + Design in collaboration with developer Markwood Enterprises, the Santa Monica Barrington in Los Angeles will comprise 53 units and 45,420 square feet. The six-story mixed-use project will feature a 1,000-square-foot ground-floor amenity room, an 82-space parking garage and 60 bicycle racks. Key green features will include plumbing fixtures and fittings that cut water use by 20 percent; an irrigation system that automatically adjusts weather conditions and plant needs, reducing water consumption 22 percent; and proximity to public transit and automated parking that will cut the property’s greenhouse gas consumption 43 percent. Design features that attracted the judges’ attention were the project’s playful angular façade and striking courtyard walkway. Construction will begin in 2018 and completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

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466 Columbus

Silver: 466 Columbus
Particularly impressed by the terracotta facade detailing, judges were fans of the way 466 Columbus in Manhattan played with the context of the existing historic fabric. Featuring unique details, the nine-story mixed-use residential and retail building included brick piers, glass windows and contemporary wood. Set to feature six penthouse units and 3,900 square feet of ground floor retail, the building features a second-floor courtyard and a private green roof terrace.

Unbuilt: Affordable

Las Gladiolas
Las Gladiolas

Gold: Las Gladiolas
A landmark project for Puerto Rico, Las Gladiolas represents the island’s first mixed-income public housing development. Unlike the high-rise structures that previously stood on the site, the community will feature three- to four-story buildings consisting of apartments, walk-ups and townhouses. The design offers residents access to walking trails, community gardens, children’s playgrounds, an indoor gym, activity rooms, public computer rooms and controlled-access security systems. These features are intended to attract residents and visitors, rather than isolating them, as the previous high-rise structure did.

Unbuilt: Adaptive Reuse 

Unbuilt Mid-Rise Press House res
Press House

Silver: Press House
Joining two sites to create a mixed-use project comprising 370 units, 25,000 square feet of retail, 25,000 square feet of office and a 175-key boutique hotel, Press House in Washington, D.C. is helping revitalize a stagnant neighborhood, the judges said. Encompassing 301 N St. and 331 N St., the development provides a link between the Union Market and NoMa neighborhoods. Foulger-Pratt has led an effort to open a future link to the NOMA/Gallaudet Metro station directly adjacent to the project at 3rd and N. streets, providing a pedestrian experience from several directions for residents and visitors. The design will be divided into three related volumes, keeping the original structure at 301 N. as the focal point of the site. The overall project seeks to both rehabilitate and adapt the site for new, long-term use while preserving the history of the neighborhood.  

Value-Add Renovation

Value-Add Renovation Wheaton Center res
Wheaton Center Apartments

Gold: Wheaton Center Apartments
Built in 1972, Draper and Kramer’s Wheaton Center in Illinois underwent a two-year, $40 million overhaul. Close to $25 million of that investment went to structural upgrades, such as concrete façade repairs, roof replacement, canopy construction, and new window and balcony doors. During construction, an uptick in vacancies pushed occupancy at the six-building community as low as 60 percent. But the renovation ultimately improved occupancy from 75 percent before the project started to 94.5 percent, and boosted monthly revenue from $737,000 to $1 million. The judges cited the addition of features and amenities that surpassed market standards.

Value-Add Renovation The Heights Apartments res
The Heights Apartments

Silver: The Heights Apartments
Generating a 500 percent increase in net operating income, the renovation of The Heights Apartments in Fort Worth, Texas, wowed judges with its increased property value, excellent landscaping and interior finishes. The renovation was planned in three phases that included curing system deficiencies, improving the grounds and fully upgrading the interior. In addition to boosting curb appeal, the community also upgraded software, which now features an online tenant portal to facilitate electronic billing, maintenance requests, application processing, tenant screening, and resident notice capability.  A marketing strategy with an interactive website, 360-degree virtual tour, video narrative, high definition photographs and online communication capability helped to increase occupancy by 3 percent and increase rental rates. The 23-unit, two-story building comprises one- and two-bedroom floorplans with interiors featuring granite countertops, drop-down lighting, ceiling fans, built-in closet shelves, new carpeting, light fixtures, bathroom vanities, bathroom mirrors, new bathtub tile, USB outlets, new six panel doors, kitchen backsplash, custom built-in seating and more. Property upgrades reduced maintenance calls and decreased operational expenses to $4,000 per unit per year or 20 percent below the industry standard for the submarket. The property was appraised in May 2017 for $2.2 million, a 112 percent increase in value in 18 months.

Best Marketing Program

Best Marketing The Hepburn all res
The Hepburn, Hickok Cole Creative

Gold: The Hepburn, Hickok Cole Creative
With a campaign that the judges said captures classic Washington, D.C., the Hepburn’s marketing program produced a 20 percent lease-up in the first three months after leasing at the high-end community began in June 2016. Strategies included vintage-style advertising featuring black and white photography; an outreach brochure, pocket folder, look book, services and amenities overview, services showcase, leasing sheets and a coordinated set of business correspondence materials. Digital assets included an initial teaser website for lead generation, a phased final website, custom email, social media cover imagery and banner advertising. 

Best Marketing Corsair res
Corsair, Proverb Agency

Silver: Corsair, Proverb Agency
Each apartment is hand-crafted in the refurbished New Haven, Conn., warehouse where fighter planes were once built, with upcycled gym flooring, factory windows, pine beams, steel tresses, and other original materials used to preserve the look and feel of the building. Judges were impressed by Corsair’s strategy of incorporating and retaining the history of the property and the companies it once housed. The community features studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, as well as a vast array of amenities including an on-site dog grooming station, rooftop terrace, library, fitness center, outdoor theater and heated pool.

Best Operations

Best Operations Gables McKinney Ave. res
Gables McKinney Avenue

Gold: Gables McKinney Avenue
Praised for maintaining high occupancy and rent appreciation, Gables McKinney Ave. features one tower with 222 units and 17 townhomes. At 94 percent occupancy, the Gables Residential community is the first vertically integrated mixed-use building featuring a grocery store with apartments on the upper floors in North Texas. Judges were impressed by the large selection of amenities, such as package lockers, game room, grilling areas, a rooftop dog park, yoga studio, heated pool, spin room, theater and more. The community uses Kingsley surveys to measure prospect and resident satisfaction and consistently averages a score of 4 out of a possible 5 for overall satisfaction, community recommendation, maintenance and leasing staff responsiveness. Gables Residential has set up four surveys: move-in, work orders, pre-renewal and move-out, to assess how residents are living in the space and identify potential improvements.

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Foxfire Apartments

Silver: Foxfire Apartments
Judges praised Foxfire Apartments in Laurel, Md., for this older property’s 94 percent lease-up rate, high resident satisfaction and success at meeting the challenge of staying fresh. The community has a 97 percent score in Apartment Ratings and staff members pride themselves on being long-term employees who know residents by name. Events such as summer cookouts, ice cream socials, waffles at the pool, breakfast on the go and ladies’ day are just a few of the ways Foxfire aims to bring together its residents.

Tech-Savvy Community

Most Tech-Savvy Community Radius res
Radius, Greystar

Silver: Radius, Greystar
Located across from the Amazon campus in Seattle’s technology hub, Radius impressed judges with its innovative features, such as a resident pub and virtual site tour. Tech-focused amenities include a video gaming room, media room, multiple lounge areas with high-definition televisions, a fireplace-equipped living room, club-style fitness center with high-tech equipment, Wi-Fi, a 24-hour digital package locker system, video-equipped conference rooms, smart thermostats, and charging ports. Radius’ mobile-optimized website is filled with images, interactive features, video and a pinpoint map for instant access to nearby attractions, application and resident portal. The community is LEED Gold certified and features 54 different floorplans among 282 units.

Transaction of the Year

Best Transaction Eckington Park, Foulger-Pratt res
Eckington Park, Foulger-Pratt

Silver: Eckington Park, Foulger-Pratt
With all the land in Washington, D.C. the NoMa area of having been acquired for development, there was no land for open and green space or parks. Foulger-Pratt partnered with the NoMa Parks Foundation to purchase a parcel from Pepco in April 2016 and the NoMa Parks Foundation acquired the option parcel, in which the group immediately sold to Foulger-Pratt. As part of the deal, the developer donated a 22,000-square-foot portion of the parcel to the NoMa Parks Foundation and constructed improvements on the new dog park and realignment parcel to improve the safety of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Judges commended the public-private partnership for its answer to the lack of open space and for creating a backyard for the neighborhood at this versatile public park.

Property Management Company of the Year

Property Management Co. Gables Residential res
Gables Residential

Gold: Gables Residential
Overseeing 25,626 apartments, 15 in-progress lease-ups, seven new third-party contracts and the renovation of 1,950 units in 2016, Gables Residential focuses on four key areas: new development and construction, operations and maintenance, corporate office initiatives, and associate and resident awareness. Judges noted the company’s efficient management of its large portfolio, consistently strong resident reviews and surveys, and mix of owned properties and third-party management assignments. Summing up its mission as “Taking Care of the Way You Live,” Gables Residential emphasizes sustainability and residents’ wellness.

Property Management Co. Island Palm Communities res
Island Palm Communities

Silver: Island Palm Communities
Island Palm Communities manages more than 8,151 homes across seven Army installations on Oahu. In 2016, the company increased its revenue by 2 percent, net operating income by 5 percent, beat its controllable expense budget by 3.3 percent and underspent operating expense budget by $12 million. The leasing team has maintained 95 percent average occupancy and a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on resident surveys measuring leasing, move-in, maintenance and move-out experiences. Judges praised IPC’s focus of serving nation’s military families while keeping resident satisfaction high. Social events such as national night out, lemonade day, bike safety bonanza and teen swim movie night are some of the ways IPC offers residents a chance to stay active in the community.

Development Company of the Year

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Bozzuto Development Co.

Gold: Bozzuto Development Co.
With over 22,000 units under its belt, Bozzuto has developed properties ranging from high-rises to mixed-use and affordable housing since its founding in 1988. Today its properties can be found in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina. Excellence Awards judges lauded Bozzuto for rewarding longtime employees and promoting diversity in its executive ranks. They also cited an effective transition between generations at the family-owned firm, as well as a record of creating long-lasting communities. Voted the nation’s best apartment development company by the National Association of Home Builders, Bozzuto works with its construction and management affiliates to keep its one-of-a-kind projects in house.

Property Manager of the Year

Property Manager of the Year Shannon Silver res
Shannon Silver, Greystar

Gold: Shannon Silver, Greystar
After joined Greystar as assistant property manager in 2012, Shannon Silver was quickly promoted to property manager and gave a standout performance at Adaire, a 35-story, 400-unit mixed-use development in Tysons, Va. Silver recruited, hired and trained a solid team that achieved a 56 percent lease-up within six months after the first units went online. In one week, eleven leases were signed, and the community finished the year at 45.8 percent occupancy, well ahead of the budgeted 32 percent. Impressed by residents’ accolades, the judges concluded that Silver consistently goes above and beyond and achieves the highest level of professionalism from both her team and herself.

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Kristina Brown, Alliance Residential

Gold: Kristina Brown, Alliance Residential
Business Manager of Broadstone Coronado on the Bay, Kristina Brown has more than 10 years of hands-on management experience and has been with Alliance Residential Company for four years. She has received multiple promotions in her time with Alliance, serving variously as assistant business manager, resident relations manager for redevelopment and business manager. Judges noted that Brown successfully repositioned an aging 549-unit, Class C property in a $25 million value-add deal that advanced the property to Class A status and increased rents by $815 per unit. In addition, she successfully managed the renovation of the property’s 18,000 square feet of office and amenity space.

Property Manager of the Year Rocio Martinez res
Rocio Martinez, GHP Management Corp.

Gold: Rocio Martinez, GHP Management Corp.
As regional manager of The Medici, Rocio Martinez employed multiple tactics to turn around the underperforming downtown Los Angeles property. She met with residents to help them arrange their finances so they could meet monthly rental payments. At one point, as many as 20 units at The Medici were under eviction proceedings; by the end of the year that number had dropped to zero. When Martinez came on board, the community was visibly tired, with worn out-looking stairwells, rooftops, hallways and other common areas. She addressed the situation by working with the maintenance supervisor to developing a detailed plan to declutter and refresh the community. Martinez occasionally got into work clothes and cleaned hallways and model units herself. After only two years at GHP Management, she led a 28-person team, increased occupancy from 91.9 percent to 97.6 percent year-over-year and achieved a 49.6 percent renewal rate in 2016.

Property Manager of the Year Mary Alice Taft res
Mary Alice Haft, Panco Management Corp.

Gold: Mary Alice Haft, Panco Management Corp.
After taking on a property in receivership and with almost 100 vacant units, Mary Alice Haft of Panco Management oversaw its $14 million renovation, which included repairs of an underground garage and center courtyard. She brought the 1968-built Point at Silver Spring to LEED Platinum certification, decreased expenses by 15 percent, increased rents by 9 percent and NOI performance by 14.1 percent. The strategy boosted the property’s bottom line by more than $10 million. Haft led her team to the Property Management Associations’ Best in Show award in 2016, coming out ahead of 233 other properties in the competition. Entries were judged on curb appeal, leasing practices, employee professionalism, marketing, preventive maintenance, resident programs and retention and liability management. 

Property Manager of the Year, Rising Star

Property Manager of the Year Rising Star Morgan Stokes res
Morgan Stokes, University Student Living

Gold: Morgan Stokes, University Student Living
Managing a community of 180 units with 656 individual leases straight out of college, Morgan Stokes earned the judges’ attention with her successful efforts at The Vue in Fayetteville, Ark. The community underwent extensive renovations that required on-site construction, presenting leasing challenges along the way. Despite setbacks of construction and competition from four newly opened communities, Stokes achieved 36 percent renewal and 100 percent occupancy, outpacing the 90 percent local average.

Executive of the Year

Executive of the Year Stephanie L. Williams res
Stephanie L. Williams, Bozzuto Management Co.

Gold: Stephanie L. Williams, Bozzuto Management Co.
As president of Bozzuto Management, Williams oversees more than 60,000 units, 215 properties and 2,022 employees. Judges were impressed by the success of this non-family member in leading a second-generation family-owned firm. A 13-year company veteran, Williams is a co-founder of Bozzuto’s diversity program and is a champion of inclusion in commercial real estate’s corporate ranks. In 2016, Williams oversaw the acquisition of 19 properties and the opening of 23 new communities in highly competitive mid-Atlantic and northeastern markets. 

Cynthia Clare, Kettler Management
Cynthia Clare, Kettler Management

Gold: Cynthia Clare, Kettler Management
A 30-year industry veteran, Clare joined Kettler Management as president in 2005 and since then has grown its management portfolio by more than 21,000 units. She led the expansion of Kettler’s third-party management business from three owners and 1,000 units to 40 owners and more than 28,000 units. Clare is 2017 chairman of the National Apartment Association’s board of directors, only the third woman elected to the organization’s top office. Judges cited her decades of accomplishment and dedication to mentorship.

Executive of the Year, Rising Star

Executive of the Year Rising Star Yamal Yidios
Yamal Yidios, Ytech International

Gold: Yamal Yidios, Ytech International
As founder & CEO of Ytech International, Yidios has provided housing for more than 20,000 residents and 5,000 families, created more than 1,000 jobs and generated hundreds of millions of dollars of economic impact across more than 25 submarkets nationwide. Ytech has invested in, developed and redeveloped upward of 7,000 residential units in the Southeastern United States over the past decade, an effort involving more than $1 billion in capital, making it one of Miami’s largest privately held companies in terms of aggregate asset value. Yidios has also implemented several charitable initiatives, including a program that provides one year of free rent to three under-served, deserving families at each of its communities.