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NAIOP honors excellence

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Imperial Building led the way at this year’s annual NAIOP New Mexico Awards of Excellence.

The commercial real estate association’s chapter, which includes developers, architectural, engineering, leasing and lending professionals, handed out awards in nine categories, as well as special accolades awarded to several recipients.

This is the 20th anniversary of the Awards of Excellence and more than 60 projects were entered in this year’s competition.

The Imperial Building, a mixed-use development, was singled out with the Chairman’s Award, which is given to a project that has had the most impact on the physical and economic environment of the state, according to judges. The project was chosen because it was a long-sought catalyst to provide essential services in Downtown Albuquerque, such as a grocery store and more affordable housing, helping to create jobs.

“The Imperial Building has implemented a progressive step toward the vision for” the city’s urban core, according to the Chairman’s Award to the $19 million project, which is located at 205 Silver SW.

Geltmore LLC co-developed the building with YES Housing Inc., though the Imperial Building is part of a public-private partnership years in the making that includes the city of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, and other real estate professionals and community leaders.

Crews remediated soils on the site, once the home of a theater, a bus depot and The Imperial Laundry Co., the inspiration of the building’s name. Construction teams created an underground garage, retail and restaurant spaces, and 74 units of mixed-income housing serving a range of low-income families with special needs, and a rooftop terrace with an urban farm – the first of its kind in the market. The five-story structure has achieved certification under “Energy Star for New Homes” where all units are, on average, 40 percent more energy efficient than typical new-home construction.

The Imperial’s project team included Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the architect of record; Anderson|Kim, the design architect firm; Walla Engineering; and general contractor Jaynes Corp.

The new Del Webb community at Mirehaven was recognized with this year’s Vision Award from NAIOP. Mirehaven is bordered by Petroglyph National Monument, north of the 98th Street and Interstate 40 interchange. Phase one included 360 Pulte-branded homes and its Del Webb phase includes a 550-home, 55-and-older neighborhood and a 10,000-square-foot amenity center with outdoor resort pool and activities. While it’s PulteGroup’s first Del Webb community in New Mexico, it’s likely not the last. “This was a visionary project. In fact, the investment began when the residential development and home building industry was at its lowest ebb in decades,” the award presentation said.

The Chuck Gara Community Leader Award was given to the principals of Titan Development Co., an Albuquerque-based company that broke ground on an estimated $150 million in projects this year. The 45-employee firm has operations in New Mexico, Texas and Florida, and a particular emphasis on senior living. Titan’s executive team comprises Kurt Browning, Drew Dolan, Kevin Reid and Ben Spencer. They have been involved in more than $1.2 billion of real estate development, including industrial, multifamily, mixed-use, office and retail buildings.

NAIOP’s Eagle Awards are given each year to the top real estate projects by category. There were ties in two of them: multifamily and retail. Judging teams toured projects and evaluated them for project development, architectural integrity, challenges, market feasibility, sustainable attributes and overall success.

Kevin Yearout

Kevin Yearout

“Judges weren’t looking at whether it was a ‘pretty’ building, but at other measures of success, such as getting past hurdles and staying on budget,” said outgoing Chairman Kevin Yearout. “In the end, they want to see if the project (either new construction or remodels) is something that enhances the built environment.”

He said there “is a lot of pride” among NAIOP members in being able to build businesses, careers and the larger economy.

“These award recipients represent the execution of real estate or individual achievement at the highest level,” he said. “Each of the nominated entries helped positively shape the real estate landscape in the New Mexico region.”

NAIOP also paid tribute to Yearout, who owns multiple businesses in the construction industry. Among the achievements under his tenure, NAIOP specifically noted bringing its membership totals to the highest in the its 35-year history and winning national NAIOP Awards in February for Chapter of the Year, and for its legislative/government affairs and developing leaders programs.