Lafayette Place Lofts Receives 2013 Prestigious “Timmy” Award for Historic Housing

A former Sears Department Store built in the 1920s converted to loft-style apartments, an Anytime Fitness and a fresh food market in Pontiac, Michigan along with the NSO Bell Building in Detroit, Michigan were two of the three Judges’ Award winners for the 2013 J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation (Timmy Awards).

Lafayette Place Lofts is located in the heart of historic downtown Pontiac and offers both market rate and affordable housing apartments as well as state of the art commercial & retail space.  Kyle Westberg led the development team for Lafayette and helped secure crucial new markets tax credit funding through partnerships with organizations like Cinnaire, a non-profit community development finance institution.

Lafayette Place Lofts, LLC renovated the 80,000-square-foot low-rise commercial building that was once a Sears, Roebuck & Company department store, to create 46 market-rate and affordable loft-style apartments. In addition to the loft apartments the renovated Lafayette Lofts Place includes an Anytime Fitness and a fresh food grocery store called The Lafayette Market.

“Lafayette Place Lofts materialized during a time when nobody wanted to invest in Michigan, especially in downtowns like Pontiac,” said President and CEO of Lafayette Place Lofts, LLC, Kyle Westberg. “I am thankful for my many partners who believed in Lafayette’s vision despite this, and humbled that it is now receiving national awards, such as the prestigious Timmy Award.”

“Lafayette Place Lofts set out to be extraordinary from the get-go; scaring off the conventional and timid investor-types,” said President and CEO for Cinnaire, Mark McDaniel. “Kyle’s vision for this new downtown marketplace and loft-style living was uncompromising, envisioning only the best, most-sustainable and cutting-edge features. It is no surprise his model for historic re-use and adaption is being recognized in the national spotlight.”

“The 2013 Timmy Awards celebrate projects that make 21st century improvements to aged buildings while preserving their historic architecture and significance. All of these projects have not only helped preserve a community asset but have also boosted local economies, helped promote sustainable communities, and in some cases have provided affordable homes for hundreds of Americans” commented Thom Amdur, Executive Director of NH&RA. “More than that, these projects demonstrate the importance of partnership and individual dedication that is integral to the restoration of these buildings.”

Sustainability features include LEED Platinum certification, utilization of recycled, sustainable, and low-VOC building materials, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and soon, electric car charging stations. TDG Architects of Pontiac, Michigan was selected as the Architects for this development project.

The $19.2 million project utilized numerous funding sources, including equity generated by federal and state historic tax credits, federal new markets tax credits, and state brownfield tax credits; local tax-increment financing; bank and bridge loans; and federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program dollars.

The judges’ award winners, awarded to projects for Achievement in Sustainability and Most Advanced Financial Structure, were selected from the overall pool of Timmy Awards applications. The Achievement in the Sustainability category takes into consideration elements such as LEED or Energy Star Rating certifications, sustainable design features such as geothermal heating and cooling and updated water systems, as well as environmentally friendly community programs such as urban agriculture programs and roof gardens.

Projects are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary panel of judges, comprised of individuals with backgrounds in historic preservation, architecture, real estate development, construction, public policy, and economic development.

The judges for the 2013 awards include:

  • Josh Anderson, Cedarbend Consulting, real estate consultant and developer
  • Lisa Craig, City of Annapolis, municipal historic preservation officer
  • John Kelly, Nixon Peabody LLP, real estate attorney
  • Nick Ratti, CohnReznick, LLP, accountant and consultant
  • Karl Stumpf, RTKL Associates Inc., architect
  • Brad White, Brad White & Associates, real estate developer

On November 14, 2013 National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA), in association with the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC), presented the Judges’ Awards along with eight additional 2013 Timmy Awards during a ceremony and luncheon at the Langham Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

About The “Timmy Awards” and NH&RA

The “Timmy Awards” are named in memory of J. Timothy Anderson, an architect and developer who was an early innovator in the adaptive-reuse of historic properties and a staunch advocate for historic preservation. The awards were created to highlight outstanding real estate projects that involve rehabilitation of older, historic buildings, primarily using state or federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Scoring is based on overall design and quality, interpretation and respect of historic elements, innovative approach to construction and use of building materials, impact on the community, sustainability, and financial and market success of the project. 2013 marks the 9th anniversary of the awards program.

NH&RA is a professional association of companies and individuals who are involved in affordable housing, historic rehabilitation, and New Markets Tax Credit development. The association meets quarterly for serious discussions of significant issues affecting our business. Designed to foster relationships, the meetings are renowned for our combination of cutting-edge information and opportunities to network and collaborate.

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