PHILADELPHIA, June 19, 2014—Duane Morris LLP is pleased to announce its role in five award-winning development projects. On June 18, 2014, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) honored five significant real estate developments in which the firm and its real estate practice group played a part. The inaugural ULI Philadelphia Bill Rouse Awards for Excellence, whose winners were determined by a nationally diverse jury of leading professionals, were announced in a ceremony at The Ben in Center City Philadelphia. The awards recognize nine meritorious projects, selected from 57 contenders.
George J. Kroculick, co-chair of the international Duane Morris Real Estate Practice Group, characterized last night's events as "a great day for Duane Morris and its clients." Kroculick added, "I am extremely proud that Duane Morris' real estate lawyers and the other practitioners with whom they work closely were indirectly honored by these citations for Pennsylvania and its region’s best real estate projects. Our lawyers—Marc Brookman, who is my predecessor as chair of the practice group—David Haas, David Augustin, Alan Kessler, Scott Kramer, Hersh Kozlov, Jennifer Wieclaw and Gregory Duffy are diverse practitioners who all understand and promulgate excellence in their work. We look forward to continuing to play a major role in these significant projects and to see our work recognized in the years to come."
The five projects in which Duane Morris played a part are listed here, alphabetically, and described by ULI.
The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and the Lancaster County Convention Center, created by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster, Penn Square Partners and the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority. The jury cited this as an excellent example of historic preservation, creative public-private partnership using multiple financing vehicles and an engine to help regenerate downtown Lancaster. Accepting the award on the team's behalf is Tom Smithgall, Senior Vice President for Development at High Associates, who was the Duane Morris client in the deal. Duane Morris lawyer: Marc Brookman
Lenfest Hall, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Center City Philadelphia. This is an exceptional institutional infill project by AthenianRazak and the Curtis Institute of Music, with architecture by VSBA Architects and Planners; construction management by Intech; structural engineering by Keast & Hood; mechanical by Urban Engineers; and acoustics by Kirkegaard. A unique combination of uses both private and public, it incorporates the first dedicated housing for students at what is probably the top music school in the country. Duane Morris lawyer: David Haas
Northern Liberties and the work done by Bart Blatstein, Tower Development. Built on the long-empty site of the old Schmidt's Brewery, this mixed-use adaptive project is a winner for its tremendous transformative impact on the community, particularly its open space at the Piazza that is regarded as one of the best-programmed public spaces anywhere, and for what the jury cited as some of the best new multifamily housing built in the country over the last decade. The architecture is by EM Architects, Beyer Beiler and Bell, and others. Duane Morris lawyers: Hersh Kozlov (Cherry Hill) represented client Kushner, which bought the finished product after the development was completed. The work was done by David Augustin and Jennifer Wieclaw.
Sister Cities Park, a Center City District Project along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Center City District energized this public space along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with green energy uses including geo-thermal and solar energy. This was an incredible partnership to initiate, fund and complete, especially since it was done by a business improvement district – joined by DIGSAU, Studio Bryan Hanes, and Pennoni Engineers. One juror described it as a "cozy family room" for Philadelphia's downtown core, welcoming to children and adults alike, as well as its ability to be replicated in other cities. Duane Morris lawyers: Marc Brookman and Alan Kessler sat on the Board of Central Philadelphia Development Corporation, the nonprofit that created and implemented the project.
SteelStacks Arts and Cultural Campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—a collaborative effort by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem, ArtsQuest, and PBS 39. This is a truly remarkable and creative adaptive reuse by the City of Bethlehem, transforming the old Bethlehem Steel Plant into a state-of-the-art cultural center that preserves the history of steelmaking while providing open space for events and setting a new course for the city. A world-class project—and we've just learned it has been short-listed for the ULI Global Awards for Excellence to be awarded in November, so double-congratulations are in order. Master planning by Kostow GreenWood; architecture and landscape architecture for different buildings by Wallace Roberts & Todd, USA Architects, Spillman Farmer Architects, URS Corporation and Artefact. Lighting by L'Observatoire International and Speirs + Major Mark Major. Duane Morris lawyers: Marc Brookman and Greg Duffy worked on the real estate element and Scott Kramer worked on the gaming aspect.
"Duane Morris is honored to have been associated with these five ULI Philadelphia Bill Rouse Award projects," said Marc Brookman, who was involved with three of the projects and has been a part of ULI for many decades. "The firm's roles in these projects were varied and included many attorneys from the firm—litigators, gaming law lawyers, as well as real estate attorneys. The firm's involvement in building and extending great developments is something that gives us great satisfaction, and it contributes to the general quality of life where we practice. We are happy to be part of this 'best of' list in planning, design and thoughtful development. It's extremely gratifying to have this recognized by this prestigious organization, ULI, which is internationally known as the top trade group for those who care about smart, green, sane and useful development, both for business and for residential projects."
The awards were created in honor of the legacy of Willard G. "Bill" Rouse III, who died in 2003. Rouse was the developer of One Liberty Place, the first structure in Philadelphia to exceed the traditional height limitation established by the top of the statue of William Penn atop Philadelphia City Hall. Rouse founded Rouse and Associates, and he was also involved in the construction of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The guest speakers at the June 18 event included William P. Hankowsky, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Property Trust, past president, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and past commerce director, City of Philadelphia; and Gary A. Hack, Ph.D., past dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and past chair, Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
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