MHA Projects Win Big at Annual NH&RA Timmy Awards

Congratulations are in order for two of our MHA Midwest projects, Infinite Chicago and the Hampton Inn at the Chicago Motor Club, on their wins this past week at the 10th Annual NH&RA J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Historic Rehabilitation. 

The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association is professional association for owners, developers and professionals in the affordable housing and multifamily industry with a mission to foster business relationships and lead targeted advocacy campaigns. The J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation (“The Timmys”) are “the only awards program to honor and call attention to the preservation and restoration of America’s historic properties and to celebrate innovative redesign and usage of great buildings from our past.”


Infinite Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Best Market-Rate / Mixed-Income Residential Winner

The Steger Building and Gibbons Building on historic Music Row were once the tallest buildings in Chicago. Now they, along with Pickwick Stables between them, offer 124 units of market rate housing and retail to the revitalizing neighborhood. Developer CA Ventures and architect, Pappageorge Haymes Partners, rehabilitated the terra cotta and brick clad steel frame buildings, which were once known for displaying the most expensive retail frontage in the city. The team resolved access and exit issues by creating bridges between the Steger and Gibbons Buildings on the upper floors. They also decided to use an offsite district cooling utility, creating space for an outdoor terrace that maintains the property’s historic roofline. Financing for the $68 million project includes equity from federal Historic Tax Credits. The property boasts a 95% occupancy rate and has contributed to the rebirth of the city’s downtown district. Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors

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Hampton Inn – Chicago Motor Club (Chicago, IL)

Judges’ Award Winner: Achievement in Sustainability

Throughout the early and mid-20th century, Chicagoans gathered in front of a 33-foot mural of the United States in the lobby of 68 E. Wacker Street to discuss the best routes to get away from the city. Today, most of us hold a digital concierge in the palm of our hands, but the map still lords over the lobby of that building, which is now itself a destination for out-of-towners. Developer Murphy Asset Management rehabilitated the old Chicago Motor Club into a Hampton Inn, blending relics of the past with a modern focus on sustainability that earned it a LEED certification. Murphy Asset Management leveraged a property tax incentive offered by Cook County that will result in reduced property taxes over 12 years, as well as federal Historic Tax Credits, to finance the $39 million project. Architect: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors

In addition, three other exceptional MHA projects were finalists in their categories and also for the coveted judges' awards:

Cottage Square Apartments (Easthampton, MA)

Best Historic Rehab Utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits - Large
Judges' Award: Achievement in Sustainability
Judges' Award: Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse
Judges' Award: Best Mill or Factory Rehabilitation

Cottage Square Apartments, developed by Arch Street Development, is the first project of the Easthampton 40R Smart Growth Plan aimed at providing affordable housing in the city’s downtown district and for providing for more density in residential development. The project consisted of rehabilitating eleven of twelve Nashawannuck Mills buildings, creating 50 units of affordable housing. The developers blended historic features such as exposed beams, wood ceilings and existing exposed brick walls with modern amenities such as central air conditioning, energy efficient appliances and an elevator.

Somerset Place Apartments (Chicago, IL)

Best Market-Rate / Mixed-Income Residential

The Somerset Hotel was constructed in 1919-1920 and designed by architect Samuel N. Crowen as a Renaissance Revival-style high-rise apartment hotel in the Uptown community of Chicago. In 1972, the Somerset Hotel was converted to one of the largest nursing home facilities in the country that served the mentally ill and felons along with the elderly, but was close in 2010 due to multiple code violations. Zidan Managment Group has rehabilited the building into apartment spaces, creating 160 market-rate residential units and restoring the historic volume, plan, and decorative elements that characterized the Somerset Hotel as one of Uptown's most luxurious apartment hotels. 

Virgin Hotel Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Best Commercial/Retail/Non-Residential
Judges' Award: Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse

VHNA Acquisition purchased the Old Dearborn Bank Building in October of 2011 and has adapted the building as a modern 250-room hotel, the first to operate under the Virgin Hotels North America flag. Located at 203 North Wabash Avenue, the building was constructed in 1928 as the headquarters of The Old Dearborn Bank. The approximately 190,000 square foot building, designated as a Chicago Landmark in June of 2003, is one of only two buildings designed solely as offices by the renowned Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp. The $65 million rehabilitation, which utilized federal historic rehabilitation tax credits and the Cook County Class “L” Property Tax Incentive and was overseen by The John Buck Company, has revitalized the formerly underutilized National Register property and restored several key architectural features; most significant is the reclamation of the bank’s original two-story height banking floor, mezzanine, and ornamental plaster ceiling.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists in what was a very competitive pool of applicants.