The National Association of Home Builders recognized developments from across the country in its recent awards program.

The Great Room resident lounge at 7INK, a combination market-rate and coliving property in Boston. 7INK received the Best in Region — North Atlantic award at the National Association of Home Builders’ Best in American Living Awards.

Adaptive reuse conversions, varied exterior designs and neighborhood-serving amenities took center stage at the Best in American Living Awards, announced at the recent International Builders’ Show by the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders.
The annual design competition is open to builders and designers with projects from across the housing industry, including single-family, custom, multifamily and affordable housing, as well as remodeling projects and communities.
This year’s six multifamily winners are:

Community of the Year
Property: LC Germantown
Developer: Lifestyle Communities
Architects/Designers: LRK/Lifestyle Communities
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Units: 450

Located in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood, the heavy molding and industrial-style facade work of this mixed-use infill property recalls the area’s past as a warehousing district. Its units are located in four- and five-story wood-framed buildings, with exposed brickwork and cavernous ceilings as core interior design features. A restaurant, bar and wellness and coworking venues are open to all visitors.
“This is what we all want to see in our infill and developing communities,” the judges said in the awards package. “It showcases a successful way to achieve more integrated uses and a focus on the residential experience.”

Multifamily Community of the Year and Best in Region — Mid-Atlantic
Property: Chronicle Mill
Developer: Armada Hoffler
Architects/Designers: BB+M Architecture/Site Solutions
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
Units: 238

Originally constructed in 1901, Chronicle Mill operated as a textile mill until 2010. The building’s piecemeal layout and decayed condition posed heavy obstacles to reconstruction; the development team ended up removing the first and last structural bays and adding a new fourth level in order to accommodate the units. The facade is a mix of new and original brickwork, and many of the interior design elements repurpose items salvaged from within the mill.

Best in Region — Midwest
Property: Tribune Tower Conversion
Developer: Golub & Company
Architects/Designers: Solomon Cordwell Buenz/Site Design Group/The Gettys Group
Location: Chicago
Units: 162

This city landmark was home to the Chicago Tribune newspaper from 1925 until 2018, when it vacated the site. In the course of converting the building into condos, developer Golub & Company preserved and restored the building’s original facade, lobby and entryway. The retail fronting the original printing plant has been redeveloped, and more retail space was added at the ground level. Four glass-enclosed floors have also been added to the northeast side, with a landscaped courtyard among the new additions.
“It’s so hard not to look at the scale of this project and not be blown away,” the judges said. “It pushes the needle and makes a statement on the evolution of downtowns.”

Best in Region — North Atlantic, Innovative Housing Solution — Platinum
Property: 7INK
Developer: National Development
Architects/Designers: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Location: Boston
Units: 180

7INK is part of the Ink Block development, which includes six multifamily properties, a hotel and 82,000 square feet of retail. Renters can choose a traditional apartment or an individual bedroom in a three- or four-bedroom coliving suite. The property’s Inclusive Living model bundles furniture, utilities, internet/cable and activities with the monthly rent. Amenities include coworking spaces and a lounge room with cold brew and kombucha on tap.

Best in Region — Pacific Northwest

Property: Alta Arlo
Developer: Wood Partners
Architects/Designers: Johnston Architects/Karen Kiest Landscape Architects/Vida Design
Location: Seattle
Units: 243

Alta Arlo’s design draws inspiration from its historic neighbors as well as the Carnegie Library across the street, with dark brick prominently featured on the facade. The layout incorporates multiple public plazas and takes the pedestrian experience into consideration with through-block shortcut routes surrounding a private courtyard for residents.
“The designers of this development took advantage of the topography and created a focal point with the corner exterior, with the balconies slowly disintegrating toward the ends,” the judges said. “The massing is simple, with strategic placement of balconies and materials to add interest.”

Best in Region — South Atlantic
Property: Whistler
Developer: LV Collective
Architects/Designers: Niles Bolton Associates/Ironwood Design Group/Variant Collective
Location: Atlanta
Units: 168

Located near the Georgia Tech campus, Whistler stands 25 stories tall on a half-acre lot, with 565 student beds located across 168 apartments. The structure’s exterior mixes a number of gray tones, creating tower-like visual elements that draw the eye upward. Over 17,000 square feet of amenity space includes a cafe, fitness center and rooftop pool. One level of basement parking offers only 25 spaces in order to encourage reliance on public transit.

By Mary Salmonsen
Multifamily Dive

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