Insights

AKT Peerless Project Earns Multiple National Awards

AKT Peerless is proud to announce that a client redevelopment project has been recognized for excellence in brownfield redevelopment by two national award panels. The Cardinal Health Medical Distribution Center, located at 6000 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit, is the recipient of Redevelopment & Renewal’s Environmental Impact Award as well as the Phoenix Award. Michigan-based AKT Peerless provided environmental and development incentive consulting services spanning the entire redevelopment. Both awards will be presented on September 3rd at the 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference in Chicago.

The Redevelopment & Renewal Environmental Impact Award will be presented by Renewal Magazine, which also plans to highlight the project’s environmental best practices in their next issue. The project faced stiff competition from over 80 other nominated redevelopments representing all regions of the United States. Nominations were judged by a panel of 29 industry experts from across the country. According to the judges, the winner in the Environmental Impact category demonstrated the most innovative environmental solutions, while overcoming challenges and representing successful collaboration among multiple parties, which enabled the project to excel.

The Phoenix Award will be presented by a non-profit organization after selection by a panel of national experts. The award was established to recognize successful revitalization projects across the country that exhibit excellence in brownfield redevelopment. The project was selected as the best project in USEPA Region 5 (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). As a regional award winner, the project will compete for the People’s Choice Award, which is selected by attendees of the 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference, and is also eligible for the Grand Prize selected by the collective Phoenix Award judges.

“AKT Peerless nominated the project for these awards because we knew it was noteworthy and we felt KIRCO and Henry Ford Health System deserved recognition for their persistence, vision, and success, but we were a bit overwhelmed by the response,” said Anthony Kashat, Principal of AKT Peerless. “We aren’t aware of any previous projects that earned both of these national awards.”

Designed as a state-of-the-art medical distribution facility for Cardinal Health to service Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center, and other local medical centers, the project was intended by Henry Ford Health System to be the inaugural step for its comprehensive community redevelopment plan. The plan includes improving hundreds of blighted, contaminated, and obsolete properties south of the Detroit hospital campus into a thriving mixed-use neighborhood with residential, commercial, and med-tech businesses.

The newly constructed 275,000 square foot distribution facility opened in May 2015 and represents a new investment of approximately $28,000,000 in the neighborhood. The redevelopment incorporates many state-of-the-art design elements including a passive vapor mitigation system and highly-efficient mechanical and electrical systems monitored by an elaborate network of direct digital controls.

The site was assembled from 80 individual properties. The assemblage was undertaken by Henry Ford Health System over three years and comprised properties owned by private individuals, businesses, and numerous tax-reverted properties. A number of the properties required processing through the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority in order to provide insurable title. Acquisition of the final parcels included in the project occurred concurrently with final site plan, building design, municipal approval, and brownfield incentive approval processes. All these critical approvals occurred during the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceedings, the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history.

The property assemblage contained 23 blighted structures requiring hazardous material surveys, abatement, and demolition before redevelopment. These properties included vacant lots, vacant residential homes, commercial parcels, a variety of industrial buildings and properties, and streets and alleyways that would require abandonment. The redevelopment eliminated these unattractive nuisances and other environmental risk factors from the neighborhood.

“This redevelopment represents a significant transformation of blighted, contaminated, and obsolete properties in Detroit,” said Kashat. “It sets a new bar for similar redevelopment initiatives.”

“The development team showed uncompromising resolve to see this project to completion,” added Tim McGahey, Vice President of Environmental Due Diligence at AKT Peerless. “It’s nice when a Detroit project is nationally recognized by our peers in the redevelopment industry, but to receive multiple national awards is indicative of the magnitude of the impact of this project.”

For more information about the 2015 Renewal Awards, visit their website at www.redevelopmentreuse.com.

For more information about the Phoenix Award, visit the 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference website.

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