Written by Ghadeer Mansour –
Exposed brick and steel beams pay homage to the industrial past of the Winslow Parker Metal Building. Nestled near the glowing purple M&T Bank Stadium, the restored 20th-century building was the venue for the 10th annual WaveMaker Award Ceremony hosted by ULI Baltimore. Guests were seated in the grand room facing an imperial metal staircase, which elevated the podium and leads to a wraparound mezzanine.
ULI Baltimore chairwoman Kim Clark welcomed all to the celebration of local real estate projects and visionaries. To kick off the event, she cued the film reel recognizing winners of the prestigious 2018 WaveMaker Award. Of 30 nominations, 8 transformational projects in the Baltimore area were selected: Nelson Kohl Apartments, 1405 Point, SNF Parkway, DMG Foods, Porter Street Apartments, 500 Park, 1 West Mt. Vernon Place, and 706 Giddings Avenue.
The Nelson Kohl Apartments transformed an abandoned parking lot into 130 apartments and commercial units, a gallery, and amenities for residents. 1405 Point is a Harbor Point waterfront development with 289 residential units, a pool overlooking the harbor, and ground level retail space. SNF Parkway restored a 1915 building into a beautiful movie theater, screening rooms, box office, lounge and bar that will be home to the Maryland Film Festival, and used by the joint film program of Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Arts. DMG Foods is an innovative social enterprise solution to Baltimore City’s chronic food insufficiency, getting its name from the Salvation Army’s motto ‘Doing Most Good.’ Situated on the edge of a food desert, the grocery store provides clean and affordable food options, workforce development, nutrition education, and social programs to the community.
Porter Street Apartments is a 223-unit LEED-certified apartment building at McHenry
Row, continuing the redevelopment of the former Phillips Seafood building into a thriving mixed-use community complete with offices, public spaces, and a local brewery. 500 Park is a new building with street-front retail, apartments, elevated pool, and deck, plus more modern amenities, standing where a parking lot once operated. 1 West Mt. Vernon Place is a 167-year-old mansion that was originally gifted to the Walter’s Art Museum. It was recently restored with historic preservation and reopened to connect present-day Baltimoreans with the mansion’s history, families, artisans, and craftspeople. 706 Giddings Avenue went from a class C medical office building to a premier class A office building in West Annapolis, leading the way as the first profitable commercial redevelopment in the area.
The next award recognized a leader who has served more than two decades and touched all phases of development through different land uses. Past winners were present and joined the committee on stage to recognize the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Kurt Schmoke. As a lawyer, educator, and elected official, his career emphasizes environmental justice, fair housing, and civil rights. He served at the federal and state levels and gained the Empowerment Zone designation for the city of Baltimore while mayor. As the current president of the University of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke is embarking on the next revitalization project in Midtown, displaying his commitment to development in the community and throughout the nation. He accepted his award on stage and shared kind words of wisdom. He encouraged continued partnerships between the private sector and local government, and thanked guests for “looking into the future, building for a better tomorrow, and building for a better Baltimore.”
The Distinguished Leader Award followed and was awarded to Steve Marker for exemplifying excellent leadership and contribution as the chair of ULI Baltimore’s UrbanPlan. His work in the industry so far has ranged across commercial and community development, architecture, and sustainability. Steve Marker spoke on the impact of this work in the city and on people’s lives, and he shared his excitement for what is in store as he aims to enhance diversity in the industry.
Up next was an introduction of the Urban Innovation Grant, launched this year as part of ULI Baltimore’s mission to give back to the community. The grants fund local projects that provide solutions for land use issues as measured by impact, sustainability, innovation, and need. The recipients were Fayette Street Outreach Organization, South Baltimore Learning Center, St Francis Neighborhood Center, and Station North Arts & Entertainment Inc.
The final award of the evening was the Peoples’ Choice Award. Upon entry, every guest was given a token to vote for their favorite development project displayed through a poster exposé. After a drum roll from the crowd, the winner was Porter Street Apartments. Winners gathered for pictures with glass trophies, and guests continued mingling over music and hors-d’oeuvres throughout the evening.