Every two years, the construction industry comes together to celebrate the best of the best at the Urban Development Institute’s Awards for Excellence. These prestigious awards are unique in two ways. First, judges take an on-site tour of the finalists (whenever location permits). Second, both the finalists and the winners are only revealed at the gala that this year took place Nov. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
“It’s the incredible people in this industry that make the difference,” says Jon Stovell, chair of UDI Pacific Region and president of Reliance Properties, by way of introducing the evening’s first award for lifetime achievement.
David Podmore, chairman and co-founder of Concert Properties Ltd., received a well-deserved standing ovation when he was named the ninth inductee into UDI’s Hall of Fame. Known for his ready smile and soft-spoken manner, Podmore’s 40 years of industry experience have helped shape Vancouver real estate, and his tireless philanthropic efforts have raised millions for charitable organizations including the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and BCIT trades training programs.
Framework by Porte Communities, located on a 75-ft. lot in the heart of Chinatown, garnered top honours for Urban Residential. “We built Framework with a very specific homeowner in mind – they love urban living, probably work downtown, and are in some kind of creative field,” says president, David Porte. “This building isn’t for everyone, and we knew that. For example, not everyone thinks polished concrete floors are cool, but our target demographic did. I believe the consistency in our focus was a major part of winning this award.”
In Metrotown, Modello scored big points thanks to Boffo Developments’ well-known attention to detail and sophisticated, resort-inspired amenities. “The judges specifically commented on the structural core’s design, which allowed higher and wider common-area corridors, and the customizations we offered to ensure every space fits perfectly with each homeowner’s lifestyle,” says
Karen West, director of marketing and sales.
Onni Group took home two awards; one for Centreview in North Vancouver (Mixed Use) and another for Northwest (Readers’ Choice). Nic Jensen, vice-president of sales at Onni Group, says he believes Northwest’s gently curved, off-white balconies and eye-catching façades that gradually morph from sky blue on upper floors to a soft, natural green at ground level were a large part of the reason why these two towers captured hearts among buyers and the public.
Adding to an already impressive list of accolades, Adera’s Ridge Club took home top honours in the Suburban Residential category. A showcase of intelligent design and eco-friendly features, this South Surrey community incorporates a much-loved, 6,500-sq.-ft. clubhouse, a feature Eric Andreasen, vice-president of marketing and sales, says is a rarity in a community of just 210 homes.
Also in South Surrey and the recipient of numerous awards at provincial and local levels, Hyde Park by local developer Zenterra Developments, won the Ground-Oriented Housing category.
“Hyde Park was designed around the existing trees and landscape, not the other way around as is the usual approach,” says Derek Fenten, development and project manager. He notes that approximately 20 per cent of the 20-acre site has been preserved as natural greenspaces.
For a complete list of the 2018 winners, visit udi.bc.ca or #UDIAwards2018.