Strada is delighted to announce that two projects—Fresh Corner Store Showcase Conversions and 3737 Science Center—were honored with 2015 Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence on June 17.
Sponsored by Urban Land Institute Philadelphia, the Awards program recognizes “the best real estate projects completed within the last five years in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware.” Award winners represent a wide variety of urban mixed-use, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, multipurpose entertainment, and institutional projects. Rigorous evaluation criteria considered the use of best practices; quality planning and design; elements that build healthy places; environmental sustainability and energy reduction; economic success and market acceptance.
The Fresh Corner Store Showcase Conversions project, piloted by The Food Trust, tackles the challenge of providing fresh healthy food to communities in urban food deserts. Strada designed eye-catching architectural enhancements and modular in-store hubs for five Philadelphia corner stores to encourage sales of nutritious foods.
Exterior enhancements included new awnings, lighting, planters, fresh paint and signage to “brand” the stores. Inside the markets, “Fresh Corners” offer shoppers fresh foods, along with healthy buying guides and eating tips, cooking demonstrations, and take-home recipe cards.
The pilot project involved minimal investment and delivered major benefits for store owners and their communities. To date, converted stores have experienced sharp increases in sales of fresh produce, water, and low-fat dairy products, as well as significant increases in community engagement, weekly profits, customer traffic, and adjacent property values.
3737 Science Center is the newest building at the University City Science Center. This $119 million, 13-story, 334,000-SF facility houses medical offices, outpatient operating rooms, a radiology center, and clinical, laboratory, and research space for Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and cutting-edge gene therapy startup Spark Therapeutics. It also provides support space for STEM/STEAM educational initiatives for low-income secondary school students.
Built on a former brownfield site, 3737 achieved LEED Gold and is the first health care building in Pennsylvania to have a chilled beam system—an advanced convection HVAC system designed to heat or cool large buildings. The project involved a joint venture by the Science Center and Wexford Science + Technology. Strada served as consulting architect to ZGF Architects.