ACC’s Highland Mall redevelopment project recognized for innovation

The Austin Community College (ACC) Highland Mall redevelopment project was awarded the 2015 Impact Award for Innovation from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Austin on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO, and Dr. Betty Hwang, ACC trustee, accepted the award along with ACC facilities and construction staff, BGK Architects, and Flintco Construction.

“This project is renewing hope in our community, and the nation is watching,” says Dr. Rhodes. “We’re developing a community where the heart of it is learning. The energy it’s creating is electric.”

Rendering by Elizabeth Day, courtesy BGK Architect

Rendering by Elizabeth Day, courtesy BGK Architect

The ULI award is for innovative land use or community planning. It recognizes originality and creativity in development, such as design, place-making, supporting use of public transit, green techniques, and financing (including public/private partnerships).

The projects met specific criteria, including:

  • Resourceful use of land/successful adaptive reuse of property.
  • Sustainability, preservation, or enhancement of environmental resources.
  • Entrepreneurship or creative development team organization and management.
  • Filling a special community or market need.
  • Cutting-edge design and planning features.

ACC Highland project has received local, state, and national recognition, including the 2015 Citation of Excellence from the trade journal Learning by Design and is nominated for the Austin Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Awards, in the Community Impact category.

The college will prepare for phase II of the ACC Highland project beginning in May. Phase II is funded with bonds passed by district voters in 2014.

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