The National Association of Home Builders held its annual awards ceremony in recognition of impressive residential construction Oct. 15. This year, the American Campus Communities property Chestnut Square at 3200 Chestnut St. won both the Best Student Housing Apartment Community and the Best Mixed-use Community awards.
“Judges evaluate entries on design, development, execution and success in the marketplace, based on individual category criteria,” Cassandra Palanza, media contact for the NAHB, said. Each building entered into the competition was scored on various qualities by an anonymous panel of judges. This mitigated the influence of personal bias in the final scores. Palanza explained that winners of the Developer Award and the Affordable Community Award are then nominated for an alternate award category for Best Multifamily Community of the Year.
The “Mixed-use Community” award is given to establishments that house both residential and commercial enterprises. One judge commented on Chestnut Square: “Fits well into urban fabric. Retail fits well with residential. Very well designed.” “Nice mixed use. Well done, interesting,” a different judge said.
ACC has an “American Campus Equity” program that allows universities to deal in real estate, but manage any debts privately. This keeps funds available for development elsewhere, increasing the university’s ability to multitask.
Drexel has partnered with ACC through this program to build University Crossings and The Summit at University City, as well as Chestnut Square, all funded at the time by ACC, to be paid off privately later. Between the three housing developments, these deals have added living space for approximately 3,200 students to Drexel University.
“Our partnership with Drexel University has yielded three award-winning student housing communities,” Bill Bayless, president and CEO of ACC, told Business Wire. “That success is a testament to President Fry’s unparalleled vision for student housing at the University and our shared, unrelenting commitment to student success,” Bayless finished.
Not only has ACC developed three on-campus housing options at Drexel, but the housing development company also manages these establishments’ upkeep.
“American Campus Communities develops and runs great buildings, including three at Drexel, and our partnership with American Campus has allowed us to focus on academic priorities and leave infrastructure investments and challenges to the experts,” President John A. Fry said to Business Wire.
“Chestnut Square helped transform our campus and our neighborhood, and it richly deserves these accolades,” Fry said in reference to the recent awards received from the NAHB. According to DrexelNow, ACC owns 161 housing properties and managed an additional 30 through third parties as of Aug. 30. Between those properties, ACC provided housing space for approximately 123,300 students across America.