Developments of Excellence Awards

Honoring Bold Innovation & Community Design

ARC’s Development of Excellence awards recognize projects in metro Atlanta that exemplify cutting-edge, livable design that enhance the surrounding community and support the goals and policies of the Atlanta Region’s Plan, metro Atlanta’s long-range, comprehensive blueprint.

Development of Excellence awards are given annually to developers, local governments and other organizations or people who are making the 10-county Atlanta region a better place to live, work and play.

The Great Place award is also presented each year to recognize a community, neighborhood, public space or street that contributes to the region’s character, enhances options for housing, employment or recreation, and serves as a model for future growth.

ARC also presents an LCI Achievement Award, which honors a development or project that significantly advances the implementation of a community’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan.

Nominate a deserving project, place or LCI area by Friday, August 4. Then mark your calendar for ARC’s annual State of the Region Breakfast on Friday, November 3 to find out the winners.

Apply Now For 2017 Awards


2016 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

John Portman
Architect & Developer

John PortmanARC presented its first Developments of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award to John C. Portman, Jr., an architect and developer whose groundbreaking projects helped define and energize downtown Atlanta and give the region its distinctive skyline. Portman designed and built AmericasMart, Peachtree Center, SunTrust Plaza and three iconic Atlanta hotels: the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

His company now works across the globe, with recent projects gracing skylines from Charlotte to Shanghai. But Mr. Portman leaves no greater legacy than today’s thriving downtown Atlanta community.

ARC Development of Excellence

Kronberg Wall Offices
Kronberg Wall
Atlanta’s Reynoldstown Community

Kronberg WallThe historic Bearden Temple AME Church building, formerly St. Philip AME, has been a fixture in Atlanta’s Reynoldstown community since 1922. Long vacant, the 4,800 square foot church, made of sturdy Stone Mountain granite, has been reborn as headquarters of Atlanta architecture firm Kronberg Wall.

Located a short walk from MARTA’s Inman Park-Reynoldstown station and across the street from the Atlanta BeltLine trail, Kronberg Wall’s offices offer transportation options and access to surrounding neighborhoods.

The original 18 stained-glass windows have been restored and protected. The hardwood floors have been refinished, but still gently slope from the back of the former sanctuary to the front. Office furniture has been customized to accommodate the incline. The downstairs has been converted into office space, now occupied by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.


Exceptional Merit for LCI Achievement

Lee Street Park & Amphitheater
City of Jonesboro

Lee Street Park AmphitheaterEach year, ARC presents an award to a community that is making strides in the implementation of its vision, crafted through ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI). The LCI program provides grants to help communities reinvent themselves as more vibrant, walkable and bike-friendly places.
This year’s winner is Lee Street Park and Amphitheater in Jonesboro. The formerly underutilized facility has been transformed into a popular destination, hosting thousands for concerts and other special events.

The 5.7-acre park connects the downtown commercial district to residential neighborhoods, the nearby GRTA park-and-ride lot, and Tara Boulevard. Adjacent to several schools, the park’s two stages, playground, and walking trail are perfect for large gatherings, family fun or a relaxing stroll. The city hopes that the park will spark economic development in the Jonesboro area.

Exceptional Merit for Suburban Retrofit

Halpern Enterprises

The Belmont in SmyrnaThe Belmont development in Smyrna turned an aging strip shopping center into a walkable, mixed-use community.

The 50-acre site at the corner of Atlanta Road and Windy Hill Road was originally developed in the early 1950s and was one of the largest shopping centers in the Southeast. The new Belmont development features a mix of single-family attached homes, apartments, retail, office and a public elementary school, with a design that accommodates people of all ages.

The site is adjacent to Cobb County’s Campbell High School and is connected to nearby Smyrna Market Village, the Chattahoochee River and Kennesaw Mountain by the surrounding network of streets, trails and sidewalks.

Exceptional Merit for Historic Preservation

Walgreens in Historic Olympia Building 
Encore Real Estate Development
Five Points

The Walgreens in Historic Olympia BuildingEncore Real Estate Development renovated the historic Olympia Building at Five Points in downtown Atlanta. With help from architecture firm ASD|SKY, the Great Depression-era building was gutted and rebuilt as a 22,000 square foot Walgreens pharmacy, serving local residents, workers and students.
The wedge-shaped, two-story building is known for the Coca-Cola sign installed on its roof.

Great Place Award

The Atlanta Region’s National Parks: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
National Park Service

National ParksThe 2016 Great Place Award recipient is the National Park Service for its three metro Atlanta units: the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

As the nation observes 100 years of the National Park Service, the Developments of Excellence jury thought it was appropriate to celebrate the contributions of these wonderful amenities that serve to protect our natural resources, preserve our history and attract thousands of visitors to our region each year.

For the past several years, ARC has presented a Great Place award to a neighborhood, street or public place that contributes to and enhances metro Atlanta’s character. Past winners include Piedmont Park, Oakland Cemetery, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and the Marietta Square.

Past Winners

2015 Developments of Excellence Award
Ponce City Market, Presented to Jamestown Properties 

2014 Developments of Excellence Award
The Commons at Imperial Hotel, Presented to Columbia Residential, National Church Residences

2013 Development of Excellence Award
Oliver House at Allen Wilson, Presented to the Decatur Housing Authority

2012 Development of Excellence Award
Historic Fourth Ward Park, Presented to the City of Atlanta Departments of Watershed Management and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; the Trust for Public Land; and the Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy

2011 Development of Excellence
Perkins+Will Atlanta Headquarters, Presented to Perkins+Will 

2010 Development of Excellence Award
White Provision, Presented to White Provision Development Company 

2009 Development of Excellence Award
Suwanee Town Center, Presented to the City of Suwanee, Main Street Corners LLC, Madison Retail, and Bowen Family Homes

2008 Development of Excellence Award
Oakland Park, Presented to Urban Realty Partners

2007 Development of Excellence Award
West Village, Presented to the Pacific Group, Inc., Branch Properties of Atlanta, and the Highlands Companies of Alpharetta

2006 Development of Excellence Award
Woodstock Downtown, Presented to Hedgewood Properties and the City of Woodstock

2005 Development of Excellence Award
Glenwood Park, Presented to Green Street Properties

2004 Development of Excellence Award
Metropolis, Presented to the Novare Group and Wood Partners, Inc.

2003 Development of Excellence Award
Technology Square and Centergy, Presented to Gateway Development Services, Kim King Associates, Inc., the University Financing Foundation, and the Georgia Institute of Technology

2002 Development of Excellence Award
Milton Park, Presented to Pope & Land Enterprises and AMLI Residential

2001 Development of Excellence Award
Old Suwanee, Presented to Richport Properties and the City of Suwanee

2000 Development of Excellence Award

  • Lindbergh City Center, Presented to Carter & Associates
  • Monarch Village, Presented to Pathway Communities

1999 Development of Excellence Award

  • Post Riverside, Presented to Post Properties, Inc.
  • Ridenour, Presented to Macauley Properties