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2020 Aurora Awards Winners: Multifamily, and Project of the Year

Award-Winning Projects

2020 Aurora Awards Winners: Multifamily, and Project of the Year

A selection of this year's winners in the Aurora Awards' highly competitive Multifamily category, including the Project of the Year

By Rich Binsacca, Editor-in-Chief and Caroline Broderick, Associate Editor October 7, 2020
Kirkpatrick Park street view of townhomes, Nashville
Townhomes in Kirkpatrick Park, Nashville, Tenn. (Scroll down to read more.) | Photo: courtesy Thomas K. Gatlin

The annual Aurora Awards competition held by the Southeast Building Conference recognizes outstanding housing-related professionals for their work in 12 southeastern states and the Eastern Caribbean. Pro Builder is proud to present a selection of this year's winners in the highly competitive Multifamily category, including the Project of the Year.


Project of the Year: NOVEL Atherton

Location: Austin, Texas
Category: Project of the Year
Developer: Crescent Communities, Charlotte, N.C.
Architect: Dwell Design Studios, Atlanta


Novel Atherton aerial view including city in distance
NOVEL Atherton adds a significant amount of new rental apartment units and retail space to Charlotte's historic South End neighborhood. | Photo: courtesy George Lainis / Catchlight Studio

The historic South End neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C., offers destination shopping, dining, nightlife, and entertainment. Alongside the light rail and Rail Trail is Atherton Mill, a vibrant adaptive reuse and mixed-use community, which includes NOVEL Atherton.

Featuring 346 rental studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments on five floors over a retail podium, NOVEL Atherton offers a wealth of floor plans fitted with luxury details, such as 9-foot, 6-inch–high ceilings and white quartz countertops. All the units are positioned to deliver exceptional views of the Uptown Charlotte skyline, the Rail Trail, and the vibrant South End neighborhood. Leases run from about $1,400 to just over $3,000 per month. 

Novel Atherton kitchen interior
Rental apartments at NOVEL Atherton range from under 600 square feet to nearly 1,200 square feet and offer a range of well-appointed features. | Photo: courtesy George Lainis / Catchlight Studio

The retail space adds 60,000 square feet and is home to 15 high-end retailers, a blend of locally owned shops, and highly curated national retailers. 

Celebrating the neighborhood’s rich history, the architecture of NOVEL Atherton successfully blends historical elements with modern convenience. Targeting a more mature move-up renter, the thoughtful aesthetic continues to the residential spaces, with sophisticated yet industrial appointments. 

In addition to the well-appointed apartments, residents enjoy amenities including a 3,500-square-foot two-story fitness center and an infinity-edge saltwater pool. A short walk to the light rail station gives residents easy access to additional employment centers and entertainment throughout Charlotte. Lease-up has exceeded expectations, averaging 31 per month, while rents are 10% higher than in comparable neighboring communities.

Novel Atherton pool


Novel Atherton gym




West Main Townhomes

Location: Alpharetta, Ga.
Category: Multifamily
Builder: Patrick Malloy Communities, Atlanta
Architect: A Classical Studio, Roswell, Ga.

Located in a downtown walking district of Alpharetta, Ga., this townhome development contains 23 newly constructed luxury multifamily homes to match the recently revitalized downtown district. The designer and developer wanted to provide homeowners with a high-end living experience with direct, easy access to the lively downtown area. Each of these homes is 3,200 square feet.

West Main Townhomes front elevation
Though the West Main Townhomes exteriors are aesthetically cohesive, the palette and details of the front facades varies considerably, adding interest to the streetscape. | Photo: courtesy Enrique A. Samson


Main Townhomes rear elevation
Rear elevation | Photo: courtesy Patrick Malloy Communities

The layout of the community promotes a neighborly feel, with a park for tenants and a dog park for their furry friends. Design choices, such as the front-facing, garden-level terraces fitted with outdoor fireplaces, were also made to foster a sense of community and engagement with neighbors. But if occupants desire a more private outdoor space, they can head to the rooftop where covered porches provide expansive views of Alpharetta and even the North Georgia Mountains.

Custom details, such as iron handrails, copper gas lanterns, and timber brackets, differentiate each townhome. Though the exteriors are cohesive and match aesthetically, the front facades are varied. To maintain a consistent style, designers relied on two main materials for the facades: stone and brick, alternating between these two materials. The end result: The homes appear stylistically related yet still distinct.


West Main Townhomes site plan
The layout of the community promotes a neighborly feel, with a park for tenants and a dog park. | Photo: courtesy Patrick Malloy Communities


Kirkpatrick Park

Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Category: Multifamily
Builder: R.G. Anderson, Jeff Crowley, Nashville, Tenn.
Architect: Smith Gee Studio, Mona Hodge, Nashville, Tenn.

As part of Nashville’s Metropolitan Development & Housing Agency’s plan to redevelop the city’s largest and oldest public housing development, Kirkpatrick Park aims to set an example for the country when it comes to mixed-income housing. 

Kirkpatrick Park facades, Nashville
Housing in Kirkpatrick Park includes one- to three-bedroom townhomes, stacked flats, and towns over flats. | Photo: courtesy Thomas K. Gatlin

The team undertook extensive community planning to ensure neighbors wouldn't be disrupted by construction and to guarantee existing residents would stay. In addition, the project’s developers had two other strict goals the team needed to accomplish:

1. Provide a one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing to be demolished

2. Deconcentrate poverty through an integrated, economically self-sustaining mixed-income community. 

Housing in Kirkpatrick Park ranges from one- to three-bedroom townhomes, stacked flats, and towns over flats with units between 600 and 1,800 square feet. The buildings vary from two to three stories but keep a consistent style of traditional and transitional. To provide a greater sense of connection to the community, the team designed two pocket parks and a pedestrian-oriented street. In addition, the homes have porches lining the streets, which adds a sense of security.

Aerial view of Kirkpatrick Park multifamily development, Nashville, at dusk
The team undertook extensive community planning to ensure neighbors would not be disrupted by construction and to guarantee existing residents would stay. | Photo: courtesy Thomas K. Gatlin


Parramore Oaks

Location: Orlando, Fla.
Category: Multifamily for Rent Housing Community – up to 4 Stories 
Builder: Royal American Construction, Panama City, Fla.
Architect: Forum Architecture & Interior Design, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

A catalyst toward transforming a section of downtown Orlando, this project consists of 104 affordable and market-rate apartments and amenity spaces located in a single four-story building with 104 units, and a pair of two-story flat-over-flat apartment buildings with an additional 16 units that provide a transition to the scale of the adjoining neighborhood.

Exterior of the multifamily development Parramore Oaks, in Orlando
Parramore Oaks is a model of public-private partnerships that deliver much-needed affordable housing and help revitalize neighborhoods. | Photo: courtesy Grey Street Studios / Brian Swartzwelder


Parramore Oaks multifamily homes exterior corner, Orlando
Photo: courtesy Grey Street Studios / Brian Swartzwelder

An extension of the Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan by the city, the project exemplifies the ability of government agencies on the municipal, state, and federal levels to collaborate to address an acute local need for high-quality, safe, affordable places to live.

Parramore Oaks multifamily homes interior, living room
Photo: courtesy Grey Street Studios / Brian Swartzwelder

The project is designed with modern flair that responds to both the street-level life of the local neighborhood and the modern energy of downtown Orlando. The apartment units have finishes and design touches throughout that exude an up-to-the-minute urban vibe, while addressing the current-day desire to be sustainable and to provide options for those with mobility and sensory impairments.


Parramore Oaks multifamily homes, interior
Photo: courtesy Grey Street Studios / Brian Swartzwelder


The Westgate Residences

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Category: Video
Builder: W.G. Yates and Son’s Construction
Architect: Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, Atlanta
Architectural Visualization + VideoNeezo Studios, Mississauga, ON, Canada

Watch the winning video produced by Neezo Studios here

For those who consider themselves part of the Crimson Tide fanbase, The Westgate Residences are a dream. The building is located just a stone’s throw from the University of Alabama’s football stadium. Alumni of the school and football fans were the target market, and it's clear to see why. Not only is the location ideal for ease of access to the football stadium, but the use of the team’s colors throughout the building are as attractive as they are strategic. The building offers luxury amenities, from a rooftop deck to garage parking and a clubhouse fitted with multiple TVs for game-day watching. 

Building exterior, Westgate Residences, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Taking home the award for best video, the Westgate Residences team used drone footage, photorealistic 3D animation, football references, and vintage football footage to craft their presentation. | Image: courtesy The Westgate Residences

The Westgate Residences team used drone footage, photorealistic 3D animation, football references, and vintage football footage to create their video, which won the award for best video and has already reached more than 1.2 million people. The audio accompanying the images is a pumped-up game-day tune, which mirrors the excitement of an actual game day, along with the experience the team is selling to potential residents. All of the interior spaces and the exterior were modeled, textured, and colored to look as real as possible.


Balconies for outdoor living at the Westgate Residences, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Image: courtesy The Westgate Residences


Interior at the Westgate Residences, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The building offers luxury amenities from a rooftop deck to garage parking and a clubhouse with multiple TVs for game-day watching. | Photo: courtesy The Westgate Residences



Written By

Rich Binsacca is Professional Builder’s editor-in-chief. He has served as an editor and frequent contributor to several housing and building construction-related print and online publications, and has reported and written about all aspects of the industry since 1987.

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