BIA/SC 50+ Housing Council Announces 2009 SAGE Awards Winners

The 50+ Housing Council, a special interest council of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, revealed the winners of the “Project of the Year” and “On the Boards” categories of the 15th annual SAGE Awards and honored “Person of the Year” winner Manny Gonzalez and “Program of the Year” winner RSVP-Orange County at an awards ceremony held on November 12th in Costa Mesa, CA.  The 2009 SAGE Project of the Year award was shared by two innovative housing developments – Silverado Senior Living-Beach Cities and Tivoli Plaza/Shield Village – serving different segments of the 50+ market.

Silverado Senior Living-Beach Cities is the first urban infill and adaptive reuse project for Silverado Senior Living, who partnered with Beach Cities Health District to convert a 1950s-era hospital in Redondo Beach into a “memory care” project for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Irwin Pancake Architects aided in transforming an outdated, institutional hospital into an 88-bed community with a warm, engaging residential setting that is the developer’s signature.  SAGE judges were impressed with the creative solution to provide outdoor space, which involved the construction of a new steel balcony system on two floors to offers ocean views and fresh air. The developer also leveraged the project’s large commercial kitchen by establishing a café open to the public.

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Tivoli Plaza & Shield Village is an “intergenerational” project in Pomona, CA with two components: 63 senior apartments and 27 family townhouses.   This affordable rental community was developed by The Related Companies of CA in partnership with Shield of Faith Church located across the street from the site, which was a blighted mobile home park. Danielian Associates designed the project with shared spaces that encourage resident interaction as well as separate areas and unit floor plans sensitive to the needs of each generational group. Seniors can engage in the active environment, and families benefit from and life experience and interaction with senior residents.

“The SAGE Awards pay homage to the best 50+ projects, people and programs in this dynamic segment of residential housing,” said Andy Bowden, president of the 50+ Housing Council and a principal at Land Concern Landscape Architects and Planning in Santa Ana, CA. “After 15 years, we continue to be impressed at the variety and ingenuity of housing for this niche, and to appreciate the passionate commitment of so many individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Southern Californians who are 50 and older.”

Three projects still in design or construction stages shared honors in the new “On the Boards” category:  Magnolia Courts at La Verne (a 55+ condominium); NoHo Senior Artists Colony (55+ apartments); and Walnut Village (a Continuing Care Retirement Community).

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  • Magnolia Courts at La Verne, developed by Hsientien La Verne Investment, LLC and designed by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, was recognized for overcoming site, height and development challenges after securing city approvals as the first three-story residential development ever built in La Verne, CA.  Clever use of the site’s natural slope and excavation was designed to minimize the project’s apparent height without compromising lifestyle for residents of this 55+ condominium development.
  • NoHo Senior Artists Colony, in North Hollywood, CA, is a 126-unit urban infill project in the NoHo “Arts District” that will offer market rate and affordable apartments for those aged 55 and older.   Developed by Meta Housing Corporation and designed by John Cotton Architects, it will incorporate an extraordinary array of visual and performing arts amenities, among them painting and sculpture studios, filmmaking and music editing equipment, exhibit and rehearsal space, and a 75-seat performing arts theater to be used jointly with a professional theater group.
  • Walnut Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community under development by Front Porch in Anaheim, CA, comprises a vibrant village setting for seniors offering a multitude of amenities.  As designed by AMAA, it will offer countless activities (among them a piano bar, performing arts center, bistro, and massage center); 42 different floor plans; and a full range of care options including Skilled Nursing.   SAGE judges also applauded the intent to bring assisted living services to residents’ own units as needed,  allowing them to remain in their homes and engaged in community life as long as possible.

The SAGE Person of the Year was awarded to Manny Gonzalez, AIA, a Principal with KTGY Group, Inc., in recognition of his longstanding professional contributions to 50+ housing for Southern Californians.   Responsible for the design of nearly 6,000 active adult housing units during the past 25 years, Gonzalez’s dedication to excellence and sustainable design solutions have set new industry standards and earned him more than 70 national, regional and local design awards, including 25 for work in the 50+ housing sector. An 8th generation native of Los Angeles, Gonzalez has served as the architect for the most highly-regarded builders and developers of 50+ housing in the country.

RSVP-Orange County, an affiliate of the Volunteer Center Orange County, was honored as the 2009 SAGE Program of the Year.  A free, national volunteer service association for persons aged 55+, RSVP assists older adults (average age 75) to “give back” to their communities, in the process themselves gaining stimulation, companionship and the positive social and health benefits of being active and involved.  Approximately 1,200 RSVP-Orange County volunteers contributed 220,000 hours in 2008 (valued at $4.9 million dollars), partnering with more than 60 volunteer groups and community organization ranging from museums and food banks to police departments.  Perry Wiggins, RSVP Director, accepted the SAGE award statute and a $1,000 contribution from the 50+ Housing Council.