Harrisburg – The Edgewater at Oakmont development project in Oakmont Borough, Allegheny County topped an impressive array of smart growth projects from around the state receiving Commonwealth Awards at 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Awards event earlier this month. The state’s leading Smart Growth advocacy organization, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, honored sixteen projects from across the state with its prestigious annual awards – Edgewater at Oakmont was one of just two projects honored in the Mixed Use/Residential category.
Developed by Edgewater Properties, Kacin Companies, and EQA Landmark Communities, the Edgewater at Oakmont Project earned praise from 10,000 Friends’ President Jack Machek for its creative conversion of a brownfield site into a walkable neighborhood with a range of housing options, ample greenspace, and town center accessible to public transportation. “The project epitomizes smart growth and sustainable development,” Machek said. “By transforming and rehabilitating a vacant industrial site that shut Oakmont off from the Allegheny River,” Machek observed, “the project not only connects to the existing Oakmont street grid but it effectively extends the older neighborhood to the riverfront.”
The Commonwealth Awards is the only statewide awards program honoring smart growth projects from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Through the Commonwealth Awards, 10,000 Friends recognizes projects that utilize best practices promoting walkable, sustainable, healthy and more equitable communities. This year, the organization honored a wide array of project areas – including affordable housing, residential, mixed-use, commercial, public infrastructure, recreational/green space, schools, and municipal planning projects – that demonstrate urban infill, historic rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, brownfield redevelopment and other revitalization techniques.
Edgewater at Oakmont had received a Commonwealth Award in 2011 in the planning category. At that time, 10,000 recognized the unique combination of housing, recreation and commercial elements and the exciting possibility that the project would reconnect the Borough with the riverfront while remediating an old steel company brownfield site. “It is gratifying to our organization” Machek explained, “to recognize the team of developers, architects, engineers and municipal officials who had the vision and the determination to see this project through to fruition.”
“The Commonwealth Awards reflect 10,000 Friends’ commitment to creating vital communities and improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians,” said Machek. “We received a growing number of excellent submissions this year, and it’s very encouraging to see so many smart growth projects succeeding – demonstrating the demand across Pennsylvania for walkable communities. 10,000 Friends is proud to showcase the companies and organizations working to build more healthy and sustainable towns and communities across the state.”
As a recognized authority on responsible land use, 10,000 Friends partners with and provides technical assistance to government officials, non-profit organizations and the private sector on development solutions that protect the natural and built environments, strengthen local economies, provide access to economic opportunity for all, and improve community health and quality of life in our state’s diverse cities, towns, older suburbs, and rural communities. Smart Growth strategies serve many important goals, producing communities that have more transportation options and greater housing and recreational choices; are closer to job opportunities, health care and schools; are more energy efficient and independent; and help protect green space, clean air, and clean water.
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, is the leading statewide voice for great places to live and work. 10,000 Friends works with citizens, organizations, and public officials to create land use, infrastructure, and governance policies, projects, and practices that protect our resources, strengthen our economy, and improve our quality of life. For more information visit: http://10000friends.org/