Three large city-owned lots comprise the Pershing Road project site for C40's Reinventing Cities design contest.

C40 Contest Finalists Get Set to Dig Into Pershing Road Project

Published October 19, 2018

The Pershing Road site for C40's Reinventing Cities contest has taken another step forward with the announcement of project finalists: two design groups that now face the task of conceiving and submitting specific redevelopment plans for the massive lots and buildings sprawling from 1717 to 1819 West Pershing Road.

"C40 has outlined 10 challenges we are trying to address," said Wes Andrews of Urban Intersection Partners, one of the firms comprising finalist Team Pershing. "Most are related to zero carbon and resiliency — these are the areas we are going to be working on."

In addition to Urban Intersection Partners, Team Pershing's representatives include The Street Society. JLK Architects and ARUP make up team architects, and ARUP is handling the role of environmental experts.

Civic Solutions is another finalist team for the Pershing Road site, with its involvement represented by Washington Park Development Group and BLDWORKS LLC. The team's architects are Clément Blanchet Architecture, Civic Projects Architecture LLC, No Architecture and Site Design Group. The environmental experts for team Civic Solutions come from Eco Achievers.

The C40 organization has a focus on sustainability and environmentalism, said Civic Projects Architecture founder Monica Chadha, speaking as part of the Civic Solutions team. "Looking at those principles will be key to creating the proposal," she said.

The contest's first phase of selecting finalists was mostly focused on qualifying applicants and "trying to find the right team mix for the project," Chadha said. The full and formal proposal will be due in early 2019, she said, with likely updates to follow in the spring.

"We have a whole new [Request for Proposal] we have to turn into the city," Andrews said. "A lot of what we're doing right now is understanding what the city is requiring of us." He said Team Pershing members have started the process of investigating the neighborhood and reaching out to key stakeholder institutions and businesses.

Chadha also spoke of investigating neighborhood needs and integrating them into their proposal. "We would like to mix public and private access," she said. "We are looking at a holistic and mixed-use approach."

"It's going to be important to consider both the identity of the existing buildings, and then what are the new opportunities" for them, Chadha said. They'll look to preserve the buildings' history and intention, but make them modern, she said.

"Nothing really gets used unless the community finds a way to use it," Andrews said. "That’s our challenge."

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