LANCASTER – Representatives of The BLVD Association and the City of Lancaster have received the International Downtown Association (IDA) Pinnacle Award for The BLVD Transformation Project, city officials announced Tuesday. The project was recognized at the IDA World Congress and 59th Annual Conference, held in New York City.
“This innovative project has transformed an area in the heart of our city into a vibrant center of activity and community,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “From The BLVD’s 53 new businesses to the Museum of Art and History, with events ranging from go-karts racing down city streets at breakneck speeds to traditional Christmas celebrations, there is something downtown for everyone. This project has truly brought our community together. I am deeply honored that the prestigious International Downtown Association has recognized the destination we’ve created right here in Lancaster.”
The BLVD Transformation Project was selected for the Pinnacle Award, the IDA’s top honor, from a pool of 24 projects in the category of Public Space. Elizabeth Moule of architectural and design firm Moule & Polyzoides and David Sargent of Sargent Town Planning served as architect and designer of the project.
Erica Allbee, Vice President of The BLVD Association’s Board of Directors and owner of All About Fitness gym, joined with Sharon Giannini, owner of Giannini’s Bistro & Grill; Myrle McLernon, owner of MDM Architects; and City representative Chenin Dow in accepting the award. Giannini, McLernon, and Dow also hold seats on the Association’s Board of Directors.
“The BLVD has outpaced our highest expectations, becoming a vibrant downtown area far faster than we ever thought possible,” said Allbee. “Businesses are continuing to build, with new ones opening constantly. With amazing special events, a weekly farmer’s market, and a wide variety of businesses offering everything from designer candles and designer jeans to home décor and custom motorcycles, there’s always something to do or see on The BLVD.”
With 550 members and thousands of friends, the Washington, D.C.-based IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.
Awards previously won for The BLVD Transformation Project include the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the 2012 California Redevelopment Association Award of Excellence in Community Revitalization, the 2012 California Downtown Association Award in Physical Improvement, 2011 Outstanding Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association – High Desert Branch, and the 2011 Planning Excellence in Implementation Award of Merit from the American Planning Association – Los Angeles Section.
The IDA Pinnacle Award marks the project’s first international recognition. For more information regarding The BLVD, visit www.theblvdlancaster.com. For more information about the IDA, visit www.ida-downtown.org.
(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)