The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.

 

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD (NE)
Developer chosen for downtown Omaha
The City of Omaha, Neb., and its Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority have chosen Shamrock Development to build a $176 million, Leo A. Daly–designed project downtown. Jeffrey Robb reports that the mixed-use facility will include a 350-room Marriott hotel, 280 apartments, offices, and retail space. The city-owned site is currently home to surface parking lots. Shamrock Development prevailed over two competing development proposals and is expected to open the project by Dec. 2014.

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THE KANSAS CITY STAR (MO)
AIA Kansas City honors local projects
A bank, factory expansion, and a city hall topped the design excellence awards given by AIA Kansas City. Steve Paul reports that Helix Architecture + Design’s Brookside branch for Missouri Bank, McHenry Shaffer Mitchell Architects’ Posty Cards’ Butler-building production facility expansion, and BNIM’s Greensburg, Kan., City Hall received honor awards. Ten other projects received lesser awards from a jury that included ARCHITECT editor-in-chief Ned Cramer, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects principal Merrill Elam, and Kieran Timberlake principal David Mark Riz.

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DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL
Denver International Airport settles with Calatrava
The Denver International Airport (DIA) and Santiago Calatrava have finally reached an agreement over the designs that the famed Spanish architect produced before leaving the airport expansion project in September. Cathy Proctor reports that Calatrava will receive $250,000 as a “licensing fee,” bringing his total compensation for design work on the $500 million South Terminal to $13.6 million. Some design features considered “signature” by Calatrava will be removed from the project, including a white band at the top and white vertical corner pieces on the 500-room hotel. “Unless you know a lot about architecture, you won’t even see a difference,” DIA spokesman Jeff Green says. San Francisco–based Gensler and locally based Anderson Mason Dale Architects are continuing work on the project for a scheduled Jan. 2014 completion.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES
Prefab goes tall
The first high-rise at Brooklyn’s long-delayed Atlantic Yards will be a 32-story, 350-unit apartment building. Charles V. Bagli reports that the SHoP Architects–designed structure will be the world’s tallest prefabricated steel structure, at least until a neighboring 50-story tower is completed. The building will be fabricated off-site in 14-ft. by 35-ft. modules, with 950 fully outfitted pieces brought to the site and lifted into place. Developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner estimates 60 percent of the construction will occur off-site. SHoP is working with Arup and XSite Modular in developing the design, which is seven stories taller than the current record holder.

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CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (NC)
Charlotte bleak commercial real estate forecast
Kerry Singe reports that a group of commercial real estate experts advised patience at a recent conference in Charlotte, N.C. “I think we're still delusional in (thinking) that Charlotte's Charlotte, and we didn't get hit hard,” says UNC Charlotte economics professor John Connaughton. “Well, we got hit hard. And it's not getting better anytime soon.” Charlotte has seen a “mismatch” between jobs lost in manufacturing and construction and new jobs created in professional services. Childress Klein Properties partner Landon Wyatt notes that there is some positive movement in industrial properties, including five deals completed in the past 45 days.

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THE MORNING CALL (ALLENTOWN, PA)
Plans scrapped for Euclidean University
Plans for a new school, called Euclidean University, in East Allen, Penn., have fallen through. Arlene Martinez reports that the 3,000-student school is the brainchild of New Jersey developer Michael Parlamis, who previously proposed to build the school in Orange County, N.Y. Representatives for the school needed to finalize plans to acquire the 400-acre property by Dec. 8, but East Allen Township officials won’t have a draft ordinance for a university-planned development ready until February.

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ELIZABETHTON STAR (TN)
Animal shelter needs cuts
Bids for the proposed Elizabethton Carter County (Tenn.) Animal Shelter came in at $892,000. Ashley Rader reports that the cost is considerably above the budgeted $600,000. “We are looking at a million dollar project with all of the add-ons,” says Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey. “We need to develop some realistic expectations about what the project will be.” The building committee has been discussing possible cost-saving measures with low bidder Armstrong Construction. Architect Joey White has developed several scenarios for reducing the size of the building, but further study is needed.

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PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
Hard Rock casino proposed

Hard Rock International is proposing to build a $465 million, 200-room casino hotel on Atlantic City’s boardwalk. Donald Wittkowski reports that the project will be part of a new pilot program for “boutique” casinos. “When you look at the history of Atlantic City and its contribution to music, we felt this could be another reason for people to come to Atlantic City,” says Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen. The first phase of the project is expected to start construction by July 2012 and open in spring 2014.

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CNET
America is excited by new light bulbs

Martin LaMonica reports that a new survey by Osram Sylvania finds that 56 percent of Americans are “excited about the phase-out [of traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulbs] because Americans will use more energy efficient bulbs.” This is the first survey in which a majority was aware of the imminent extinction of incandescent bulbs, with the 100-watt variety to be phased out in 2012. Despite the obvious enthusiasm and growing knowledge of the changes, 87 percent of those surveyed still use incandescent bulbs.

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STREETSBLOG
DC advises NYC to cut parking minimums
At a conference sponsored by New York City’s Department of City Planning and Harvard University, the role of parking minimums was cited as essential to building a more sustainable city. Noah Kazis reports that New York is considering the reduction of parking minimums, but the Washington, D.C., has a more radical solution. “[Washington has] removed our minimums for most buildings in the downtown and near transit,” says Harriet Tregoning, director of D.C.’s Office of Planning. “We should think of ourselves as a band of brothers. Why don’t we emulate success?”

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