For Immediate Release
The New Wyvernwood Wins Prestigious International Design Award
The Congress for the New Urbanism honors the Boyle Heights project for its walkable, sustainable design
LOS ANGELES (March 13, 2012) – The New Wyvernwood, the modern and sustainable mixed-use redevelopment project proposed for Boyle Heights, has won a prestigious international design award that honors excellence in architectural, landscape, and urban design around the world.
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) announced that its Charter Award would honor The New Wyvernwood, praising it as a walkable and sustainable project in harmony with its physical and social environment. The award was granted by a jury of respected designers, architects, planners, and scholars who studied plans for the project, which will transform the aging Wyvernwood complex and revitalize much of the surrounding neighborhood.
“We are very gratified that The New Wyvernwood has been recognized by such a respected group of design professionals,” said Mark Sanders, co-founder and principal of Fifteen Group, the family-owned investment firm that owns the property and is proposing the redevelopment. “I'd like to thank design firm Torti Gallas and Partners, architect Neal Payton, and our entire professional team for their hard work developing this innovative, community-focused, forward-looking plan.”
The New Wyvernwood will include up to 4,400 new homes to rent and to own, 300,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and commercial space, 25,000 square feet of civic space, and 10.5 acres of publicly accessible, privately maintained community parks. More than 26 additional acres will be devoted to courtyards, paseos and other open space, including an extensive network of landscaped pathways for bicycles and pedestrians.
The 69-acre site will also feature a new network of well-lit and lushly landscaped streets and pathways, twice the current number of trees, and enhanced sustainability measures to conserve natural resources. A modernized street grid will improve access and circulation throughout the property, and a new layout will improve visibility and enhance safety for residents and visitors.
The New Wyvernwood’s submission for the Charter Award highlights many distinctive components of the plan, including its walkable mix of neighborhood parks, courtyards and open spaces; its improved and expanded street grid; its many sustainable design features; its diversity of building types and densities; and the assurance that current tenants will be able to remain on the property during construction. “The new project proposes a paradigm shift in the way Los Angeles conceives its public space, accommodates population growth, and integrates sustainable design practices,” the submission states. The full submission is available here.
Large numbers of Wyvernwood residents, neighbors and Boyle Heights community leaders have come together to support the project, whose design was influenced by more than 100 community meetings in Boyle Heights. Notable supporters include Monsignor John Moretta, pastor of Resurrection Church; Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries; and Sister Jennie Lechtenberg, founder of PUENTE Learning Center.
“Respecting and incorporating the voice of the community has been a core priority in the design process for The New Wyvernwood,” said Neal Payton, principal of Torti Gallas and Partners. “By creating a plan that is walkable, sustainable and secure, and that addresses many deficiencies of the current site, we hope to enhance the lives of residents and the shared civic life of the entire neighborhood.”
Many supporters welcome the positive economic impact The New Wyvernwood will deliver to Boyle Heights. An economic analysis from HR&A Advisors found that the project will create more than 10,000 construction-related jobs, and once complete will support 2,800 permanent jobs and generate $25 million in annual tax revenue. To ensure that these jobs directly benefit the immediate community, Fifteen Group has established the Boyle Heights Jobs Collaborative, a dedicated local hiring program.
Plans for The New Wyvernwood are detailed in the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which was released by the City of Los Angeles in October. A formal review by the City is expected later this year. The Charter Award will be formally presented at a CNU awards ceremony to be held on May 10 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
About The New Wyvernwood
The New Wyvernwood will transform the aging Wyvernwood Apartments in Boyle Heights into a modern community with attractive housing, convenient retail and office areas and beautiful open spaces. The 10-year, $2 billion project developed by Fifteen Group will include up to 4,400 apartments and condominiums; 325,000 square feet of retail, office and civic space; and 10 acres of parks and other open space. Fifteen percent of all units – up to 660 in total – will be designated as affordable housing. The project is forecast to create more than 10,000 construction-related jobs, with many going to Boyle Heights residents through the Boyle Heights Jobs Collaborative, a dedicated local hire program.
For more information, please visit www.wyvernwood.com or call (310) 974-6684.