Sanford Mill Redevelopment Project Wins Phoenix Award

September 9, 2015

Sanford Planning Director Jim Gulnac Accepts a Phoenix Award on behalf of the Sanford Mill Redevelopment projectThe 2013 redevelopment of the Sanford Mill building in downtown Sanford was recognized this month with a prestigious Phoenix Award at the 2015 National Brownfields Conference at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL.  Real estate developers, environmentalists and other public and private sector professionals were honored at an awards ceremony at the conference.  The event, hosted by The Phoenix Awards Institute, Inc. and award sponsors ALCOA and Devon Energy, celebrated the winners for their accomplishments on 21 projects that span the country. Sanford City Planner Jim Gulnac and City Manager Steve Buck, as well as Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council Director Jim Nimon were all on hand at the awards ceremony.

Created in 1997, the Phoenix Award honors groups working to solve critical environmental or social challenges, transforming blighted and contaminated areas into productive new uses and sustainable development projects.  These awards are widely recognized as the outstanding award for achievement of excellence in Brownfield redevelopment.  The Phoenix Award winners represent outstanding brownfield or environmental projects from each of the 10 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regions.

The Phoenix Award judges felt that the Sanford Mill Redevelopment Project "is worthy of national recognition because it is a model for other mill communities and shows that hard work, commitment and calculated risk taken by local government can pay off in dividends well into the future."

Other sites nominated for Phoenix Awards are now used for LEED-certified green buildings, a green stadium with edible garden, anchor sites bringing back communities by leveraging downtown revitalization, affordable and market-rate housing, waterfront redevelopment projects, wetlands restoration, job creation and retention, and job training and community centers. “We are proud to honor these winners who are bringing significant recreational, health, educational, cultural and other important resources to their communities. They represent the best brownfield efforts today, and show the brownfield innovations that will characterize the future.” said Phoenix Judge Charlie Bartsch.

2 years of awardees were honored because the national brownfields conference is now on an 18-month cycle.  The winning projects were selected by a panel of environmental professionals and business and government leaders based on a set of 5 criteria: 1) Magnitude of the problems and project, 2) Use of innovative techniques, 3) Cooperative efforts of multiple parties to undertake the project, including financing solutions, 4) Positive impact on the environment (e.g., green buildings, greenways, energy use), and 5) Project's general and long-term impacts on the environment and community.  

The 2013 winners are:

Region 1:  Sanford Mill Redevelopment Project, Sanford, Maine

Region 2:  Bush Terminal Park Project, Brooklyn, New York

Region 3:  Southeast Federal Center/The Yards, Washington, D.C.

Region 4: Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Project, Atlanta, Georgia

Region 5:  Former Dana Weatherhead Redevelopment Project, Columbia City, Indiana

Region 6:  Okmulgee Business Complex, Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Region 7:  Harvester Artspace Lofts Project, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Region 8:  Lamar Station Crossing Project, Lakewood, Colorado

Region 9:  Alameda Landing Project, Alameda, California

Region 10: Astoria Landfill Redevelopment Project, Astoria, Oregon

Community Impact Winner: East State Street Brownfields Revitalization Project, Trenton, New Jersey


The 2014 winners are:

Region 1:  Algiers Village Redevelopment Project, Guilford, Vermont

Region 2:  Salvation Army Joan & Ray Kroc Corps Community Center, Camden, New Jersey

Region 3:  Bakery Square Project, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Region 4:  St. Petersburg College Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, St. Petersburg, Florida

Region 5:  Cardinal Health Distribution Center, Detroit, Michigan

Region 6:  Our House Children's Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Region 7:  Salvation Army Omaha Joan & Ray Kroc Corps Community Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Region 8:  Downtown Revitalization & Multi-Site Projects, Great Falls, Montana

Region 9:  Avaya Stadium Project, San Jose, California

Region 10: Raptor Creek Farm Project – A Working Farm and Food Storehouse, Grants Pass, Oregon

The Phoenix Awards are coordinated under the Phoenix Awards Institute, Inc., a nonprofit.  Executive Committee members are: Denise Chamberlain, ARCADIS; Linda Garczynski, MDB, Inc.; Charlie Bartsch, US EPA; Gail Cooper, US EPA; Lloyd Kirk, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality; Jill Gaito, Gaito & Associates; Jim Snyder, brownfields expert; and Leah Yasenchak, BRS, Inc.