2011 Donald Hunter Economic Development Planning Award

Peninsula Town Center (Hampton, VA)

The City of Hampton's Peninsula Town Center is a successful redevelopment of an enclosed mall into a vibrant town center providing approximately 2,400 new jobs and significantly increasing the taxable sales base in Hampton. Prior to its redevelopment, the former Coliseum Mall was inwardly focused and obsolete with increased vacancies and declining investment. The City of Hampton, through its community planning process, developed the Coliseum Central Master Plan and design guidelines that recommended fundamental changes to the property's configuration into appropriately scaled urban blocks supporting mixed-use pedestrian-oriented development. The commitment by the City of Hampton to reinvigorate its aging business district motivated the mall owners to partner with a development team to transform the site from a deteriorating enclosed shopping mall into a vibrant mixed-use town center serving as a regional destination.

The panel was impressed with the project's quality, contribution to the community, and successful implementation and results as well as the role of planning to bring about the redevelopment. The panel was unanimous in its selection of the City of Hampton as the 2011 Award recipient.

The 2011 Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Planning Award, which is accompanied by a $1,000 grant, was formally given to the City of Hampton at the 2011 National Conference of the American Planning Association in Boston during the Economic Development Division's annual meeting and reception on April 11.

Honorable Mention

City of Irvine, CA: "Irvine Business Complex Mixed/Use Vision Plan"

The Irvine Business Complex (IBC) Residential/Mixed-Use Vision Plan and Overlay Zoning Code development standards were developed to facilitate the evolution of a primarily office and industrial center (the IBC) to a fully mixed-use business and residential community. The IBC Vision Plan, adopted as a new element in the City's General Plan, represents policy direction to create both a neighborhood and economic growth framework for the IBC. The IBC Vision Plan project encourages more housing units in the same area as one of the City of Irvine's two major job centers in the 2,800-acre IBC, the largest employment center in Orange County. The new mix of land uses will further facilitate infill of underutilized properties in the area. The panel appreciated the "non-traditional" approach to economic development and was impressed with the plan's originality, comprehensiveness, and to a certain degree, transferability. As suburban areas, particularly inner-ring suburbs, experience increasing infill pressures, this approach to developing a complete "economic ecosystem" is likely to become more desirable. The approach taken by the City of Irvine could serve as a model for other areas of the country. (Contact: Bill Jacobs, AICP, Principal Planner, City of Irvine Community Development Department, bjacobs@ci.irvine.ca.us, 949-724-6521.)

Town of Marana, AZ: "Marana Economic Roadmap"

The Marana Economic Roadmap is the Town's first strategic plan for economic development in its 34-year history. The Roadmap process was inclusive and focused on the Town's existing industry base, seeking to build supply chains and facilitate sustainable growth of major employers. The Roadmap has been instrumental in the development and adoption of two incentive programs for high-wage job creation in the town. The Roadmap process and programs directly led to the retention and expansion of the Town's largest manufacturer after potentially losing the company due to consolidation and expansion of its worldwide facilities. The panel recognized the quality planning of this applicant as well as the Roadmap's comprehensiveness, transferability, and initial results. (Contact: Joshua H. Wright, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Town of Marana, jwright@marana.com, 520-382-1938.)