(Cincinnati, OH) – From multi-family housing projects to educational facilities, Cincinnati-based architecture firm SHP Leading Design (SHP) is playing a major role in the revitalization of the Evanston Community while working hand-in-hand with the Evanston Community Council.
“The Evanston Community Council has a clear image of what their community can be,” SHP Vice President Tom Fernandez, AIA, LEED AP, said. “SHP is happy to be a partner and shares their passion of creating a vibrant neighborhood.”
In 2008, SHP relocated their corporate headquarters just down the road from Evanston in Norwood and began working with King Studios on a potential urban in-fill planning project. The project, a new facility for King Records, would redevelop a highly visible tract of land in Evanston. During the development of this plan, the relationship with King Studios grew and strong associations were built with the Evanston Community Council, Flavor of Arts Studio, Xavier University, Interfaith Business Builders, Evanston Employment Cooperative and the Model Group.
From there, the Evanston Community Council looked to SHP to help craft a vision for their neighborhood. Working with these non-profit groups, as well as the Model Group, SHP created a redevelopment plan to provide a greater sense of community by renovating five structures, improving site amenities and incorporating energy saving strategies. The projects are the catalyst to helping Evanston achieve their goals of a lively and safe community.
“The success of these projects is based on the collaboration of the multiple stakeholder groups,” Fernandez added. “It really is a story of everyone coming together to improve Evanston.”
The successful relationship with the Evanston Community Council drove the Model Group to approach SHP to be the design partner on several housing projects.
The first project SHP completed with the Model Group was Woodburn Pointe. The LEED Silver Certified project offers one- and two-bedroom apartments specifically designed for seniors. Special care was taken to preserve the character of this nearly 100-year-old building.
“One of the main goals of the Woodburn Pointe project was create a more open and visible building to improve the living spaces and access to the building while preserving the continuity of the neighborhood,” Fernandez said. “By demolishing part of the building we were able to remove the hidden nooks and create a safer environment for residents. It would’ve been easier to simply demolish this building and start over, but that wasn’t what was best for Evanston.”
Three additional housing projects soon followed and are currently in various phases of design and construction. These include the St. Ledger Apartments, the Flatiron Building and the 3501 Building. St. Ledger Apartments is part of a redevelopment effort at the “Five Points” intersection and includes 26 units that are a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments having fresh, modern finishes. The Flatiron Building boasts the Evanston Employment Resource Center on the first floor and five residential units on the upper floors. The 3501 Building is located on the corner of Montgomery Road and Jonathan and includes the interior renovation and reconfiguration of 13 units to create more open and inviting living space. All three projects have sustainable goals and are seeking LEED Silver Certification.
“One of the most exciting things about these projects is how each one spurs more and more revitalization within the community, including the development of new businesses,” Fernandez said. “We’re currently designing, pro bono, a new coffee shop named Community Blend in a vacant building adjacent to the 3501 Building.”
SHP’s influence on the greater Evanston area doesn’t stop there though. They’re currently in the middle of a $52M, phased addition and renovation program to the historic Walnut Hills High School.
“SHP has been providing community-inspired architecture for over a century and our relationship with Evanston is the perfect example of why we love what we do,” Fernandez said.
About SHP Leading Design
SHP Leading Design offers a complete line of planning, architecture, interior design, engineering, construction administration and facilities management services. With more than 110 years of experience, the firm is committed to leading the community in innovative architectural design and sustainable design. SHP is headquartered in Cincinnati.