Little Bettie Opens in Wiseacre Brewery
Daily Memphian - Little Bettie, the long-awaited pizza eatery by restaurant veterans Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, opened last week in the new downtown Wiseacre Brewery. Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian writes that “the space, first of all, is massive and impressive. A wall of windows stretches along the front, and inside, the ceiling in the tap room soars 40-plus feet. Port holes along one wall allow a clear view into the room where the magic happens, where the beer is brewed in big stainless vats.” LRK provided design services for Wiseacre Brewery.
LRK Philadelphia's Eli Storch and Nando Micale Participate in DAG Charrette
On November 6th, LRK Philadelphia’s Eli Storch and Nando Micale participated with a multi-disciplinary team of 40 professionals and Master of City Planning students in a design charrette that was focused on a gentrifying riverfront neighborhood (Gray’s Ferry) just outside of Philadelphia’s Center City District. Nando and Eli both serve on the City’s Design Advocacy Group (DAG) Steering Committee (Eli is the chair and Nando is co-chair of the group’s Waterfronts Task Force), who is the financial sponsor of the charrette and the resulting DAG Plan for Advocacy. The charrette included four teams, who imagined how different economic forces could reshape this key riverfront neighborhood and how equity and resiliency could be embodied in a set of planning and design principles. In advancing DAG's mission for design advocacy in the city, the non-profit is working with the University's practice arm, PennPraxis, to run the charrette and develop the work into the Plan for Advocacy document. The DAG Plan for Advocacy will be published in Spring 2021 and will also be the subject of a DAG Forum. In addition to and in parallel with this effort, Nando, as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design, is leading a team of graduate students in preparing the materials for the charrette and producing their own plan for equitable change in this neighborhood. The initial charrette ideas included: models of higher density housing and mixed-use that include affordability; development of riverfront parks that better connect the neighborhood to the Schuylkill River Trail; and ideas for institutional integration and models for job creation.
Renasant Convention Center Flipping the Switch
Daily Memphian - On November 17th, the Renasant Convention Center’s new exterior signage and lighting will officially by switched on, signaling the center’s upcoming completion. Silver cladding on the building’s western exposure will reflect sunsets over the Mississippi River and the display of clouds and light throughout the day. At night, new lighting will highlight the building’s architectural features and once the building is hosting events again, the building will be glowing from within. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Tourism chief Kevin Kane will join C. Mitchell Waycaster, chief executive officer of Tupelo-based Renasant Bank, in a lighting ceremony starting at 6 p.m.
Rob Norcross Awarded Francis Gassner Award
Rob Norcross was awarded the Francis Gassner Award on Wednesday night at the annual AIA Memphis awards gala. Established in 1977 to commemorate extraordinary architect, Francis P. Gassner, FAIA, the Gassner Award honors an architect for outstanding contributions to the quality of the built environment in Memphis. Rob’s vast experience and unique abilities helped him in leading diverse teams to design some of the most distinctive and significant projects in Memphis over the past 30 years. Rob’s influence on Memphis can be seen in the following examples: FedEx World Technology Center, AutoZone Corporate Headquarters, AutoZone Park, Memphis Ballpark District, FedEx Forum, University of Memphis Men’s Basketball Training Center, Soulsville Charter School and Multipurpose Building, Memphis Rox, Central Station renovation, and the transformation of the Renasant Convention Center. Congratulations, Rob!
Central Station Hotel and Tower Ventures Win AIA Memphis Design Awards
LRK is honored that two LRK-designed projects received AIA Memphis Design Awards at the annual awards gala held at The Grove at GPAC on November 4th. The Central Station Hotel, designed by Bounds & Gillespie Architects in association with LRK, won a Merit Award in the Renovation and Restoration category, while Tower Ventures, located in the Tennessee Brewery, won an Honor Award in the Renovation and Restoration category.
LRK's Nando Micale Serves on ULI Technical Assistance Panel
LRK’s Nando Micale served as Co-Chair on a ULI Technical Assistance Panel in October. The panel addressed a suburban retail center as they look to transition to a mixed-use walkable center and integrate Exton’s 18th century history and character. The center includes a rapidly dying mall and a range of auto-oriented properties, including a recently developed Lifestyle Center, Main Street at Exton. ULI Technical Assistance Panels provide the market-based expertise of ULI members to cities, developers, and other organizations that need objective analysis and advice on how to solve difficult development problems.
Documentary to Feature Historic Marine Residence
Memphis Heritage will premiere a free viewing of writer/filmmaker Willy Bearden’s documentary tour of the old U.S. Marine Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 29th. The viewing, on Zoom and Facebook Live, will be at 7 p.m. and followed by a live Q&A with panelists. The film will start with the historic background of the site, including the hospital, Chickasaw Heritage Park, and the French Fort neighborhood. The bulk of the film will be a “virtual tour,” overlayed with audio and video clips describing the restoration process and interspersed with historic and pre-restoration photos. LRK is providing architecture and interior design services.
Breathing Life Into Voids Through Artistic Expression and Community Outreach
On Wednesday, October 7th, LRK’s Lauren Tolbert will moderate a virtual panel on adaptive reuse architecture called “Breathing Life Into Voids Through Artistic Expression and Community Outreach.” Part of the first annual Memphis Art & Design (MAD) Week, the focus of the eight-day event is to work with community leaders and artists to remove barriers and ensure equitable access to the exploration of art and design. Enjoy this trailer video that was collaboratively developed for the panel. Special thanks to New Ballet Ensemble & School, Memphis Jookin, and IMAKEMADBEATS.
LRK's Sophorn Kuoy Olsen and Lauren Tolbert Featured in Exhibit of Diverse Designers
LRK Associate Sophorn Kuoy Olsen and Architectural Designer Lauren Tolbert have been featured in Beyond the Built Environment’s SAY IT LOUD exhibition. The exhibition features projects by diverse design professionals and interviews on their experiences in the architecture and design professions. Sophorn’s featured project is the Orion Federal Credit Union Headquarters and Lauren’s featured project is Crosstown Concourse, both in Memphis, Tenn.
LRK's Rogean Cadieux-Smith Joins Panel on Community Health Disparities
LRK’s Rogean Cadieux-Smith, AIA, EDAC, fitwel ambassador, joins a panel of community health professionals and industry leaders who will share tools, techniques, and new approaches to transform strategies and efforts to close the gaps in underlying health disparities heightened by the “new normal.” As a practitioner focused in wellness and resiliency, Rogean will share her perspective on the evolving role of planning and urban design to build equity and strengthen communities. Organized by Bass River Advisors, the virtual panel will be held on September 18th.
Ricks Speaker at ULI Louisiana Emerging Trends Conference
Urban Land Institute Louisiana - LRK is proud to announce that founding principal Frank Ricks is a keynote speaker at ULI Louisiana’s Emerging Trends Conference being held today at Tulane University in New Orleans. Frank will be sharing about Crosstown Concourse and its world-wide recognition as a vertical urban village that incorporates art, education, health, and wellness. Crosstown Concourse’s unique design that required extensive creative and adaptive reuse solutions has made it a model for future redevelopment projects and has aided in the project’s success in winning awards, such as the Grand Prize by the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Lake District Breaking Ground
Commercial Appeal - After four years of planning, the Lake District breaks ground on February 5th in Lakeland, Tennessee. On a 160-acre site worth $300 million, the project ranks as the second-largest residential and retail project in metropolitan Memphis. This urban village located in the far corner of Shelby County will consist of retail and residential areas separated by a man-made lake. Construction during Phase I of the project will include 109 townhomes, a hotel near I-40, and over 140,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants, offices, and entertainment facilities. Phase II is expected to begin in two years and will consist of a lakefront boutique hotel, 25,000 square feet of restaurant space, 396 apartments above the retail shops, 171 single-family homes, and 75,000 additional square feet of corporate office space.
LRK Principals to Present at NAHB International Builders' Show
LRK Principals Mark Jones and Mike Sullivan will speak at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) next week in Las Vegas.
Mark’s panel, “What’s Next in Single Family Architecture,” will discuss leading design trends, innovations in attainability, and architectural opportunities that can help convert Millennial renters into homebuyers and motivate other age groups into buying new. The session seeks to look beyond the trends and discuss what’s coming up in single family housing.
Mike and fellow panelists will present “From Stacked Flats to Live-Work Units: Innovations in Attached & Multifamily Housing” and Examine design options for maximizing density in areas that are zoned for lower density and development. The session explores innovative approaches that are being used to develop low- to medium-density multifamily and attached housing in today’s market.
LRK-Designed Projects Named Building Memphis Finalists
Memphis Business Journal - We're delighted to have been involved with six of the projects that have been named 2020 Building Memphis finalists: Arcade Restaurant, Orion FCU Headquarters, Central Station Hotel, The Commonwealth, The Citizen, and Cooper Street Apartments. An awards reception will be held Feb. 13th at Memphis Botanic Garden to announce the winners.
LRK MBJ Best Places to Work Finalist
Memphis Business Journal – LRK is honored to be named a finalist to the Memphis Business Journal’s list of 2019 Best Places to Work. Nominated companies were ranked based on anonymous employee surveys conducted by Quantum Workplace. The spirited awards ceremony took place at AutoZone Park on October 11th.
LRK-Designed Vesta Home Wins Best in Show
The 2019 Vesta Home Show features an LRK-designed home, The Ericson, which recently received Best in Show, Best Master Suite, and Best Interior Design (by Cindy McCord Designs). The homes are viewable to the public until Oct. 27th.
South City Grand Opening
WREG - Yesterday, a ribbon cutting marked the grand opening of the first phase of South City with 114 new mixed-income homes on a portion of the site of the former Foote Homes complex. The total number of residences will be 600 townhouse and walk-up apartments in five phases. Former residents of Foote Homes, which was often cited for poor living conditions, crime, and violence, are optimistic that this is the first step in a long-term revitalization strategy. LRK provided planning, urban design, architecture, and interior design services for South City. LRK’s Frank Ricks, Rob Norcross, and project architect Alex Bruce attended the celebration.
Rudy Bruner Award Presented at Crosstown
Daily Memphian - Friday afternoon, the prestigious Rudy Bruner Gold Award was presented at Crosstown Concourse. For the past 30 years, the RBA design competition has recognized transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. Anne-Marie Lubenau, awards director and architect, stated that while a lot of projects are planned for activation and placemaking, Crosstown very successfully succeeded. “What’s fascinating, I think a lot of projects have that ambition or aspiration,” she said of the human energy that courses through Crosstown Concourse. “But here, it is happening.”
LRK to Host Memphis Chamber’s SoundCheck
LRK’s Founding Principal Frank Ricks will speak to a group of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Council on Wednesday, September 25 at LRK’s headquarter office. The Chamber’s Corner Office Series gives young professionals access to business leaders in a setting that allows for valuable conversation and the opportunity to ask questions. For more information and to sign up, click here.
LRK Brand Refresh Celebrated Firm-Wide
Memphis Business Journal - On Wednesday, LRK celebrated a firm-wide brand milestone, with local employees gathering at the theater at Crosstown Concourse to celebrate. The event was also simulcast to our seven other offices around the country as a refreshed brand that articulates LRK’s values was unveiled.
Krissy Buck Flickinger to Present on Panel at Philadelphia's Green Building Conference
LRK's Director of Sustainability, Krissy Buck Flickinger, along with panelists, will present the award-winning Crosstown Concourse on Thursday, August 1 at Philadelphia's US Green Building Council chapter's annual conference, New Gravity. Hosted by Temple University, the session will discuss the process of transforming the once-abandoned, 1.3 million square-foot Sears distribution center into a thriving LEED Platinum "Vertical Urban Village" integrated with arts, education, and wellness/health.
Nando Micale to Present at Texas Housing Conference
Nando Micale, Principal in LRK’s Philadelphia studio, will present on current HUD neighborhood redevelopment programs at the Texas Housing Conference on August 23rd in Austin. The panel will focus on comprehensive approaches to improve the lives of Texans through addressing diverse affordable housing needs, neighborhood infrastructure reinvestment, wrap around resident services, innovative education initiatives for at-risk student populations, and overall quality of life. Nando’s expertise lies in HUD’s current Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives (CNI) around the country, both in the planning and implementation phases of Neighborhood Transformation. He will present case studies for Philadelphia, Kansas City, Camden (NJ), Omaha, and San Antonio. His current projects include the implementation of the South City Choice Neighborhood in Memphis and the Transformation Plan for North 30th Choice Neighborhood in Omaha.
Frank Ricks to Speak at National AIA Conference
LRK Principal Frank Ricks will participate on the panel, “Design Snapshots: Award-winning Adaptive Reuse,” this Friday, June 7 at 8 a.m. at the AIA Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas. Panelists will investigate key characteristics, challenges, client relationships, and innovate techniques and materials used to create their projects. Frank will discuss LRK’s Crosstown Concourse project, which was a recipient of the 2019 AIA Architecture Award.
LRK Proud Sponsor of the 2019 ULI Spring Meeting in Nashville
LRK is proud of its involvement with ULI-the Urban Land Institute both in Tennessee and nationally, and we are honored to be a sponsor of the 2019 ULI Spring Meeting. LRK’s commitment to designing and creating sustainable, thriving communities is synonymous with ULI’s mission and reflected in the designs of multiple projects throughout Tennessee, including The Gulch Redevelopment Master Plan, Jackson Walk, Crosstown Concourse, Memphis Ballpark Neighborhood, and Harbor Town.
Jim Constantine and Chris Cosenza to Present on Panels at the New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum
LRK’s Jim Constantine and Chris Cosenza will participate on panel discussions on Friday, March 8, at the New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum. Constantine’s panel, “Density that Doesn’t Look Dense: Meeting the Surging Demand for In-Town Housing,” will explore how “Missing Middle” housing can accommodate the demand for housing needs in communities that already feel too dense to build. Cosenza’s session, “Preparing your Community for Redevelopment,” will discuss how municipalities can take steps to develop and create a vision for more attractive communities.
Chris Cosenza Talks about Planning and Climate Change at Sustainable Princeton
LRK’s Chris Cosenza presented at Sustainable Princeton panel discussion around the topics of mixed-use development, transit-oriented development, location efficient development and form-based codes and how these factors create a sense of place that is walkable and help reduce a community’s emissions in the face of climate change. The session, “Why Is It Too Far to Walk? Building a Climate-Friendly Princeton,” presented at the Princeton Public Library, explored how land use planning plays a role in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Click here for the presentation.