HOUSTON (February 6, 2014) – Friends For Life, Houston’s only No Kill animal shelter and rescue, was announced the winner of the 2014 Development of Distinction Award in the People’s Choice Category, and a finalist in the Non-Profit Category awarded by the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) at a ceremony presented by Winstead Attorneys at the Rice Crystal Ballroom on Tuesday.
The Development of Distinction awards program is the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to recognize developments that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, community health, marketing and management. The Houston award is modeled on the ULI Awards for Excellence global competition, which has been recognizing best practices in real estate development for more than 30 years.
The animal shelter was chosen the winner in the People’s Choice Category, and finalist in the Non-Profit Category, for the Friends For Life – The Don Sanders Adoption Center. The Adoption Center is the only LEED certified animal shelter in Houston and one of only a handful of such shelters in the country. Designed by Gensler, the Don Sanders Adoption Center redefines the animal shelter, celebrates the sanctity of life and underscores the synergy between animals, humans and the environment. Built in an existing warehouse on a .33 acre urban site in Houston’s Heights neighborhood, every detail was carefully considered to make it comfortable, clean and restorative for animal and human occupants alike. The design team included Gensler (architects), Sundance Construction Company (general contractors), Garza+McLain Structural Engineers, Inc.
“We are deeply honored to have been recognized among such a remarkable group. At the ceremony, the room was filled with visionary thinkers who see such a bright, exciting future for Houston. These are people not afraid to think outside the box and shake things up!” said Salise Shuttlesworth, Friends For Life Executive Director. “The central question for us is ‘how can we innovate to save lives?’ The answer to that question has generated the most progressive, unique facility and shelter program in Houston.”
Friends For Life announced at the ceremony that they have recently acquired additional property and will be expanding in 2014.
“This year’s Development of Distinction presented one of the strongest fields of finalists we’ve seen. Each winner is an outstanding example of the ‘complete real estate project’ and has truly brought about positive impact on our community.”Greg Erwin, firm-wide head of the Real Estate Development and Investments Practice Group for Winstead attorneys, and ULI Houston chair