Real Estate Services, Roberts win awards

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Mecklenburg County Real Estate Services Director Mark Hahn and Board of County Commissioners Chair Jennifer Roberts are being recognized for their thinking, literally.

Both were honored recently with the “Creative Thinker Awards” by the Chicago-based Counselors of Real Estate.

Roberts, who is in her third term on the BOCC, received her award for “her forward thinking public policy initiatives that pave the way for the county to aggressively pursue sustainable development.”

Since being elected, Roberts has been a vocal proponent of sustainable development and sound environmental policies.
Hahn was “the orchestrator of a team… that converted the down and out Freedom Mall into a cutting-edge example of what mixed use office and retail revitalization can do for a struggling neighborhood,” the organization said.

The County facility, formerly called the Freedom Mall, is at 3205 Freedom Drive and has been re-named the Valerie C. Woodard Center.

The facility is a converted mall that houses County social services, Information Services and Technology, and Real Estate Services offices. The County will seek LEED certification for the facility, which incorporates several green-building features such as rainwater collection and storage, rain gardens, an under-floor air distribution system, extensive use of recycled materials throughout the building, and eco-friendly paints, carpets and furniture.

The second phase of the building’s renovation was completed in April. The third phase will expand the size of the facility to 400,000 square feet.

Frank Warren, Carolinas Chapter president, said, “We saw a number of extraordinary projects, both large and small, worthy of recognition. We want this award to encourage creative solutions to complicated development opportunities, particularly those in urban areas that can promote the principles of long-term sustainability.”

The Counselors of Real Estate is a by-invitation-only international organization of 1,100 real estate professionals with proven experience finding solutions for real estate projects.

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