Programs > Community Vision Award

San Diego Architectural Foundation Announces Winner of $25,000

Community Vision Award

     SAN DIEGO, CA - The winner of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s $25,000 Community Vision Award was announced at an event celebrating collaboration and Smart Growth on May 14th at Wonderhaus.
     The Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation will receive a $25,000 beautification grant, to be used for further enhancement of the neighborhood. The award was based on the project mxd830, located at 830 25th Street in Golden Hill.
      Designed and built by architect/developers Mike Burnett and Craig Abenilla of FoundationForForm Architecture, mxd830 is the culmination of Burnett’s undergraduate thesis on the study of micro living/working environments, which led to his graduate thesis in how to finance and experiment with these ideas in the design and development of an actual building.
      "While we received many great community integrated projects for review this year, the jury thought mxd830 was particularly outstanding for its design appeal, mixed?use contribution to the community including retail, office, residential, and its unique material detail throughout the project's design execution. We believe this project infuses a new focal vibe for the Golden Hill Community." said Gordon Carrier of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, Chair of the Community Vision Award Committee.
      In addition to the Smart Growth, sustainable and overall design attributes of the project, collaboration is an integral aspect of the Community Vision Award. mxd830 was developed in close association with the Golden Hill community to realize the shared vision for a ‘Main Street’ along the neighborhood’s primary 25th Street commercial corridor.
      During the initial stages of design Burnett attended several community meetings and met with groups including the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation, Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee and Land Use sub?committee as well as long time community activists who were instrumental in the revitalization of the north end of 25th Street.
      “By using proven urban design principles and the wealth of documentation that the community had already prepared as part of the 25th Street Revitalization Plan, mxd830 strives to help the community act as a catalyst to the south end of 25th street, an area currently dominated by automotive uses.” Burnett said.
      Key components of the revitalization plan include locating residential units above commercial space and activating the sidewalk with windows while keeping parking hidden from the street.
      Other finalists recognized were the 30th & Ivy ‘Shopkeeper’, nominated by Coalition on 30th and developed by Amelia, LLC; Community @ Martin Building + Flats, nominated by Uptown Partnership LLC and developed by L.W.P. Group; and Solara, nominated by Poway Redevelopment Agency and developed by Community Housing Works.
      The intent of the Community Vision Award program is to promote the construction of projects that will serve as examples for future urbanization throughout the region. The grant program, funded by the County of San Diego, provides $25,000 to further enhance the community in which the recognized project is located.
      The Community Vision Award committee is comprised of Gordon Carrier FAIA, NCARB; County Supervisor Ron Roberts; Richard Paul Buss; Martin Poirier, FASLA; Mark Steele, FAIA; and Leslee Schaffer, Executive Director of SDAF








The San Diego Architectural Foundation and County of San Diego have partnered in the Community Vision Award program, which includes both recognition of outstanding urban infill projects as well as a grant program.  The Community Vision Award is designed to recognize and promote the implementation of Smart Growth, collaborative, sustainable and green building practices in revitalizing urban areas of San Diego County.  The intent of the program is to encourage the construction of projects that will serve as examples for future urbanization throughout the region. The SDAF is honored to take part in this grant program, which provides a minimum $25,000 beautification grant to the community in which the recognized project is located.

The second award announcement was made on May 14, 2009. For a project to be considered for the 2010 award, nominations must be received no later than April 10, 2010. Nominations should include, at a minimum, the information and photos as requested on the nomination form outlining what the nominated project is and basis for the nomination.

The Community Vision Award program has come about through the leadership of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors who, working with the SDAF, have committed $25,000 per year funding for 5 years to initiate this program. Additional program and award reception sponsorships are available.

Specific goals for the Community Vision Award program are to recognize projects which:
a. Exemplify design excellence
b. Demonstrate positive results of community interaction with design and development entities
c. Provide for “Smart Growth” in terms of both respecting existing community patterns and yet being additive to the quality

   and urban nature of a community.
d. Are designed and built with sustainable design and environmental sensitivities.

If your neighborhood organization has collaborated on a project in your community that exhibits the attached criteria, we encourage you to nominate that structure for the Community Vision Award. Alternatively, if you are aware of other projects outside of your immediate community but in the overall San Diego region that you feel demonstrates these standards, we encourage your nomination of that project as well.

Questions regarding this program may be addressed via e-mail to Foundation Executive Director Leslee Schaffer at, or by calling the Foundation office at 619-232-1385.

Thank you for your consideration of this program and hopefully for your project nomination, or nominations if you are so inclined. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read about the 2008 Community Vision Award:

San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego Metropolitan