Wangard Partners, Inc. (WPI) was awarded the Restoration Transformation Award by the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA) at its annual awards ceremony on November 13th at the Oconomowoc Community Center. The WGBA Restoration Transformation Award, which recognizes companies that exemplify leadership in preservation, restoration and redevelopment of the built environment, was awarded to Wangard for its proven history of restoring historically significant and brownfield sites within the community. “Wangard Partners has a real passion for revitalizing areas within the community that are at times “dirty” and complicated due in part to the environmental clean-up and historic preservation processes,” said Stewart Wangard, CEO of Wangard. “Our desire for these types of developments and our ability to push projects through the intricate processes is what makes us different from other developers within this marketplace.” As a developer in the Milwaukee area, Wangard’s belief and passion for the creation of “walkable neighborhoods” drives their selective approach to defining sites, and the company often selects sites within communities that have critical needs to prosper and that may often be ignored due in part to their historic or brownfield status. Wangard’s most recently completed restoration project was 1818 N. Martin Luther King Drive within the Bronzeville District of Milwaukee’s inner city. Recognizing a tremendous opportunity, Wangard historically preserved and restored a blighted building to meet the current and future needs of veterans in support of the Veterans Affairs’ Jobless Initiative for returning Veterans. Wangard partnered with a service-disabled, veteran-owned architectural firm (Chequamegon Bay Group) to restore and adapt the 0.52-acre, 7,542 square foot property to the Community Resource and Referral Center for Veterans, which includes educational and office spaces to retrain and assist returning veterans, surface parking and a community garden. In keeping with Wangard’s commitment to sustainability, the Community Resource and Referral Center for Veterans is also environmentally sound. The project team will achieve LEED Silver certification and will likely be applying for LEED Gold, which is an anomaly within a historic building envelope. The result of Wangard’s navigation of the historic tax credit, preservation, acquisition, LEED and community redevelopment processes will enable economic redevelopment in the region, creating jobs for individuals in the inner city and returning needed services to the community. Wangard prides itself on sharing knowledge leadership, promoting and implementing sustainability, perseverance and preservation as a way of life, and has additional brownfield site developments underway including Avenir Apartments in Milwaukee, The Reef in Wauwatosa and the former Yellow Freight Trucking site in West Allis. More information on the evening’s events can be found within the article written by Thomas Content on JSOnline.