2006 34th Annual Key Awards
2006 Key Awards honors the best in Chicagoland home building industry
Well-attended 34th Annual Ceremony held Oct. 13 in Schaumburg.
Thirteen may be considered an unlucky number. But Friday the 13th of October proved to be a lucky day for a number of builders, architects, interior merchandisers and other professionals in the Chicagoland home building industry who were honored at the 2006 Key Awards.
Presented by The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC) and held at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, the Key Awards banquet—which this year celebrated its 34th anniversary—recognizes exceptional work in the Chicago area home building industry. It has long been considered one of the most prestigious annual awards programs for housing excellence, according to Peter Schwartz, CEO of the HBAGC.
“The Key Awards has grown to become one of the most well-attended, competitive and renowned awards events among any builders association in the country,” said Schwartz. “The 2006 banquet proved to be one of the most popular and enjoyable yet, thanks especially to the fun ‘Friday the 13/Halloween’ theme of the evening, which caused us to nickname our event the ‘Spoo-Key Awards’ this year.”
A panel of experienced volunteer judges voted on entrees in 102 different sub-categories and 12 main division categories: including Land Planning, Architectural Design, Single-family Homes, Multi-family Homes, and Custom Homes for Sale, Remodeling/Conversion, Interior Merchandising, and Clubhouse/Lobbies. Gold Keys were bestowed for first place, Silver Keys for second place, and Bronze Keys for third place. A limited number of Crystal Key Awards were also conferred as a special level of achievement that awards innovation and creativity.
Among the event’s major winners was Remington Homes, located in Elgin, which garnered the most hardware of the evening: a total of 14 different awards, including five Gold Keys. The most awarded community was West Point Gardens in Elgin, built by Elgin-based West Point Builders, which earned seven Gold Keys in various categories—among them Best Overall Community (Suburban, over 500 homes), Landscape Architecture (Mixed Use Developments), and Architectural Design (Production Homes: 3,001-3,400 square feet).
A Gold Key in the Custom Home (7,001 square feet and over) category went to a $5 million private residence in the north suburbs crafted by Thomas E. Fox Homes of Buffalo Grove. Amenities that helped earn the lavish, 20,000-square-foot property high marks among judges included a terrace with a full kitchen, an in-ground pool with its own cabana kitchen, a deluxe sauna, an impressive game area/arcade room, a well-equipped exercise area, and a bevy of smart home technologies that utilize voice control, touch screens and video.
Bloodgood Sharp Buster, an architectural design company with a regional office in Chicago, tallied a total of five Gold Keys. Another oft-named winner was Balsamo, Olson & Lewis Ltd., an architectural design firm located in Oakbrook Terrace that took home seven various Gold Keys and tied with Palatine-based Sevvonco, Inc. Builders & Remodelers for a Crystal Key Award for Remodeling.
The other Crystal Key winners were Chicago-headquartered Belgravia Group Ltd., in the Multi-family category, for its Hartland Park I townhome community in Chicago, and J.P. McMahon Builders, Inc. of Hinsdale, in the Single-Family Custom category, for a French Country-themed private residence.
Additionally, this was the first time that the HBAGC announced the Builder Company of the Year and the Associate Company of the Year during the Key Awards. Those distinctions were earned by Doomis Custom Builders of Carpentersville and First American Title, respectively.
Also, two inductees were announced to the HBAGC Court of Honor—recognizing those select members who have made sustained contributions to the HBAGC in establishing and maintaining the association’s high standard of service to Chicagoland’s home building industry: Bob Shield and the late Ben Sears, both of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Both will be formally inducted into the Court of Honor at the HBAGC’s Inaugural Ball on January 20 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago.
“The 2006 edition was one of the most competitive Key Awards we’ve ever had, with most categories garnering several entries from a variety of different building professionals,” said Rick Burton, Co-Chairman for the event and Director of Land Entitlements for Lennar Communities of Chicago.
“It made the judging more challenging, considering how hotly contested most categories were and how many worthy entrants participated this year,” said John Kern, Co-Chairman and Director of Residential Architecture for Balsamo, Olson & Lewis, Ltd. “We nearly broke a record for total number of entries.”
Sponsors for the event included the Chicago Tribune, Comcast, DC Interactive Group, Kimball Hill, Inc., Demi & Cooper, Inc., Chicago Agent Magazine, Grants Appliances, Kohler Company, and LaSalle Bank.
For more information on the Key Awards or the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, call (630) 627-7575 or visit www.hbagc.com .