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Bryn Mawr Film Institute Redevelopment is a Finalist for Philadelphia Award for Excellence

We’re thrilled to announce that the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI)., redeveloped by AthenianRazak over a ten-year phased plan, has been named as a finalist for the ULI Philadelphia Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence. This is the second year in a row that one of AthenianRazak’s projects has been so recognized.

In 2002, BMFI was created by Juliet Goodfriend, a local business woman, and other civic and academic leaders interested in saving the theater to help revitalize the downtown corridor of Bryn Mawr. Shortly thereafter, BMFI engaged AthenianRazak to plan the redevelopment.  We assembled the development team and worked with BMFI to structure the purchase, master planning, financing, and phased renovation of the property to create an art-house theater and active neighborhood center. The group purchased the building for $2 million in 2004 and began its $9.2 million renovation program.

This 10-year, phased renovation project started in 2004 with a comprehensive Master Plan to renovate the historic structure in incremental phases and convert the building into a first-class film theater and education center. BMFI’s goals included creating a strong connection with the community, increasing social capital through classes, programs, events, and a sense of community ownership building off of the facility’s history.  At the same time, BMFI needed to add contemporary and code-compliant best practices and equipment for a modern theater.

Patience and tenacity were the paramount attributes required to build this neighborhood center. As a non-profit determined to live within its means, BMFI chose to complete the renovation incrementally as funds became available. The initial phase focused on making the theater once again operable and open to the public, subsequent phases focused on major improvements, and, once the concept had been proven successful, the final phase added two new state-of-the-art theaters to significantly expand the organization’s operations.

Congrats to BMFI and our project partners at Voith & Mactavish Architects, WS Cumby, E. Allen Reeves, and Q.E.D., Inc. for this well-deserved recognition of the team’s exceptional work.

We hope you’ll join us on June 17th at the awards ceremony as the winners are announced.