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Historic building renovation recognized for adaptive reuse and revitalization in Pensacola  

February 7, 2024 · Accolades

Historic Pensacola renovation wins NAIOP award.

Whitesell-Green Inc.’s historic 201 E. Wright Development, designed by Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC), recently received the NAIOP Northwest Florida Rehab/Repurpose Development of the Year at the organization’s annual meeting. The project transformed an abandoned building into a modern office space, enabling an established business to move to the downtown area and creating additional space for future local tenants. 

GMC worked with Pensacola-based contractor Whitesell-Green to renovate an existing 1940s-era building into a new home for its headquarters. The previously derelict building had to be completely rehabbed and has since led to a reinvigoration of growth in the surrounding area. The renovation included restoring the existing exterior openings that had been infilled and the buildout of the interior space into the office space.  

The new office and design pay tribute to the building’s history through its industrial adaptive reuse, with the design team making deliberate choices to respect the historical significance of the structure. Maintaining a contemporary industrial aesthetic was appropriate, given the client and what they envisioned for the space. Situated in a transitional and up-and-coming neighborhood in Pensacola, the redevelopment provided a welcome addition of office space to the area. 

A primary challenge for the project was securing approval from the local architectural review board, due to the building’s historical nature. Nevertheless, the board expressed strong admiration for the team’s commitment to honoring the building’s history by restoring numerous original aspects of the building, requiring a high degree of creativity and devotion to preservation.   

The revitalization of the previously dilapidated building was a driving force for the surrounding area’s development. Recent progress in the vicinity includes a new skatepark, a taqueria, and several opportunities for further expansion. 

GMC was the architect on the project. Eddy Consulting Engineers, Inc. was the structural engineer, W3 Engineering, Inc. was the mechanical and plumbing engineer, and Ruby Engineering, Inc. was the electrical engineer. The construction team included Nelson Plumbing Contractors, Inc., The Wright Company, Ethos Electrical Solutions, LLC and Genesis Fire Services.