Cape Fear CREW Announces 2022 Awards of Excellence Winners

February 25, 2022
Written by: KW Communications

Cape Fear CREW is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Awards of Excellence, held yesterday at the Wilmington Convention Center. The awards, which focus on the rapidly growing Cape Fear Region commercial real estate sector, recognize excellence and leadership in commercial real estate. The event was led by Cape Fear CREW President, Karen Widmayer of KW Communications, who said, “Cape Fear CREW congratulates this year’s winners, who represent the best of the best from a very competitive field of excellent commercial projects and transactions in our Region.” 
Best Design Award
Oceanic Restaurant
Oceanic Restaurant was the subject of a complete redesign, with the owners and project team viewing Hurricane Florence as an opportunity to start fresh. The storm forced Oceanic to be taken down to the studs. The team took that opportunity and spirit of resiliency and creativity to rethink what Oceanic could be. With that mindset, they redesigned the floor plan into the Oceanic you see today. The "Jetty Bar" was designed to face south where one can soak in the views. For the second-floor dining room, some of the original crystal pier wood was saved and incorporated into the project and the floor plan was opened up to include 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean. Lastly, the event space on the third floor was similarly redesigned around the views. 
Dealmaker Award
Live Oak Bank Pavilion
Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park opened in July 2021 after 12 years of creative collaborations and innovative transactions among private businesses, Wilmington residents, design specialists, contractors, the entertainment industry, and the City of Wilmington. This collaborative approach enabled the City to build a flagship park with maximum flexibility of use that also has a first-class entertainment venue. The land was acquired through extensive negotiations and a development agreement that involved relocating the City's Riverwalk.  In exchange, the City was granted the ability to purchase 6.63 acres, allowing it to convert what was originally a half-acre pocket park into the entertainment venue. In the short 2021 concert season, Live Nation was able to book 20 nationally acclaimed artists and has already received requests from agents for 40 dates in 2022.

Best Development Award
Arboretum West
The Arboretum West Project contains 18,000 square feet of commercial space and 360 residential units. The previously undeveloped space extends the length of Station Road, with commercial store front visibility strategically placed at Military Cutoff Road. Current commercial tenants include Port City Java, F45 Team Training, Ginger Interiors, Mark Schmidt Custom Homes and Tribute Properties Corporate Campus. The residential units feature a resort-style clubhouse, a multi-level fitness hub, a game room with golf simulator and a resort-style saltwater pool. Building locations were formatted to work alongside existing mature live oak trees. Low Impact Development (LID) program techniques were utilized to improve on the existing condition of the space and the project was designated as an article 10 Exceptionally Designed Project reflecting its watershed resource protection.
Economic and Community Enhancement Award
Riverfront Park
The $38 million, 6.63-acre Riverfront Park project transformed an abandoned and contaminated site into an amenity in the northern downtown district. Riverfront Park is the first Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG)-certified project in the nation outside of New York state. It provides economic benefits through revenues to the city and is spurring development, positively impacting property values, and increasing hotel room occupancy and sales taxes. Amenities include a performance venue and stage, an art stage building, 7,200-person capacity lawns, gardens, a water feature, office building, catering kitchen, outdoor program rooms, children's play area, public art and accesses to the Riverwalk.  Operation of the performance venue resulted in 620 new jobs during the first season and 126,355 people attended events at the park.
Career Advancement for Women
Sandy Spiers

Sandy has been involved in advancing the careers of women in Eastern, NC for many years.  She is a mentor with Cameron Executive Network at UNCW and WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative. At Truist, Sandy started a women's book club and has chaired the regional Business Resource Group for the Women of Truist. Sandy collaborated with Sheri Shaw to recently launch Coffee and Conversations, gathering women from different fields and backgrounds to meet for discussions about race and diversity challenges. Sandy’s latest love has been GLOW Academy. She has served on the Board since 2016, and as Chair since 2019. She has also chaired every one of GLOW’s celebrity-chef events, raising over $3 million dollars and was involved in the development of their $13 million campus.
Beth Quinn Excellence Award
Jenny Mizelle
Jenny Mizelle joined Cape Fear CREW in 2018 after two decades of involvement with Triangle CREW. Her first role with Cape Fear CREW was working with the Board of Directors and leading the initiative to create the first regional commercial real estate awards program – the Awards of Excellence. As Chair of the Steering Committee, Jenny established the framework to get the program off the ground by organizing the talented and dedicated volunteers that brought the Awards of Excellence to fruition in February 2019. She has also served as Treasurer for 2020 and 2021. Recently retired from Business Development with WithersRavenel, most of her professional career was spent as the Economic Development Director for the Town of Holly Springs in Wake County. Jenny is enjoying retirement and is a volunteer with Share the Table, a Pender/Onslow County food pantry.
Impact Award Winner
North Carolina’s Southeast
For the Impact Award, The Cape Fear CREW Board seeks to recognize an individual or company who has worked to promote our region and stands out for their impact in doing so. North Carolina’s Southeast provides economic development leadership in our area through innovative marketing and collaborative regional initiatives that support the creation of new jobs, generates capital investments, and secures new business locations. They are a regional public-private economic development organization comprised of 18 counties including New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, and Columbus counties. The firm works with local economic development organizations and other allies and partners to market the region nationally and globally to facilitate new economic growth. Recent company locations in the Greater Wilmington area generated by North Carolina’s Southeast include Pacon, Polyhose, Pipeline Plastics, and Blue Arrow Logistics. Collectively, these projects represent approximately 500 new jobs and more than $50 million of capital investment.  
In addition to the Cape Fear CREW Awards, the organization was joined by The Realtors Commercial Alliance of Southeastern North Carolina to present their Member of the Year award to Glenn Imboden, Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners.  
Cape Fear CREW extends its appreciation to our panel of judges: 

  • John Murray, Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects
  • Joseph O. Taylor, Jr., Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC
  • Ashley Cagle, Triangle CREW
  • Beth Pancoe, SDI Construction
  • Steve Yost, North Carolina’s Southeast
  • Alan Kerry, Developer 
Thank you to our committed Partners for 2022!
Presenting Partner
Live Oak Bank 
Platinum Partners
Copycat Print Shop
Logan Homes
Odyssey Mechanical 
Award Partner 
Customers Bank
Salt Air, Inc.
Parking Partner
Wade Associates 
Gold Partners
Baker Roofing 
Corning Credit Union 
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
Highland Roofing Company 
KW Communications 
MoMentum Companies 
North Carolina's Southeast 
Realtors Commercial Alliance Southeastern NC
The Braddock Group
Theory And Practice Productions
Thomas Construction
Wilmington Business Development 

Silver Partners
Big Sky Design 
Capital Design 
Chambliss & Rabil 
Clancy & Theys Construction Company
Clarendon Properties 
First National Bank 
J. Long Custom Homes
Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Company
Page Productions 
Patriot Roofing 
Southern Signs
Bronze Partner
Carolina Specialties 
About Cape Fear CREW and CREW Network
The Cape Fear chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), with more than 60 members from a wide array of commercial real estate interests, has as its mission to advance the success of women in commercial real estate. CREW Network is the affiliated national association which represents over 12,000 women in commercial real estate in chapters across more than 75 major markets globally. For more information on the Cape Fear chapter, including membership and partnership information, visit the Cape Fear CREW website at and follow us on Facebook @CapeFearCrew, Instagram @cape_fear_crew and LinkedIn.