With the exception of a deadly construction accident in March, things have been fairly quiet on the western front of Harlem. Starting nearly a decade ago, Manhattanville became one of the most hotly contested corners of the city, as Columbia University first worked to have the neighborhood rezoned for a new 17-acre campus, approved in 2007, followed by the state leading an eminent domain case on the school’s behalf to repossess the land of two local business owners, which culminated in 2010. (Since then, the city’s focus has shifted south, to another university-led redevelopment.)
All the while, Columbia has gone about the work of creating the most environmentally progressive neighborhood in the entire five boroughs, all from whole cloth.
Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Columbia’s new campus with LEED ND Platinum, the highest rating in the council’s new-ish neighborhood development program. It is only the fifth project in the state to earn such recognition, and the first to achieve LEED ND Platinum. The designation means that the project has embraced the goals of accessibility, density, design and environmental efficiency, creating a model for future development.
“We like to think of it as a three-legged stool: environment, economy, equity,” Jason Hercules, director of the LEED ND program, told The Observer. “Manhattanville excelled in all three.”
One of the challenges of green buildings is making sure they work. You can buy the fanciest air conditioners, install the most efficient windows, even recycle the toilet water in the drinking fountains, but if building owners do not monitor their energy use, the big-time green investments can be as bad as in conventional buildings.
Hearst knows better. Just as it might tend a photo shoot or test a recipe, the media giant has been tweaking the systems at its Eighth Avenue headquarters since it opened in 2006. Thanks to Heast’s efforts, the 46-story tower—the first LEED Gold building in the city—has earned LEED Platinum status for building maintenance, essentially upgrading the building to the highest level of sustainability practices.
Last month, the Argonaut, the landmarked turn-of-the-century building at 225 West 57th Street, achieved something very few 100-year-old buildings have been able to achieve: LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. James Dempsey, a managing director at Colliers International, spoke to The Commercial Observer about the many complexities of bringing the building into the Read More
The Observer is constantly buffetted with press releases about the latest LEED-certified apartment building/restaurant/hair salon/dog kennel. On the one hand, it is great news that “green” design has become so mainstream, even if it is as much a marketing scheme as an earth-saving one. On the other hand, though, there are so many releases, and Read More
New York’s golden landmark has gone green.
The Helmsley Building may glitter in the sun, but until recently it was producing a dark cloud of carbon emissions. Now, thanks to a $100 million renovation that included double-paned windows, a high-tech system to monitor energy use, and better cleaning and trash disposal practices, Monday Properties has Read More
Around 10:30 this morning, when the opening ceremony for the Times Square InterContinental Hotel was supposed to have started, Peter Kohlman rearranged six pairs of pruning shears on a silver tray. Mr. Kohlmann, president of PeKo, which organized the event at the hotel’s 300 West 44th Street entrance, released the shears’ safety latches and placed Read More
CB Richard Ellis has been chosen as the exclusive leasing agent at 545 Madison Avenue, a gut-renovated, LEED Gold-certified tower in the Plaza District.
CBRE will take over leasing on June 25. Previously, a Jones Lang LaSalle team was in charge of leasing the office space.
Robert Flippin, Howard Fiddle, Sloane Rhulen, Gregg Rothkin, Paul Read More
According to city records, Howard Michaels, the fearsome head of the real estate investment concern the Carlton Group, recently invested some of his own money—$9,367,900 to be exact—in a seven-bedroom combined unit at The Lucida, the Upper East Side’s brand-spanking new, first ever LEED-certified condominium gargantua at 150 East 86th Street.
The 110-unit, 20 story Read More
On Tuesday, Jonathan Rose Companies broke ground on the first affordable housing and mixed-income apartment building in East Harlem developed to LEED Silver standards. Called Tapestry, the 12-story, 185-unit building, with 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, will rise at 124th Street and Second Avenue, at the base of what’s becoming today officially the Robert Read More
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum — the hands-on instititution popular with tykes from Tremont to Poughkeepsie — is slated to reopen as the first LEED-certified museum in New York City on Sept. 20, according to a spokeswoman for the project and Interior Design.
The Rafael-Vinoly-designed addition to the Crown Heights Read More