Green Building Also Uses Products Obtained Locally

Brooklyn Daily Eagle by Linda Collins
March 20, 2009

VINEGAR HILL — It’s green. It’s the first green residential development in Vinegar Hill and DUMBO. And its model apartment will open on Earth Day, April 22. How cool is that?

This brand new eco-friendly venture at 100 Gold St. in Vinegar Hill is a project of the REDD (Real Estate Design & Development) Group, which is both a design firm and a real estate developer.

According to its founder, Anthony Morena, who is an architect trained at Pratt Institute, this is the first green building he has done on his own and he wanted to bring in as many green elements as he possibly could. “Sustainability is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said the former Brooklyn resident who now lives in Manhattan but still works in Brooklyn.

Combining both design and development in one firm is also something he’s thought about for some time.

He first began branching out into development when he was with the firm Joseph Pell Lombardi Architects and then later with the Moinian Group, where he was a project manager. Then he was hooked and started doing some independent projects of his own.

“When you do both, you get to control the scope of the work, you get to maintain the integrity of the design, the purity of purpose,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “You see it from start to finish.”

His firm has collectively been involved in the adaptive re-use and brand new development of over 1 million square feet of residential real estate in the city, including the recently completed Ainslie Grand in Williamsburg.

The Vinegar Hill project is a five-story, 10-unit boutique condominium containing six one bedroom units, two duplex studios —one with a private yard, and two duplex apartments with a bedroom and a loft, plus private terraces.

The environmentally-friendly highlights include radiant floor heating, energy efficient central air conditioning and heating, operable floor-to-ceiling windows to reduce utility expenses, eco-friendly paints, recycled finishing materials, water conserving fixtures, Energy Star-rated Electrolux Icon appliances including washers and dryers in each unit, and a rooftop deck and gardens with roof pavers made of 100 percent recycled tires.

Morena notes that all of the apartments from the third floor up have views.

To further the greening of the building, Morena plans to purchase renewable energy credits and assist in funding reforestation projects to offset the carbon emissions associated with the building’s estimated energy use for the first year.

Buying Locally

“We’ve also focused on using locally manufactured materials and companies,” said Morena.

These include the following:

  • Zero VOC paint by Ivy Coatings, manufactured in Brooklyn;
  • Recycled roof pavers by Unity Creations, manufactured in Saugerties;
  • Hand-blown glass light fixtures by Niche Modern, manufactured in Beacon;
  • A model apartment designed by Brooklyn designer David Alhadeff, who has a store in Williamsburg and who “understands the sustainability aspect of the project and will bring furnishings that are appropriate.”

Other amenities include free storage units, 15-year tax abatements, bicycle storage, 24-hour security and virtual concierge.

With prices ranging from $475,000 to $975,000, “we are the best priced in Vinegar Hill,” said Morena, who added that completion was scheduled in June.

Steven Gerber and Claire Saliba of The Corcoran Group Brooklyn is handling sales and marketing. REDD has several other eco-friendly and sustainable residential developments in the works. Stay tuned.