a project under construction

Solar Roofs Installed at Dumont Green in East New York

By Linda Collins

EAST NEW YORK — A solar roof and deep affordability are two of the main attractions at the new Dumont Green development in East New York.

There are others: like the EnergyStar appliances, including dishwashers; the dual-flush toilets; the no-VOC and formaldehyde-free 100 percent wood cabinets that were made in Gowanus by Brooklyn Woods Initiative; bicycle storage; 44 on-site parking spaces; and the 6,000-square-foot common landscaped courtyard with a playground and seating areas — which are all private and secure, according to Aaron Koffman, a senior project manager at The Hudson Companies, the building’s developer.

“We’re also considering having Zip Cars on the property,” said Koffman. “Meanwhile, the solar roof’s all done and the building itself is about 80 percent complete.”

The 80,500-watt solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system is said to be the largest installation of its kind on a residential building in the city.

“To have the largest solar panel system in NYC installed on a low-income development speaks to a new found wisdom at the federal, state and city levels that has fostered the merging of job creation, alternative energy and the construction of new affordable housing,” said Hudson’s Alan Bell, principal and co-founder. “Affordable housing, which is most vulnerable to rising operating costs, is the best vehicle for demonstrating the feasibility of alternative energy sources.”

Funding for the PV system was provided by the Solar Investment Tax Credit from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (more familiarly known as NYSERDA) and Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Solar Initiative.

The eight-story, 176-unit energy-efficient building was designed by Michael H. Gelfand of MHG Architects in Manhattan, who created a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 425 to 1,050 square feet.

Said David Kramer, a Hudson principal, of the solar roof, “It’s pretty amazing, It’ll reduce common area electric costs by 80 percent.”

The development team also included Abel Bainnson Butz LLP, landscape architects; and Lettire Construction, general contractor.

Tax breaks and financing came from the HDC, HPD, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Richman Group, Bank of America and Enterprise Green Communities.

Said Markowitz, “I am thrilled that 1490 Dumont Ave. will not only provide 176 units of affordable housing to working families and create hundreds of local jobs, but will also utilize sustainable construction practices.”

Bell, who said Hudson has made a long-standing commitment to green buildings, noted that this is the company’s third green project. The first two are Third + Bond, a 44-unit LEED Gold rated townhouse development in Carroll Gardens; and The Knick, a 49-unit LEED-certified condominium in three restored historic buildings in Bushwick.

Deep Affordability

All of the 176 apartments will be affordable to families earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or from $23,040 to $46,080 for a family of four. Rents will range from $354 for a studio to $1,086 for a three-bedroom.

They will be awarded by city lottery. That process started this week and interested individuals and families have a 60-day period to put in an application, according to Koffman. This can be done by visiting DumontGreen.com.

Preferences will be given to Community Board 5 residents and city employees. Thirty-six units will be set aside for the formerly homeless, supported by on-site services provided by CAMBA, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization.

“We have started marketing the apartments,” said Koffman, noting that the “lease-up” and management will be handled by Wavecrest Management.


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