Lendlease JV Launches Green Brooklyn Towers

The project is set to be the largest geothermal-powered residential property in the state.

A joint venture between Lendlease and Aware Super has broken ground on 1 Java Street, a five-building, 834-unit mixed-use community in Brooklyn, N.Y. The project is largest of its kind in the Empire State to be powered solely by geothermal energy. The mixed income community, which is slated for completion in 2025, will be part of a new waterfront district in the Greenpoint neighborhood.

Environmentally conscious partnership

According to reporting from Urbanize NY, Lendlease acquired the 2.6-acre development lot in 2020 for $110.8 million. The developers lined up financing in December 2022, including a $360 million construction loan from Bank of America, TD Bank, Mizuho Bank and Chinese Banking Corp. Additionally, the project received $4 million in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, as part of its Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program.

As part of the Affordable New York Housing Program, 30 percent of the units at the property will be designated as affordable housing.

Marvel has been selected as project’s exterior architectural designer and will shape the interiors of the community’s market rate and affordable units. INC and Crème will oversee the planning of the property’s public areas and townhouses, respectively.

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The project aligns with state and local sustainable construction and decarbonization legislation and regulations, including Local Laws 97 and 154, both of which aim to cut fossil fuels from the construction process entirely and achieve city-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. For Lendlease, the community an example of the firm’s Mission Zero ESG initiative, which is seeking to have zero carbon emissions in the firm’s supply chains, construction practices and energy expenditures by 2040. During the construction process, 320 separate boreholes will be drilled for the laying of an underground, closed-loop heat exchange system that will cycle a water solution throughout both the buildings and subterranean areas through natural, seasonal temperature and pressure gradients. The energy generated will provide the community’s full electric power, heating and cooling utilities.

After its construction finishes, the project is anticipated to achieve LEED, Fitwel and Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines certifications.

Public and private utility

At full build-out, the community will span a total of 788,829 square feet through five interconnected buildings, headlined by two 37- and 20-story residential towers. In addition to the mixed-income residential components, the community will feature 13,000 square feet of retail space in addition to an 18,000-square foot public esplanade that opens out to the India Street Pier. The area will serve as a barrier, protecting the area from flooding on the East River.

The pier directly serves the NYC Ferry system, and Midtown Manhattan is two miles away.

Affordability and sustainability

The property represents a statewide effort to combine both energy-efficient designs and operations with affordable living arrangements through both public and private sustainability initiatives. Recent developments in line with this trend include 1515 Surf Avenue, a portion of Coney Island’s Vertical Boardwalk development that includes 463 apartments, 30 percent of which are affordable. Like 1 Java Street, the site is being developed along the waterfront, with a geothermal energy system anticipated to service the community’s energy needs.

Statewide, NYSERDA has been a sponsor for several affordable developments and renovations, contributing to energy-efficient development efforts within a recently-awarded $390 million in bonds and subsidies for the construction and preservation of 1,600 affordable homes. The agency awarded $2.8 million for three projects.

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