New York State High-Rise Largest to Land Passive House Design Cert

This suburban project withstood multiple legal challenges.

The community room at 42 Broad St. in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Image by Katherine Marks, photographed for Bozzuto, courtesy of Alexander Development Group

Alexander Development Group, The Bluestone Organization and J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives have begun leasing at 42 Broad in the Fleetwood neighborhood of Mount Vernon, N.Y. The property, one of the nation’s most energy efficient, is the world’s largest market-rate, multifamily high-rise to achieve Phius Passive House Design Certification.

The development’s 249 units are studio, one- and two-bedroom residences. Features include nine-foot ceilings, seven-foot panoramic windows and wrap-around terraces. A fully-equipped fitness center offering Pilates and an exercise room is among the resident amenities.

Two lawsuits

“The regulatory environment for urban mixed-use developments has become increasingly difficult to navigate, especially in New York City where real estate tax assessment policies tend to disfavor multifamily rental housing,” Mark Alexander, principal at Alexander Development Group, told Multi-Housing News.

“This poses a significant roadblock for developers when approaching projects like 42 Broad and often results in the need to seek tax relief through programs like 421-A,” said Alexander. “The zoning code in New York City, which was last rewritten more than six decades ago, can also be very tedious. Although the 42 Board project is located outside New York City, it faces a series of challenges in the approvals process including two separate lawsuits that challenged various aspects of the approval process. Although we prevailed in both of those suits, the plaintiffs succeeded in extending our approvals process by almost two years. The project also faced significant regulatory and tax-related burdens.”

The visual impact of the completed project has “recently evoked many expressions of pride from local members of the community – even among those who once challenged it in court,” Alexander said. “That’s the sort of win-win outcome we strive for.”

Phius standards

The high-performance windows, extensive insulation, mechanical ventilation and high-tech building systems of 42 Broad allow it to adhere to Passive House Institute U.S., or Phius, standards. The property uses 80 percent less energy for heating and cooling than existing buildings. Meeting Phius standards will ensure occupants a better living experience by continuously providing filtered fresh air. Other impacts will include profoundly lower utility bills and decreased sound transmission.

Well located for commuting ease, 42 Broad is situated only three blocks from the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line, offering a 30-minute train ride to Manhattan. White Plains is 15 minutes distant by private automobile, and Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville is a six-minute commute. Trader Joe’s at Vernon Hills Shopping Center, and Whole Foods at Ridge Hill Mall are located nearby.

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