Ultra-Energy-Efficient Apartments Obtain Permanent Financing

The developer of the country’s first affordable multifamily Passive House development, Mennonite United Revival Apartments, has obtained permanent financing for the project.

New York—The developer of the country’s first affordable multifamily Passive House development, Mennonite United Revival Apartments, has obtained permanent financing for the project. Developed the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, the property is located on 422-428 Melrose St. in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Besides being built for low-income families, Mennonite United Revival Apartments also meets the strict energy-efficiency criteria of Passive House, an international building standard aimed at reducing heating and cooling energy usage through passive measures such as insulation. The building was designed by architect Chris Benedict to meet Passive House standards, which exceed those of LEED. Passive House standards are widely used in Europe, but not so much in the United States.

As a result, the property uses 20 percent of a typical New York City apartment building’s energy. It’s thoroughly air sealed, insulated and compartmentalized with air barriers, the upshot of which is to drastically increase heating- and cooling-related energy savings by storing warm air during cold days and cold air on hot days. The exterior design ensures that the sun provides heat for the rooms in the winter, thus using natural heat sources. Also, each apartment has its own ventilation system to supply fresh air, as well as small radiators and airtight window air conditioning units.

Located on a former parking lot, the five-story apartment building features three studios, four one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units that are available for families earning either 50 percent or 60 percent of area median income. A two-bedroom unit is reserved for the superintendent. Amenities include a community room, a laundry room, an outdoor patio and a garden.

CPC is contributing a $1.14 million permanent loan through the New York City Retirement Systems, with 100 percent insurance from the State of New York Mortgage Agency. An additional $2.18 million permanent loan will come from the Housing Trust Fund. TD Bank provided a $6.5 million construction loan, and the NYC Housing Preservation and Development administered $750,000 in Reso A funds. The New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal also allocated Low income Housing Tax Credits (LITHC) and RBC Capital Markets syndicated the $4.5 million LIHTC equity.