Home Business 505 State Street in Brooklyn is New York's first all-electric building

505 State Street in Brooklyn is New York's first all-electric building

by SuperiorInvest

In an ever-changing downtown Brooklyn, apartment skyscrapers nearing completion are a familiar sight. But there's something a little different about the one at 505 State Street.

This 44-story, 440-unit rental building will be the first all-electric residential tower in New York City, a claim that was confirmed by the Department of Buildings. Features that would normally use gas will be electric, meaning no gas stoves. Heating and hot water will also be electric.

Jared Della Valle, CEO of Alloy Development, said the company reviewed its sustainability goals and consulted its engineers before committing to going all-electric. But there was probably another factor: Starting in 2026, the law will require most new buildings in New York to use electric heating and appliances to combat climate change.

In the end, the transition “wasn't that complicated,” Della Valle said.

He and Alloy President AJ Pires said the building would open in April and, in another change for the neighborhood, didn't focus on luxury.

“When you take a look at our website, you'll see that we don't reference any hyperbole,” Della Valle said. “We are focused on value set and community; things like composting and how we come together as a community can impact and make a difference.”

Studios at 505 State Street start at nearly $3,500 a month, two-bedrooms at nearly $8,000 and three-bedrooms at $11,200.

The building held a housing lottery for 45 of its units and received more than 107,000 applications for units ranging from $763 to $2,155 a month.

“If you're literally winning the lottery and you get a three-bedroom apartment that the market tells us is worth $11,500 a month, and you get it for $1,600 a month, you don't necessarily have to be aware of who has money in the lobby and who doesn't,” Della Valle said. “That should be invisible, since design can democratize versus polarize.”

At 505 State Street, finishes are the same across market-rate and affordable units.

Inside the building, Rebecca Robertson of RR Interiors organized the model units and sales office using fonts that might be familiar to a recent college graduate or a newlywed couple looking to decorate a new home. Robertson bought coffee tables and rugs from places like Craigslist, Target and secondhand furniture company Kaiyo.

But 505 State Street has a full menu of amenities. The building has a rooftop pool and terrace that offers residents views of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank and the Manhattan skyline. There's also a 3,000-square-foot gym and a “grow room” (similar to a greenhouse or garden) filled with plants. Several retail stores will occupy the ground floor of the building, including a coffee shop.

In an agreement with the city, Alloy built a building adjacent to 505 State Street that will house two public schools, Khalil Gibran International Academy High School, which serves a large Arabic-speaking population, and Public School 456, which will begin with four kindergarten and pre-K classes and grow to serve more students as needed. Both schools, designed by the Office of Architectural Research, will open in the fall.

These interviews have been edited for clarity.

We were setting our sustainability goals and were in the early part of the design. We asked our engineers: “Do we really need gas? Why do we need gasoline? Presumably, we could produce hot water with electricity through a resistance boiler. And we already design high-performance building envelopes. What would it take? And the answer is, honestly, it's not that complicated. It is a conceptual leap, but it is not a technological leap.

For me, the impetus behind schools in the first place was a place of warmth and support, and to help support the creation of a physical place that reflects the kind of civic pride we have. Creating a freestanding building that truly has a civic presence where people have a place of honor (“that's my school”) is fantastic. And there is also another school. Downtown Brooklyn has grown so much in population that it needs more elementary school seats.

When thinking about these apartments, you try to imagine the type of person who lives here. There is the economy of furniture and space. Being an all-electric building sets the tone for what you are going to fill it with, for how people are going to live. So what we wanted to do was combine vintage furniture with secondhand or used furniture to have a clean, cozy and warm aesthetic.

This is my first construction job, my first time as a hoist operator. I got here when I was on the 34th or 35th floor. I was a little scared at first because, I'm not going to lie, I was afraid of heights, but the money is fantastic. I enjoyed watching the different trades do their thing and being able to help them get to their project or the next level of their project.

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