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Open House Agenda: Three Green Apartments to See This Weekend

By Amy Zimmer | March 28, 2014 7:40am
 From modern to pre-war, three choice units in "green buildings," from $500,000 to $985,000.
Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See This Weekend
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BROOKLYN — With spring in the air, we turn our eyes toward “green” buildings. Here are three new-to-market apartments in eco-friendly buildings, priced from $500,000 to just under $1 million.

150 Myrtle Ave., #311, Downtown Brooklyn

1 Bedroom/1 Bath
603 square feet
Common Charges: $567 a month
Taxes: $15 a month (with 421a tax abatement)
Open House: Sunday, March 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Lowdown: This modern, bright, 600-square-foot unit feels especially expansive because of its big windows and high ceilings, said Dionne Toussaint of the Corcoran Group.

“It’s beautifully laid out,” she said. “It has everything anyone needs, from a washer/dryer and dishwasher to a compost grinder in the sink." The kitchen is large enough to fit a table, Toussaint added.

The apartment is one of 42 units for moderate-income families in the 240-unit, amenity laden Toren building, which is LEED Certified Gold. 

“It was designed with sustainability in mind,” she said of the 5-year-old condo that has, among its many green features, a cogeneration system providing the building’s own energy.

The pet-friendly luxury building also has a library, lap pool, state-of-the-art gym, yoga studio and outdoor space where movies are occasionally screened.

To qualify for the unit, a buyer’s household income cannot exceed $167,500 a year. There are no price-restrictions on a re-sale, but there will be income restrictions for future purchasers.

Location: Downtown Brooklyn is still developing a residential feel as new buildings rise, including two towers with 500 rentals coming down the block, said Toussaint. There’s a supermarket in the Toren’s ground floor.

The building is a block from the Jay Street F/A/C trains in one direction and the Dekalb Ave Q/B in the other direction.  Fort Greene Park is also nearby.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “Simply put, you will not find another one-bedroom like this in another condo building at this price point,” Toussaint said.

545 West 111st St., #7E, Morningside Heights, Manhattan

1 Bedroom/1 Bath
946 square feet
Maintenance: $1,469 a month
Open House: Saturday, March 29, 12 noon to 4 p.m., by appointment only

Lowdown:  Renovating this large, "luminous" south-facing one-bedroom unit has been a labor of love over the 25 years that Marta Varela has lived in this classic Beaux Arts pre-war co-op.

“The idea was to preserve the details of the period," said Varela, recounting how she uncovered the original wood planks in the kitchen after scraping though three layers of linoleum. She also brought in an esteemed decorative painter to do the apartment's walls, telling him: “I wanted something that in the winter, when we had those day with no light, you'd feel the sun.”

There are three built-in, illuminated bookshelves stretching up to the 9.5-foot-tall ceilings. There's also a retractable bath shelf and overhead lighting for reading in the tub.

“It’s an apartment for booklovers,” Varela noted.

The windowed kitchen has an abundance of counter space and glass cabinets, making it easy to see where things are, Varela said. “It's the kind of kitchen you can talk to your guests while cooking in.”

The pet-friendly 132-unit doorman co-op has an elegant marble lobby, solid financials and several “green” features, including an herb garden on its rooftop that's big enough for 10 simultaneous dinner parties, Varela said. 

The co-op recently converted its boiler from dirty No. 6 oil to a hybrid burner that uses cleaner oil and natural gas. It also takes recycling very seriously, with an ongoing swap among tenants and a bin to donate items to Housing Works

There’s also a laundry, gym and storage.

Location: The building is down the street from the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Central Park, Morningside and Riverside parks are nearby, as are many bookstores, groceries and restaurants. The No. 1 train at 110th Street is a block away, as is the M4 and other buses.

Why put it on your open house calendar: The home is "tasteful and warm" for someone with an interest in books and Beaux Arts, said Varela, who is moving to France.  "I used to say they would have to take me out feet first.”

Please note: Because the listing is For Sale By Owner, Varela is requesting buyers without brokers.

138 Sackett St., #3B, Columbia Street Waterfront District, Brooklyn

2 Bedroom/2 Bath
967 square feet
Common Charges: $490 per month
Taxes: $79 per month (with 421a tax abatement)
Open House: Sunday, March 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Lowdown: The "special thing" about this two-bedroom unit — with floor-to-ceiling windows offering Manhattan skyline views and high-end energy efficient appliances — is the building itself, said Hernan Galvis, the project’s owner/architect.

The brand new seven-unit condo is among the first in the city to meet the stringent “passive house” standards — a designation considered to be the most rigorous for energy efficiency.

“It’s different from other standards in that it intends to reduce the energy consumption of the building,” said Galvis, explaining that the building is virtually air-tight because of its triple-glaze windows (imported from Austria) and a liquid membrane in the building’s shell. 

Location: Besides the building’s own ground floor garden, it sits next to the Human Compass Community Garden. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue is a 10-minute walk.

The neighborhood — which is just west of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens and north of Red Hook — has hot restaurants such as Pok Pok NY and Alma.

With the nearest trains — the F/G at Carroll Street — roughly 15 minutes away, the area is "a special pocket in Brooklyn," Galvis noted. “It's not like there's a train station two blocks away so it’s an acquired taste."

Why put it on your open house calendar? “This is pioneering,” Galvis said of the energy-efficient building, adding that it "does translate into better construction whether you’re into ‘passive house’ or not.”