One of NYC’s largest premier builders and developers of affordable and sustainable housing construction is the recipient of numerous awards for high quality green and low-income developments around the city.
New York, NY – As one of the largest premier builders and developers of affordable and sustainable housing in the New York region, Lettire Construction Corporation has become known for the economic rebuilding of the City. It therefore comes as no surprise that Lettire has also served as the recipient of a number of awards for its commitment to affordable housing, particularly when these projects are sustainably built.
“There’s a tremendous need for high quality green affordable housing in New York City,” says Nick Lettire, President and CEO of Lettire Construction Corporation. “We are proud to be the driving force in the creation of these projects.”
Their latest project to be recognized, Dumont Green, was awarded the National Grid Award for Energy Efficiency at the 2012 Building Brooklyn awards in July, 2012. The 176-unit affordable multi-housing development, which was completed in 2010 and was developed by The Hudson Companies, is the result of a transformed 24 year-old vacant lot into an eight-story green building in East New York. Featuring the largest solar energy system in a multifamily building in New York State, it is also the first in an affordable apartment project. By providing 80 percent of the project’s common area power, the building has become 26 percent more energy efficient than code compliance requires.
But Dumont Green reflects only one of a myriad of sustainable housing projects built by Lettire, having completed nearly 1,350 units of affordable, supportive and market rate green housing in
New York in the last five years. Among them is Via Verde – “The Green Way” – a development of 222 units of for sale and rental affordable housing in the Bronx by Jonathan Rose Companies and Phipps Houses. Described by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as, “one of the most innovative, exciting, environmentally sustainable affordable housing developments in the nation – if not the world,” Via Verde features acres of gardens and was literally designed to offer a healthier green lifestyle.
An award-winning 20-story, 222-unit green affordable housing development consisting of 71 cooperative homes and 151 rentals, located in the Bronx, Via Verde was built by Lettire as a state-of-the- art showpiece property that will pave the way for future affordable living projects. Utilizing the best in eco-friendly building practices enabling the property to achieve LEED NC Gold Certification, it was also combined with the finishes, details and amenities usually reserved for higher-end buildings.
“We believe the work we completed on this project sets a new standard for our industry. Via Verde exemplifies the most cutting-edge innovation in affordable multi-family housing and will serve as a model for future developments,” says Nick Lettire.
Over 11 professionals from Lettire participated in the build, which was completed on time and within budget. Designed by Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects, along with Ettinger Engineering Associates, Robert Silman Associates and Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture, and co-developed by Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC and Phipps Housing, the project was the winning response to the New Housing New York Legacy Competition sponsored by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Enterprise Foundation.
Residents therefore benefit from several sustainable building practices, including improved indoor air quality, due to Lettire’s utilization of green cleaning materials and non-toxic, no/low VOC materials during construction. Co-ops at Via Verde also feature spacious floor plans with hardwood flooring, in-unit stacker washer/dryers, stainless steel appliances, built-in dishwashers and microwaves, luxury kitchens with bamboo cabinets, porcelain tile floors, ceramic tile backsplashes, Caesar stone countertops, Energy Star appliances, remote control ceiling fans, porcelain tile bathrooms and panoramic windows. Further, the project provides such additional sustainable amenities as a series of green roofs including a Scots Pine tree orchard on the 3rd floor roof, an edible fruit bearing apple and pear trees orchard on the 4th floor roof, resident vegetable gardening beds on the 5th floor roof, and a green roof and fitness center on the 7th floor. In addition, the building contains photovoltaic solar panels, which will provide power to the common areas.
Expanding its green supportive housing niche in Harlem, Lettire also completed construction of Castle Gardens, located at 625 West 140th Street. The building, on track for LEED-NC Gold Certification, provides 114 affordable units, including 50 supportive studio apartments and 13 larger units for homeless individuals and families with incarceration histories. Serving as the general contractor on the project, which was co-developed by The Fortune Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the fabric of communities by promoting successful prisoner reentry, and Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC, Castle Gardens is adjacent to the five-story not-for-profit Fortune Academy, known as “The Castle,” a nationally recognized residence which provides transitional housing for homeless individuals recently released from prison. Designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, the new 11-story building allows The Fortune Society to significantly expand its programming and housing opportunities by offering permanent housing to clients and other low- income members of the community. The building also includes 20,000 square feet of office, meeting and supportive service space for residents and community groups.
Environmentally-friendly features at Castle Gardens include an extensive green roof that utilizes a rainwater harvesting system, aluminum solar shades that are employed on the building’s south facade, and materials free of toxic ingredients which are used throughout the building.
As the co-developer and contractor for Tapestry, a 185 unit green market-rate rental housing project in Manhattan that received the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Award from the Urban Land Institute, Tapestry is also East Harlem’s first LEED Gold Certified mixed-income, mixed- use project. Mr. Lettire felt particularly “proud to deliver Tapestry on time and on budget, and provide this community with an environmentally-friendly and aesthetically- pleasing housing option,” he said upon acceptance of the award.
Located at a site where there were once vacant lots and a temporary storage facility, Lettire purchased the land based on its close proximity to the planned 125th Street rezoning area, envisioning that city-owned adjacent parcels could be incorporated into the development. Tapestry thereby became one of the first projects to be developed as part of the 125th Street River to River Rezoning, a multi-city agency rezoning ef fort to infuse the area with cultural, retail, entertainment and more affordable housing for Harlem residents.
Specifically, Tapestry is a 185-unit, mixed- use and mixed-income, sustainable affordable multifamily and retail development which, in addition to the environmentally friendly residences, the property is a full-service building featuring a gym, common roof deck, green roofs, over 8,000 square-feet in ground-floor retail space and a parking garage. Tapestry also meets the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria dedicated to supporting the health of its residents and of the natural environment, to promote community improvement.
These projects, along with another green project, Ciena-Hobbs in East Harlem, comprised of two buildings offering 339 units of affordable housing incorporating numerous sustainable elements featuring Lettire Construction as the co-developer and contractor, all combine to best represent the firm’s outstanding commitment to sustainable affordable living in the New York City area. It is no surprise, therefore, that Mr. Lettire was also honored with 2010 Private Sector Partner of the Year Award by The Supportive Housing Network of New York, for his commitment to building high quality supportive housing for New Yorkers as they work to rebuild their lives.
“Lettire has always been committed to addressing the need for high-quality, sustainable affordable properties for emerging neighborhoods throughout the city,” says Lettire, “and we couldn’t be more pleased with these results.”
About Lettire Construction Corporation:
Lettire Construction Corporation, headed by brothers Nicholas and Gerard Lettire, is one of the largest, premier builders and developers of green affordable and supportive housing in the region. Headquartered in East Harlem since 1980, the company’s founders are actively participating in the economic rebuilding of the City, and creating local jobs in the communities where the firm is active. By working closely with government agencies, development partners and neighborhood leaders and coalitions, Lettire has been able to further its mission, and dramatically increase the supply of high quality affordable and supportive housing in the New York area.