Richard G. Murphy, managing director for Trammell Crow Residential, stood in the clubhouse of the Alexan CityView residential development looking like a proud father.
Although Trammell Crow has developed large residential projects nationwide for decades – with a number right here in Hudson County – this 544-unit development in Bayonne was something special for several reasons.
“Within the last few days, our first residents moved in.” – Richard G. Murphy
But he was careful to note that this project is the first step in a much larger vision, being brought to life by the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority.
“But we’re actually very thrilled to be the first part,” he said. “Within the last few days, our first residents moved in.”
He said Alexan CityView has about every luxury anyone could imagine or want, from granite counter tops to a fitness center and heated pool.
“We consciously made an effort to incorporate everything you would want in a luxury rental community,” he said.
The project is considered the largest green multi-family housing community in the country – as rated by LEED, a not-for-profit environmental rating organization.
Murphy pointed out that Alexan CityView is offering some early incentives to encourage people to move in. The facility is offering studio to three-bedroom units for rates far below Manhattan prices, and below what is currently being charged in places such as Hoboken and Jersey City for comparable luxury rentals.
Murphy said the site also provides views of Manhattan and access to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line, as well as a soon to be opened ferry service.
“One thing that is a little bit unique about this project is the LEED certification,” he said. “But we’re seeking a certification a couple of grades up called the LEEDs silver certification.”
LEED is a nationally recognized third-party certification system for environmentally friendly houses, created by the United States Green Building Council, which was designed to create nationwide standards.
“It created a platform for builders, developers, and municipalities to determine what is a green building, and appropriate standards to use in different parts of the county,” Murphy said.
While “going green” will save money through conservation, it also has a significant health aspect, Murphy said.
“We built with environmentally friendly materials, whether it be the paint, the glues or the carpeting,” he added.
The project was constructed from the start two years ago to have a minimum environmental impact from designing for efficient use of land, proper disposal of building materials, conservation of water, recycling, and, of course, energy conservation.
Apartments are equipped with lights that use less power, and exhaust systems designed to lower humidity and keep air circulating every day.
In fact, every apartment features appliances, windows, lights, and heating and cooling systems that are designed to be energy efficient, he said.
The facility will have more than 165 covered bike racks, and access to local walking paths.
As of mid-June, the city has issued the project 86 certificates of occupancy, which means that apartments are ready to receive tenants.
“Over the next year and a half, we’ll be completing this building. Our first building by the end of the year we’ll have 300 units ready, and by July 2010, we’ll have all 544 units,” he said, noting this is one of the few projects being done in the state. Trammell Crow Residential has completed projects in Jersey City and currently is working on a project in Hoboken.
Jeanne M. Fox, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said her background is in the environment, spending more than seven years with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Fox said projects like this help meet the requirements of Gov. Jon Corzine’s Energy Master Plan, which was introduced in 2007.
“Part of the goal is to reduce projected electricity use by 20 percent by the year 2020,” she said. “Obviously, projects like this are important and help reduce green house gas emissions because you use less energy to heat. This very much fits into what the governor and the legislature intended. This is a role model for other construction around the state.”
During a tour of the units, Jessie Ransom, a planner for the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority – which oversees the development on MOTBY – said the design fit with many of the concepts envisioned for the base, such as hidden parking and access to the street.
Murphy pointed out that the parking deck was constructed first and the units around it, so that it is hidden, and that residents park on the same level as they live. Units largely get three views: the Manhattan skyline to the northeast, the rolling hills of the Bayonne Golf Club to the south, and large interior courtyards.
Residents also have access to a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, which includes computer areas, a full gym, an indoor basketball court, as well as an exterior heated pool and other amenities.