The new owners of the massive East Village residential complex now known as StuyTown plan to spend over $10 million to install 10,000 solar panels on 56 buildings in the complex, the Wall Street Journal reports. Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoé Cambridge bought the storied complex for $5.3 billion in October 2015. As 6sqft previously reported, the solar investment is part of an effort by Blackstone, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, to generate energy cost savings in its global commercial real estate portfolio. The panels will provide enough power for about 1,000 apartments each year–about nine percent of the units in the 80-acre complex–which Blackstone says will triple Manhattan’s solar power generating capacity and make it the largest private multifamily solar installation in the U.S.
The installation isn’t likely to mean a high return on the investment by Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge after the cost of installing the panels, but the venture is aware of the public relations impact of keeping a promise they made when they purchased the property, which has long been a symbol of affordable and middle-class housing concerns in New York City. Nadeem Meghji, Blackstone’s head of real estate in the Americas, said, “When we made our original investment, we made a promise to be partners with the city and community. This is just an extension of that promise.”
Of its global energy savings efforts, Blackstone says it has been able to generate about $100 million in value with efforts as simple as installing efficient toilet flappers in the bathrooms of hotels it owns. The StuyTown owners have also been deeply involved in the environmental concerns of its residents, including running one of the largest composting programs in the city.
Onyx Renewable Partners have been identified to develop the StuyTown solar installation, which is expected to begin this begin this winter with completion scheduled for 2019.
Images courtesy of Stuytown.
Neighborhoods : Stuyvesant Town