Price cuts at city’s first LEED Platinum mixed-use building

By James Kelly | January 16, 2009 01:36PM

What is on track to be the city’s first LEED Platinum mixed-use project is expected to be completed in one month, despite an apparent lack of interest from buyers. The building, 439 Metropolitan Green, at 439 Metropolitan Avenue, will receive its certificate of occupancy for the two residential units in about six weeks, according to Mark Helder, the Williamsburg project’s developer and architect. The two duplex apartments hit the market in October, priced at $890,630 for a 1,054-square-foot one-bedroom and $638,000 for an 821-square-foot one-bedroom. Earlier this week, the units saw price cuts to $749,000 and $548,000, respectively.

Some of the building’s energy efficient components that contribute to its expected LEED Platinum status include radiant floor heat, a 96 percent energy efficient boiler and a fresh filtered ventilation system which is on continuously. The LEED status hinges on certification by the United States Green Building Council.

The five-story project has one ground-floor office unit. The space is 1,110 square feet, and will be cut up into eight desk spaces. Helder intends to use one desk space and rent out the rest of them to other designers and contractors dedicated to sustainable building, for between $400 and $500 per desk per month. Helder, who currently has a one-man operation and occasionally employs freelancers, says he may allocate some space to hire up to three employees for his design and development company, Helder Design.

Helder said that financing for the project has been in place for a while, so the lack of buyers did not threaten to stall construction. He also said he expects interest to pick up once the units are completed and buyers can peruse them. He noted that it didn’t make sense to build a model unit for a project with just two homes, so potential buyers don’t currently have a chance to see what they are purchasing.

“We kind of launched [sales] in the worst selling season in general,” Helder said. “Together with the unfinished-ness of the building at the time, and the economic climate, it just didn’t really work.”