We’re in First Place with green buildings and on other streets too


By James Cavanaugh

As the new president and C.E.O. of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself, and inform the residents of the Downtown community what the future will bring at Battery Park City.

As Battery Park City nears the completion of its original blueprint, we continue to stretch boundaries of design, innovation and technology.

We have gone from being the site of the nation’s first “green” residential highrise, to now becoming the nation’s first “green neighborhood.” Soon there will be eight green residential high rises, each producing a portion of their own energy through solar cells, recycling their water, and conserving our natural resources through the use of sustainable materials.

With each successive building we continue to push the envelope, demanding better energy conservation, encouraging innovative technologies, and providing a healthier environment. Some of the technologies we are looking at for future buildings include geothermal heat, wind power, and fuel cells. With buildings consuming 30 percent of all energy use in the United States, we believe that sustainable building design will be one of the most important new industries in the United States. We intend to keep Battery Park City in the forefront of that industry.

The next groundbreaking scheduled, later this year, will be the Sheldrake Organization’s 30-story green residential high rise located at Site 16/17 between the Irish Hunger Memorial and the newly created Teardrop Park.

The Sheldrake building represents the fifth site developed using our pioneering green guidelines. It will also be future home to the World Hunger Education Center, the Poet’s House and a branch of the New York City Public Library. Battery Park City remains a major focal point for drawing cultural institutions downtown.

Though construction has only been completed on seven of its thirty-five stories, the Millennium Tower Residences has sold nearly all of its units. The building sits adjacent to another one of Millennium’s projects, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences, and is slated for completion in 2006.

Battery Park City has just completed a lease agreement with Goldman Sachs for construction of their new world headquarters at Site 26, on West St. Soon Goldman will break ground on this building, which will be home to 9,000 employees and will be built to achieve a LEED Gold rating in environmentally sustainable design.

The authority’s commitment to innovative, sustainable and user friendly public space continues. Later this fall we will open a 3,000 square foot dog run in the middle island of the north neighborhood. The southern island will contain a greenhouse for our splendid Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, which will open in the late winter. The north island renovation will be completed in spring ’06 to provide safer access for users. Spring ’06 is also the scheduled date for the completion of the landscape expansion surrounding the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Albanese Development will break ground next year on its third high-rise on what represents Battery Park City’s last residential site in the south neighborhood – site 3. The 32-story residential tower will sit on Battery Place between Second and Third Place, and will serve as a central facility for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy.

Albanese’s second building in Battery Park City, The Verdesian, is nearing completion and will open next year. The roof of the Verdesian will house the state-of-the-art heliostats that Battery Park City will use to reflect sunlight into the future Teardrop Park South.

The heliostats are mirrors that track and redirect the sun. Though they have been used in Europe and in several locations in the United States to light interior corridors, this will be the first time in the world that this technology is used to light a public space.

There remains only one site at Battery Park City not formally spoken for, which is Site 23/24. Currently, Battery Park City is in negotiations will Millstein Properties to construct two residential building that will house a 50,000 square-foot community center in their base.

Battery Park City approaches its completion with the same determination to set the standard in urban planning that marked the authority’s beginnings. Battery Park City’s success is owed in large part to the dedication of its board and to the leadership of fine individuals such as Chairman James F. Gill and Governor George E. Pataki. I also want to thank the efforts of my predecessor as President, Tim Carey. When it is completed, Battery Park City will be home to 4.5 million square feet of sustainable development, 35 acres of parks and some of the most breathtaking views in New York City.

It is an honor for me to be a part of the authority and the Lower Manhattan community, and I look forward to meeting and speaking with residents in the future.

James Cavanaugh is president & C.E.O. of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority.

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