Sendero Verde – The Nation’s Largest Passive Property

In these days of multi-use properties, the Sendero Verde project seeks to bring innovation to an idea that’s been beautifying multiple regions of the metropolitan area for quite some time now. Located on the block of East 111th to 112th Streets between Madison and Park Avenue, the development, once completed, will be the biggest passive property in the country, containing fully affordable housing, commercial opportunity, and community resources for all who come together there, and it aims to do this without sacrificing design or quality. With plans to break ground imminently, the first phase is set to be completed in 2022, and that will be just the beginning. 

The Features of the Sendero Verde Project: A Look Into the Future

Sendero Verde will be going beyond a mere mixture of residential and commercial space contained within a single building. Its completed edifice will be a small community contained within itself, including: 

  • Affordable residential spaces and (in future phases) residences for multiple income levels. 360 affordable housing units will come in phase one, with an additional 350 to follow in phase two. 
  • School space and room for a gymnasium, keeping educational opportunities within steps of its new residents. Sources reported earlier in the year that the school would be the Harlem RBI/Dream Charter school.
  • Space for the local chapter of the Union Settlement Association.
  • Community common area to include seating, a stage for outdoor events, childrens’ play areas, and adult exercise equipment. 
  • Mount Sinai East Harlem Community Health Center for local healthcare.
  • Urban Market as a local grocer.
  • Two Boots Pizza, the third in the NYC area. 

The Shape the Development Takes

Sendero Verde is not a single building, however. What the project heads hope to bring out goes beyond the brick and mortar, important though this can be. In two ways people are already seeing where it will shine: for the people and the environment as a whole. 

Something Sendero Verde will also hope to be is energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. With public gardens and building standards to increase insulation and air circulation, developers on the project propose that this will reduce local energy consumption by 70% compared to the city average. 

Sendero Verde will also open first to low-income residents. Thirty percent of its initial units will be reserved for these people, 10 percent specifically for the formerly homeless, and some will pay nothing to start as the community grows around and with them. The rest of the phase one units will be given by lottery, with local Harlem residents receiving preference, to households earning 60, 80, and 90 percent of the average income for the area.

What Remains to be Completed?

Phase one is expected to wrap up in 2022, which leaves two and a half years from groundbreaking to complete. In that time, the initial 300+ units, businesses, and community areas will need to take shape. Developers suggest that the commitment to energy efficiency will increase construction costs 5 to 10 percent, but the savings in utility will more than pay for it. For a thriving community of residents, educators, business owners, union members, and their families, virtually every trade needs to be involved for a project of this size, with work stretching into the foreseeable future.


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