New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



How to Maximize value, Reduce Expenses, and Improve Quality of Life

The Challenge

Kips Bay Towers Condominium is a residential complex spanning three city blocks that includes two 20-story towers, a total of 1,118 apartments, a five-acre private garden, and several recreational spaces. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei in the 1960s, Kips Bay Towers is home to more than 4,000 residents.
The Kips Bay Towers board developed a decade-long partnership with our company. Our shared goal has been to maximize property values, reduce operating expenses, and provide an exceptional quality of life for every resident. The key to attaining these goals came down to one word: sustainability.

The Solution

Efforts began in 2008 when the complex replaced its inefficient steam heat system with two high-efficiency steam boilers and state-of-the-art gas/oil burners. Complemented by a sophisticated control system, the $1.8 million project paid for itself in about three years and has dramatically reduced the complex’s energy use and costs.
That same year, Kips Bay Towers was one of the first properties in New York City to install a solar photovoltaic system atop its two towers. A New York State Energy Research and Development Authority rebate covered half the cost of the project, which also resulted in state and federal tax credits and a property tax abatement. In addition, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates will reduce the complex’s carbon emissions by 4,000 metric tons annually.

The complex recycles clothing and textiles, electronic waste and food scraps, and it has partnered with Farmigo to get fresh, locally produced food delivered to the complex. An LED lighting retrofit in common areas will save $170,000 and 967,066 kWh annually, and a water-efficiency project is underway.

The Lesson

Sustainability is good for the planet and it makes good business sense. By significantly lowering carbon emissions, Kips Bay Towers’ operating expenses have been sharply reduced, apartment values have increased by 31 percent since 2010, and unit-owners are enjoying an exceptional quality of life.

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