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Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.

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7 posts tagged Environment

ECO LOGIC - POWER CLEAN UP

By: Madeleine Dale, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, West Side Office.

The Clean Power Plan announced last week seeks to limit carbon emissions from power plants in the name of climate change and public health. Responsible for 1/3 of the domestic greenhouse gasses, power plants are the largest source of CO2 emissions in the U.S. Power plants burning fossil fuels also release mercury, sulfur-dioxide and nitrogen which linger hundreds of years in the atmosphere.  Coal burning plants are the worst offenders and the main target for the proposal to reduce pollution by 30%. 

Sensitive to backlash from coal producing states, the EPA message is don’t panic, the plan promises to maintain affordable, reliable energy “For 40 years, we have been able to both implement the Clean Air Act and keep the lights on. The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will not change that.” Not so much a call to arms as a call to upgrade, Clean Power takes aim at 1,000 plants in an aging fleet – most coal burning fuel facilities have already been in use over 40 years. 

In reality, reliance on coal has already waned due to gains in energy efficiency and cleaner fuels like natural gas. An industry analyst quoted in theNYTimes last week notes, “Natural gas turns out to be better than coal in the marketplace.”  Another Times article, The Best of Both Worlds  took aim at arguments that regulations will drive up costs. Nine states which cut carbon emissions by 18% through a carbon cap and trade program saw economies grow by 9%. 

The hope that proposed regulations will open the door for alternative power sources like solar and wind to compete in the energy market may prove optimistic. Coal burning plants still account for 40% of the nation’s power. Reducing emissions is a small step made possible by the abundant supply of viable domestic fuel. A 30% emissions reduction equals the carbon released annually by 75% of the nation’s cars. As CO2 molecules in the atmosphere top 400 parts per billion, the regulations recognize the imperative of modifying energy policy to minimize the human footprint.

To connect with me you can contact me over email, or visit my agent website to learn more.

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Thoughts of Eco Logic are those of Madeleine Dale and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

ECO LOGIC - SEA-SAW

By Madeleine Dale, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, West Side Office

The anniversary of hurricane Sandy invites reflection on NYC’s relationship to its’ shoreline. In the early 1990s, City planners instigated a long-range vision for conservation and development with contingencies for projected sea-level rise. Sandy did not derail the plans, in fact, policy shifted into a higher gear. As funds for recovery channel into commercial, housing and public access projects at water’s edge, the current interactive map shows no retreat in the wake of the storm.

With 520 wet miles, NYC has more shoreline to defend than any other U.S. city. The city responded to Sandy with A Stronger, More Resilient New York. The 456 page report on “actionable recommendations for rebuilding the communities impacted by Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure citywide,” is a call for construction, not protection. City of Water, in the New York Times Sunday Review, questions the enthusiasm. Writer Kevin Baker accompanied Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway and Director of City Planning Amanda Burden on a boat tour of the East River development. Discussing defense, Cas Holloway expressed a preference for working smart and small over “two or three huge grey things.” The 6,000 green infrastructure installations, on sites from Staten Island, to City Island to Coney Island, will mitigate damages but offer no guarantees that future storms won’t require future evacuations.

 “People have a misconception that protection from the water means not getting wet…Climate ready,” Cas Holloway notes “is not climate proof.”

NYC is on a short list of vulnerable coastal cities with populations over 5 million. While estimates of global sea level rise are measured in inches (4-11 inches), projections for local area reach up to 5 feet by 2080. Critical infrastructure in the path of storm surges includes 50% of the City’s power plants, several hospitals as well as tunnels for subways and trains. Map revisions released by Federal Emergency Management Agency enclose 800,000 residents in an area labeled the “100 year flood plain.” Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a NASA/Columbia University scientist serving on the NYPCC (New York Panel on Climate Change), recently gave a lecture on the science/policy see- saw.  In 2008, and again in post- Sandy 2013, the NYPCC analyzed data from 35 massively interactive computer-generated climate models. Dr. Rosenzweig conceded that:

“In terms of actuarial probability, the next direct hit could be hundreds of years in coming,” but added, “if we are clear about anything, we are clear about uncertainty.”

Clearly, in the City’s blueprint for development, the Rs in SIRR, (Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency), do not stand for retreat. The four feet of water from Sandy that flooded the Brooklyn Naval Yards will not deter 40,000sq. ft. of new retail. The ambitious Sea Port City, on the scale of Battery Park City, will rise in one of the lowest lying areas in Manhattan. Coney Island, near the flooded Brooklyn Aquarium, will host new hi-rise towers and no one has suggested relocating that Ferris Wheel proposed for the foot of Staten Island.

“We are a water city,” Times writer Kevin Baker quotes Amanda Burden on the East River tour, “we have to embrace it.” Some cities like Venice temper the romance with caution and build infrastructure like Moses to hold back the sea. When pressed on the wisdom of “reconnecting everybody to the water” the Mayor described a contingency plan of amplified emergency response with “smart people, communications and training, investment in lights and police cars and that sort of thing.” Not to suggest NYC is the next Atlantis, or even Venice, just noting the absence of caution. Aligning the emphasis on development with an offensive defense might right the balance between advance and retreat.

To work with Madeleine, visit her website or contact her over email at mdale@halstead.com

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Thoughts of Eco Logic are those of Madeleine Dale and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC

ECO LOGIC - A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN NYC

By Madeleine Dale, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, West Side Office

So it’s official, New York City has the cleanest air in fifty years!  In a press conference Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a dramatic improvement  in the city’s air quality.  Even as global CO2 levels in the atmosphere topped the highest point in human history at  400 parts per million, NYC has managed to  reduce air pollution.  The New York City Community Air Survey conducted by the Health Department and Queens College recently found that “Sulfur dioxide levels have dropped by 69 percent since 2008, and the level of soot pollution has dropped by more than 23 percent since 2007.”  The Mayor credits 2011 regulations to phase out No. 6 and No. 4 grades of heavy oil used for boilers in over 10,000 buildings by 2030.  Though co-ops and landlords face costs of  $10,000 for efficiency upgrades to much more for replacement boilers, over 2,700 buildings have already converted to natural gas or low-sulfur No. 2 with an additional 2,500 buildings in the process.  To assist building owners with the expense, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, a non-profit started in 2011, allocated $37 million in federal funds to make loans available for energy-efficiency upgrades.

The air survey provides evidence of  success resulting from the ban on noxious heavy oil.  Linking public health to an environmental agenda, the mayor claimed that  the heating oil regulations are “the single biggest step that we’ve taken to save lives.”  Soot irritates the lungs, worsens asthma and increases the risk of heart attacks.  In 2011, the health department estimated that air pollutions annually contributed to 3,000 deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits.  The city estimates the cleaner air will prevent 800 deaths and 2,000 emergency room visits.  

Reporting on the mayor’s press conference, the NY Times quoted “City government’s number one responsibility, I’ve always thought, is protecting the health and safety of our people.”

Clean air is invisible, not something most people notice but by 2030 few NYC residents will remember the billowing black smoke released from inefficient boilers.  The ban on heavy oil is part of the PlaNYC initiatives which map out sustainable long-range urban goals.  The clean air survey results provided Mayor Bloomberg with an opportunity to highlight a vital hidden benefit from environmental stewardship.  Calculating public health in terms of improved air quality quantifies the incentive for reducing pollution.  The air we breath in may be a life saver.

Read full coverage of this story from the NY Times here.

To work with Madeleine, visit her website or contact her over email at mdale@halstead.com

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Thoughts of Eco Logic are those of Madeleine Dale and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC

Super Community Tree Giveaway

As part of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee Environmental Program, the Super Community Tree Giveaway will help reforest the Garden State by planting 2,014 trees in honor of Super Bowl XLVIII with help from New Jersey residents. Replanting initiatives by local non-profit NJ Tree Foundation aim to replenish destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy to areas most in-need. Halstead Property’s Hudson Realty Group is proud to have partnered with NJ Tree Foundation to give away trees to 200 Hudson County residents, and give back to the community we serve. Residents must fill out an application and the first 200 respondents will be notified via email from a NJ Tree Foundation staff member. Those selected must pick up their trees on Saturday October 5, 2013, between 9:00am - 12:00pm at the Hoboken Recycling Center located at 17 Willow Avenue (and N. Observer Highway), Hoboken NJ. There are 160 flowering dogwood trees and 40 American sycamore trees to choose from.

Interested residents can find the Hudson County application here, and more details on this and other NJ Tree Foundation programs can be found on their website. Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for more info, and other opportunities to get involved. 

To learn more about Hudson Realty Group at Halstead Property’s Hoboken office, visit our website and learn details about the opening of our brand new Hoboken office at 200 Washington St.

ECO LOGIC - HOLD BACK THE SEA

By Madeleine Dale, Senior Vice President, West Side Office

Wrapped in 520 miles of waterfront, New York City has more shoreline to defend than any other U.S. city.  To address the challenge of rising oceans, the City released a new plan for A Stronger, More Resilient New York. An addition to the expansive PlaNYC, the 456 page report is bursting with “actionable recommendations for rebuilding the communities impacted by Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure citywide.” The NY Times headline $20Billion Plan to Shore Up City as Climate Shifts drew attention to the price tag, but after $19 billion in Sandy damage, the costs of prevention seems modest. 

If anything, the fiscal restraint will disappoint advocates of technological mega fixes, along the lines of grand projects like Moses in Venice. Instead of a massive barrier stretching across the Verrazano Narrows, a balanced approach will mix new construction of flood walls, levees and jetties with restoration of natural barriers like wetlands and dunes. On sites from Staten Island, to City Island to Coney Island, protective measures will mitigate damages but offer no guarantees that future storms won’t require future evacuations. By design, pragmatism sets the tone: “Rather than talk about it and have plans that never get fulfilled, we’re actually doing something,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained the Special Initiative for Rebuilding & Resiliency. Implementation can begin immediately and will extend into the next decade using Federal and City funds already allocated and Congressional grants approved after Sandy.  

Along with Tokyo, Miami, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Mumbai, NYC is on a short list of costal cities with populations over 5 million vulnerable to creeping sea levels. While estimates of global sea level rise are measured in inches (4 to 11 inches), projections for local area increases reach up to 5 feet by 2080.   And the gravest hazards are the increasing intensity and frequency of storms. Critical infrastructure already in the path of storm surges includes 50% of the City’s power plants, several hospitals as well as tunnels and trains. Irene and Sandy, two whoppers which hit practically back to back, prompted the map revisions released this week by Federal Emergency Management Agency. The NY Times reports the new boundaries place 800,000 residents in an area labeled the “100 year flood plain" by 2050. Surprisingly there are no calls to abandon waterfront construction.  

The Rs in SIRR, the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, do not stand for retreat. Though Sandy flooded the Brooklyn Naval Yards with four feet of water, the City has an RfP out for developers interested in adding 40,000 square feet of retail. The ambitious Sea Port City, tucked into the proposal, is presented as a storm surge barrier with benefits. The development on the scale of Battery Park City to be built on landfill and jetties along the south-east tip of Manhattan will sit in one of the lowest lying areas on the island. 

"This is primarily a resiliency initiative, not a development initiative," the president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., Seth Pinsky, told CRAINS. “But it is one that has the added benefit of providing economic-development dividends. We know that there’s demand for land in Manhattan.” While some cities add infrastructure to hold back the sea, this metropolis builds bigger and higher right up on the edge.

To work with Madeleine, contact her over email at mdale@halstead.com

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Thoughts of Eco Logic are those of Madeleine Dale and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC

Earth Day 2012  

Celebrate the upcoming 43rd annual Earth Day this year by heading to New York City’s first ever Green Festival at the Javits Center this weekend. Sunday, April 22nd is official Earth Day where more than an estimated one billion people around the globe will celebrate our planet and advocate for a more sustainable environment and lifestyle, and for the protection of earth’s resources.  Show your pride by heading the festival where hundreds of eco-innovators, educators, speakers, entertainers will be on hand, plus enjoy delicious sustainable/eco-friendly organic dining.  There are plenty of fun and informative workshops to attend too, like learning how to hone in on your green thumb and perfect your urban gardening skills. Visitors will also learn how and where they can contribute to the local economy via area farms and producers.  For more information on specific times, prices and general information be sure to visit their website 

The Javits Center is located at 655 West 34th Street, NY

Brooklyn’s Green Thumb On Display This Weekend

This Saturday, March 10th, the 31st annual Brooklyn Bloom conference is being held at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden from 10am through 4pm. The daylong conference explores ways to cultivate and celebrate sustainable innovation in the face of environmental degradation, limited resources, and climate change. This free event features exhibits and workshops that pioneer urban gardening – from rooftop and windowsill gardens to reducing your carbon footprint.

The Brooklyn Bloom has a full schedule of events. You must arrive at 10am to register for the day’s individual workshops. Some of the workshops include Teach a City to Fish – Small-Scale Aquaponics, Fruit for All: Growing and Harvesting the Best, Getting a Jump Start on Spring: Seed Starting Indoors and Out, and Looking Up: Exploring Soil and Nutrition in Rooftop Agriculture. There will also be a series of short films shown and, at the conclusion of the event, guests will be given a spring gift bag.  

Thanks to Halstead’s Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn Neighborhood Expert Agent Kris Sylvester for supplying us with this information.  And, don’t forget…Green is Better!

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