Construction Begins In New York For America's Largest Geothermal Apartment Complex

Lendlease and joint venture partner Aware Super began constructing what will be New York's largest geothermal apartment complex on April 24. They've broken ground on 1 Java Street, starting an 834-unit residential development that will consist of five interconnected buildings covering an entire city block along the Greenpoint waterfront in Brooklyn. The current design plans consist of two towers that are 37 and 20 stories tall, directed towards the East River, a 10-story building facing India Street, and two six-story buildings; one facing West Street and the other facing Java Street.

"We are privileged as a joint venture partner alongside Lendlease, to be overseeing the development of 1 Java Street," Alek Mislev, Senior Portfolio Manager — Property, Aware Super, said in a press release. "It will be a beacon for Brooklyn's waterfront and future decarbonization initiatives and is another wonderful example of how we can responsibly generate strong returns for our global property portfolio." The immense geothermal residential system is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.

Sustainable efforts at a massive scale

For those who need a quick refresher on geothermal energy — the complex will operate on electricity produced through a ground source heat pump system. When the underground temperature is higher than the surface air temperature, the system relies on water to transfer heat from the ground and into the building. During the warmer months, the system operates the same way but in reverse. This eco-friendly alternative means that it will not need to rely on fossil fuels to operate, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases as a result. 

The fully-electric system is part of their Misson Zero initiative to bring their greenhouse gas emissions down to zero by 2040. Additionally, in compliance with the Affordable New York Housing Program, 30% of their units will be available as affordable housing. "Lendlease is bringing the full weight of its investment management, development and construction expertise to this integrated project," Claire Johnston, CEO of Lendlease USA, said in the press release. "1 Java Street pushes the boundaries of what is possible for socially and environmentally sustainable living in New York."