June 21, 2012Hudson Landing Builder Wins Accolades from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

AVR Homebuilders of Yonkers, the company planning Hudson Landing, has received the agency’s “Energy Star Partner of the Year - New Home Builder” award. To date, the company has built 374 units of Energy Star-certified homes in the New York metropolitan region.

Locally, AVR plans to build a 1,658-unit housing development overlooking the Hudson River on land straddling the city of Kingston’s northern border with the town of Ulster. The project has received environmental approval from the city’s Planning Board but the company still needs site plan approval for each phase of development.

AVR was one of two companies to receive the award this year, according to a press release issued by a public relations firm hired by the developer.

Mark Eickelbeck, AVR’s chief operating officer, said in a telephone interview that the company was honored by the award.

“We work very, very hard to be at the forefront of environmentally sensitive development,” Eickelbeck said. “I think it shows in our Hudson Landing project.”

Hudson Landing, first proposed in 2002, has undergone a series of design changes after a number of public hearings, scrutiny from the city Planning Board and criticism from environmental groups, including Scenic Hudson Inc. of Poughkeepsie.

Eickelbeck said Hudson Landing is environmentally friendly and an example of a project that the makret is now demanding. Being one of two companies to receive the awatd this year made it all the more gratifying, Eickelbeck said in the press release.

“This award is a tremendous achievement for our company and is a testament to our ongoing commitment to building quality homes that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient,” he said.

Eickelbeck said the Energy Star stamp given by the Environmental Protection Agency is recognition by the federal government that a project has met environmental standards.

“AVR was recognized by the EPA for its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the construction of Energy Star-certified homes,” the company said, noting it has been an Energy Star partner with the federal agency since 2006.

“AVR Homebuilders and all our Energy Star award winners are building an energy-efficient future for America’s families by developing Energy Star- certified homes that reduce energy costs and protect the environment,” Lisa P. Jackson, an EPA administrator said in the press release.

Recently, the Kingston Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee endorsed a proposal authorizing Mayor Shayne Gallo to seek a $2.5 million grant to help construct a pedestrian promenade along the waterfront of the former Tilcon Inc. property where AVR plans to build its housing project. AVR has agreed to match that amount for the promenade as well as for the installation of sewers.

The full Common Council is expected to vote on the grant application when it meets at 7:30 pm Tuesday in City Hall.

The Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce, which supports the Hudson Landing project, recently endorsed the promenade plan.

“We believe the development of the proposed promenade alon the Hudson River on the AVR property will have a short-term, stimulating impact on our local economy, creating a ‘Walkway Along the Hudson’ to complement the success of the nearby Walkway Over The Hudson,” Frank Flynn, chairman of the chanber’s board of directors, said in a prepared statement.

“We commend the developer for agreeing to pay apporximately half the cost of this walkway, which will provide the public access to now inaccessible portions of the riverfront,” Flynn added.