Eco-apts: Ground broken on city's first 'green' apartment building

onarch-greenhouse-jimandcynthia-webDevelopers Jim and Cynthia Stultz get mean in their efforts to go green, taking the first whacks at the old apartment building they own(ed) on 14th Street.

Demolition began Tuesday, June 8 at a 1960s-era, five-unit apartment building located near the Corner district and owned by developers Jim and Cynthia Stultz of CBS Rentals, who plan on replacing it with Charlottesville’s “greenest” apartment building, aptly named The Greenhouse. Daggett & Grigg Architects have the design honors, and Martin Horn will do the dirty work, tearing down 219 14th Street NW and creating Charlottesville's first LEED-certified apartment building, expected to be finished in August 2011.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is an initiative created by the U.S. Green Building Council to develop standards for sustainable design and construction.

The 40,000 square-foot structure will have four stories, a basement, and on-site parking, including some underground. Most of the 28 apartments will be three-bedrooms, but there will also be a mixture of one- and four-bedroom units. Each unit will have its own balcony.

As for the green stuff, one of the most interesting things they’ll be doing is recycling 90 percent of the old building’s materials for use on the new one. In addition, 75 percent of the construction materials used on the project will be locally harvested or manufactured within 500 miles.

onarch-greenhouse-demo-webThe old five-unit, 4,628 square-foot apartment building was assessed at $487,900 for 2010.

To reduce the urban heat island effect, the building will also have durable white rubber covering its projecting roof, whose metal will be 100 percent recycled. Solar panels will power hallway and stairway lights. Hardieplank, a non-toxic cement-based siding will cover the building, parking areas will feature permeable pavement to allow for better rain run-off while preserving water quality, woven bamboo flooring will cover the living rooms and hallways, and bathrooms will be equipped with water-saving low-flow faucets and shower heads and 1.2-gallon flush toilets. There will even be special electrical outlets around the garage to charge electric cars.

“As a general contractor, Martin Horn believes that sustainable building practices are important, and we believe in walking the talk,” says Jack Horn, who will serve as project manager.

Martin Horn is no stranger to LEED projects, having built the LEED-certified Peabody School, Charlottesville’s first LEED project for new construction, as well as UVA’s first LEED project for new construction, the Printing and Copying Services facility. The company also built the new Jefferson Scholars Foundation Center for Graduate Studies on Murray Avenue, which aims to get LEED-Gold certification.

This isn’t the first time this developer, designer, builder have teamed up. The 50-unit Barringer, a luxury condo building located across from the UVA hospital boasting a two-level parking structure came courtesy of the trio. (And, last September, Martin Horn broke ground on a Daggett & Grigg-designed fraternity house–- the first new one in over 50 years–- when heavy machinery made mince meat of a 1950s-era apartment building near Mad Bowl).

onarch-greenhouse-renderingThe Greenhouse on 14th Street will open next summer.

“My wife and I are concerned about the environment and sincerely feel we all should do our part to help sustain our resources,” says Jim Stultz. “It is our way of making a difference and doing our part to make people aware of our fragile environment.”

Of course, Stultz is also a businessman and believes this is what the rental market is looking for.

“If it’s as successful as we feel it will be, then it will cause other builders to build environmentally correct projects,” says Stultz. “The success of our project will have shown them what the market wants and they can either build in a LEED way or get left behind.”

The apartments will rent from $2,800 to $3,000 per month, says Stultz, or about $700 to $750 per bedroom. Nearby student-oriented apartment projects such as GrandMarc, The Pointe, The V, Camden, and Wertland Square rent in this price range, he says.

“The Cost of a LEED project is about five percent more to build than a conventional project,” he says. “We feel that the savings to the tenant, up to twenty-five percent in energy, ten to twenty percent in water, and a fifteen percent  in maintenance, will more than make up for this increase.”


$2800-3000 for an apartment in this town? The rental market is already saturated and getting more so all the time, especially since all the dreamers who couldn't sell their houses for 2006 prices are putting them up for rent "until the market comes back".

Good luck to them, but methinks they're going to have a wee bit of trouble getting those types of rents

Why would anyone pay 2800 to 3000 a month for an apartment??? Imagine the house you could buy for that...this isn't NEW YORK!

People are so brainwashed around here, that throwing out moderate income people from a convenient location close to services and replacing them with filthy rich UVA students who have never worked a day in their life is just fine - as long as you attach the locally hypnotic word "green" to it.

Naturally, no mention will be made as to how much more "green" it is not to demolish perfectly operational housing units and build entirely new ones. The "carbon footprint" of the demolition and the building of the new complex will never be compensated by the energy efficiency of the new building, and you can bet there will be room for the students to park there Range Rovers and Mercedes' once they move in.

So in effect we are forcing moderate income people out, and replacing them with rich students who can stumble home from corner bars and get home to their drugs quicker. And at the same time we are damaging the environment, while pretending we are "saving" it.

No matter how many apartments they build near UVa, and no matter what the costs, students put as many as 5 people in them and rent them: UVa is a very wealthy school.

Curtis, are you familiar with this area at all? One block from the Corner is a hotbed for student living, and the City has been working to increase density in this area and the JPA area (essentially the 2 off-grounds centers for student living). These apartments will get snatched up like hotcakes. I see only one problem with this development - parking. In all likelihood, the developer went with the required minimums for off-street parking (costs less, encourages students to leave their cars at home). Unfortunately, the types of students who are leasing for $750/month aren't the ones who leave their daddy's car at home...

The city does not need more housing. I hope that this ridiculous project fails.

Of course they will rent these. Students will pay way over market to live "green".

yall are so ignorant. this has NOTHING. to do with obama. now your being racist. however i cant say anything about gore.

No wonder they call them "starving students"....

There is a surplus of student housing here. For a short time, the trend was to have luxury student "villages" with shuttles that would take students to grounds. Now, those are out of favor. Remember when The Woodlands had a storefront on the downtown mall? Remember when Eagles Landing was hot?

Those communities that thought they'd be student villages have turned to targeting the rest of us because the students have more and more attractive options closer to the grounds.

In some cases (keyword: some), it is more green to knock an inefficient building down than to try to plug its many holes with green solutions.

If this was truly a green project they would not have demolished the original structure. How about some insulation and solar panels? I like the shot of the husband and wife destroying a perfectly good door that could have been recycled or re used. This is about green alright $3K per month sounds pretty green to me.

posting under my nickname since the Hook is blocking my posts now.. That's just the kind of place CVille and UVA are. Freedom of speech is to be revoked early and often - especially if you are going to bring up those pesky little murderers who attended such an "elite" school..

Hey Brat,

You know I was referring to the demographic at UVA that will be able to have their parents cut a check for the first year's rent at this place all at once. This IS the George Huguley demographic. The same one that murdered that OTHER person within two blocks of this piece of real estate we are speaking of a few years back. The one that walks around with their insane sense of entitlement, and also happens to think that the peasants (this is exactly what they call us) are expendable. The same one that thinks they can handle any combination of drugs. The same one protected and coddled by the UVA administration.

Although I live with a UVA undergrad (she is my sixth UVA room mate the last few years, if memory serves), most of my UVA friends are grad students or staff, plus a few professors. Rest assured that this local demographic is every bit as unpopular among the rest of the UVA community as it is with me, and that they have a very well earned reputation. You see, they have to deal with these clowns almost every day.

The point of my post was that people of moderate incomes - many of whom are older and more respectful/respectable people such as UVA grad and local music icon Sandy Gray - have been kicked out to make room for some obscenely expensive luxury apartments within a block of where this exact UVA demographic has murdered two people.

But as long as the developer throws in the magical yet dishonest word "green" into the mix, all is well in lunatic partisan Charlottesville.

Calling It, I'm betting you have a financial interest in this so called "green" project.

Sean, I went to UVa. I can assure you I am not "filthy rich." I can count the number of times I have been drunk on one hand, and over the course of my undergraduate experience I worked 4 different jobs.

If you actually got to know some students instead of basing your opinions on some preconcieved notions you might realize that your view of UVa students is highly distorted. George Huguely IV is not the average UVa student.

The City does not need more housing? What planet do you live on? And yes, this is another Obama/Gore-inspired liberal boondoggle undertaken by conservative developers to waste their own money (no taxpayer dollars involved). This is actually a secret plot to bring down conservatives -- you see, if Obama and Gore work it right, the conservatives will be so busy making money by building units that save themselves and their customers money, they won't even notice that they are saving the planet at the same time. But now you have seen through it.

Damn Obama and Gore... they're diabolical.

If only more than 89 people would read this!

Sean, I won't even get started on your UVA-bashing, because...oh yeah, this is a comment forum on housing. I will comment, however, on your "knowledge" of Corner housing.

CBS Rentals and other similar landlords (Woodard, Wade, etc.) own nearly all of the properties in the "student ghetto" - mainly the area formed between Rugby and 14th and between University and Grady. Nearly the entire population in this area is students, and this density increases as you get closer and closer to the Corner. Properties in this high-density area are in extremely high demand. The complex that got knocked down was about on-par in quality with public housing, and I'm sure much more expensive. CBS decided to knock down this run-down (IMO) apartment complex (that only had 5 units, as it states in the article) to replace it with 28 units. That's a great deal for them and for the students. How do you "displace" people when the majority of the residents in an area relocate every year? Your argument of "throwing out moderate income people from a convenient location close to services and replacing them with filthy rich UVA students who have never worked a day in their life" is not only offensive; it's completely wrong.

If you're going to have an issue with this development, it's parking.

Flush toilets instead of composting toilets? Hooked up to the city's antiquated sewage treatment plant. Get a grip people, you're flushing your drinking water down the drain and then crying you need to increase the water for the city by the expense of a new dam or the dredging that should be an ongoing process all these years. Green is just a key word to make some very crafty developers rich to the blind side of the renters.