Rotterdam net-zero complex breaks ground

Construction has begun on a 156-unit apartment complex in Rotterdam that promises to produce the same or more energy than it uses.

Called netZero Village, the complex, which is slated to include 13 buildings at the corner of Burdeck Street and Duanesburg Road, is the first net-zero multifamily housing project in the state and the Northeast, said developer John Bruns of Troy-based Bruns Realty Group.

“Our research doesn’t show anything like it, really, in the country,” said Bruns, whose company manages about 200 apartments, mostly in the Schenectady-Rotterdam area.

Work started in recent months on the $20 million project, and the first apartments are scheduled to be ready for tenants by June 2015, with model apartments ready for viewing in April, Bruns said. The first phase of 72 apartments across six buildings will be completed within the following six weeks, he said.

The second phase, which includes 84 apartments and a clubhouse, is scheduled for April 2016 completion.

The net-zero goal will be achieved through solar panels, solar thermal technology, insulation and building techniques, building pressurization, energy-efficient appliances and other methods. Monthly rent will range from $1,195 for one-bedroom, 790-square-foot units to $1,435 for two-bedroom, 1,093 square-foot units with a study. Rent includes utilities, washer and dryer, Internet, basic cable and covered parking spots called solar carports, which will feature solar panels protecting cars from the sun and snow.

The apartments are meant to appeal to environmentalists of all ages, Bruns said.

“Definitely a younger crowd and then also some older people that are interested in environmental issues,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, representatives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Rotterdam town officials celebrated the project during a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning. NYSERDA is providing funding for the project but did not release the funding amount.