Real State

505 State Street in Brooklyn Is NYC’s First All-Electric Building

In an ever-changing Downtown Brooklyn, high-rise apartment buildings nearing completion are a familiar sight. But there’s something a bit different about the one at 505 State Street.

This 44-story, 440-unit rental building is to be the first all-electric building in New York City, a claim that was confirmed by the Department of Buildings. Functions that would typically use gas will instead be electric — meaning no gas stoves. The heating and hot water will be electric, too.

Jared Della Valle, the chief executive of Alloy Development, said the company reviewed its sustainability goals and consulted its engineers before committing to go all electric. But there was probably another factor: Beginning in 2026, most new buildings in New York will be required by law to use electric heating and appliances to combat climate change.

In the end, the transition was “not that complicated,” Mr. Della Valle said.

He and Alloy’s president, AJ Pires, said the building was set to open in April and, in another change for the neighborhood, did not focus on luxury.

“When you take a look at our website, you’ll see we don’t reference any hyperbole,” Mr. Della Valle said. “We’re focused on value set and community — things like composting and how we as a community gather, can impact and make a difference.”

Studios at 505 State Street start at nearly $3,500 a month, two-bedrooms at nearly $8,000 and three-bedrooms at $11,200.

The building held a housing lottery for 45 of its units, and got more than 107,000 applications for units ranging from $763 to $2,155 a month.

“If you are literally winning the lottery and you’re getting a three-bedroom apartment that the market tells us is worth $11,500 a month, and you’re getting it for $1,600 a month, you shouldn’t necessarily be aware of who has money in the lobby and who doesn’t,” Mr. Della Valle said. “That should be invisible, as design can be democratizing versus polarizing.”

At 505 State Street, the finishes are the same in the market-rate and the affordable units.

Inside the building, Rebecca Robertson of RR Interiors staged the model units and the sales office using sources that might be familiar to a recent college graduate or a newlywed couple seeking to decorate a new home. Ms. Robertson bought coffee tables and rugs from places like Craigslist, Target and the secondhand furniture company Kaiyo.

But 505 State Street does have a full menu of amenities. The building has a rooftop pool and terrace that gives residents views of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank and the Manhattan skyline. There is also a 3,000-square-foot gym and a “grow room” — akin to a greenhouse or garden — filled with plants. Several retail shops will occupy the ground floor of the building, including a coffee shop.

In a deal with the city, Alloy constructed a building adjacent to 505 State Street that will house two public schools, the Khalil Gibran International Academy High School, which serves a large Arabic-speaking population, and Public School 456, which will start with four kindergarten and pre-K classes and grow to serve more students as needed. Both schools will open in the fall.

These interviews have been edited for clarity.

We were establishing our sustainability goals, and we were in the early part of design. We asked our engineers: “Do we actually need gas? Why do we need gas?” Presumably, we could produce hot water with electricity through a resistance boiler. And we already design high-performance building envelopes. What would it take? And the answer is it’s honestly not that complicated. It’s a conceptual leap, but it’s not a technological leap.

For me, the impetus behind the schools in the first place was from a place of warmth and support, and to help support the creation of a physical place that reflects the kind of civic pride that we have. To make a stand-alone building that’s really got a civic presence where people have a pride of place — “That’s my school there” — feels great. And there’s another school, too. Downtown Brooklyn has grown so much in population that it is in need of more elementary school seats.

In thinking about these apartments, you’re trying to imagine the kind of person who’s living here. There’s the economy of furnishings and space. Being an all-electric building sort of sets the tone for what you’re going to fill it with, how people are going to live. So what we wanted to do was combine vintage pieces of furniture with secondhand or used pieces of furniture to have like a clean, welcoming, warm aesthetic.

This is my first construction job, my first time as a hoist operator. I got here when it was up to the 34th or 35th floor. It was a little scary at first because — I ain’t gonna lie — I was afraid of heights, but the money is great. I enjoyed watching all the different trades do their thing and being able to assist them to get to their project or the next level of their project.

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