‘Green’ apartments being built in Newport News, VA will include Electric Car charging stations & Apartment Recycling

By March 23, 2012No Comments

  • Radius, the new apartments at Jefferson Avenue and Bland Boulevard, will feature charging stations for electric cars, a saltwater pool and recycled glass and concrete countertops.NEWPORT NEWS, VA — From Jefferson Avenue, it looks just like any other new apartment complex under construction.

Five tall buildings in various stages of construction dominate the landscape, as wood frames peek out behind scaffolding. Workers are busy installing cabinets, insulation, countertops and flooring for the luxury apartments, which will rent from about $1,100 per month to $1,800 per month for a large three-bedroom apartment.

But the new Radius Urban Apartments at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Bland Boulevard is unlike most new apartments, as the developers are working to make them “super green.”

Tarra Carr, of Drucker & Falk Real Estate and the property manager for Radius, said when designing the apartments, they decided to go the extra mile in making them “green.”

“We just kept asking and asking, and they never said, ‘no,'” said Carr, referring to Norfolk developer Sifen Inc.. “We’re designing apartments that would meet the market five to 10 years from now. We wanted as many green features as possible.”

One of the “green” highlights is putting in the parking lot five General Electric charging stations for electric cars, which may be the first such stations for apartments in Hampton Roads.

There will be one charging station per building, and each station will have two outlets.

“When we pitched the charging stations, we said, ‘I double dog dare you to put in the charging stations for the electric cars. They (developers) said, ‘OK, we’ll spend the money and do it’,'” said Carr with a smile.

Each station cost about $10,000.

Carr said the infrastructure is also in place to install more charging stations should electric vehicles become more prevalent.

Currently, all-electric or electric hybrid cars from major auto manufacturers include the Chevy Volt, one of the Toyota Prius models, the Nissan Leaf and some Smart car models.

While the electric vehicles can be charged in a garage or driveway at single-family homes, finding an outlet is more problematic for apartment dwellers.

Andy Kinard, president of Florida-based Car Charging Group Inc., which installs electric car chargers nationwide, although not for Radius, said stations have been proliferating in the last two years, spurred in part by federal stimulus money.

Some are going into apartment complexes, while others are being installed in public places, such as mall parking lots. Kinard said it’s hard to know how many charging stations are being put in, but they’re cropping up all over the country. The charging stations are typically outfitted to accept credit card payments, Kinard said.

“It’s a moving target. We’re installing eight to 10 per week, and that’s just us,” said Kinard, explaining that there are several companies building and installing the charging stations.

But Kinard said he believes there’s pent-up demand for electric or electric hybrid cars, despite initial slow sales of some models, such as the Volt. Kinard said that once manufacturers are able to meet the demand, people will buy the cars.

While car owners can charge up at home, it may also be convenient to charge up when shopping or at work.

“More than 90 percent of the time, the car is not moving. We’re trying to find places where people are going to be for a while, such as in a parking garage, near a shopping center or restaurant.”

Other “green” features at Radius include:

•Insulation made from sand and recycled bottle glass.

•LED lighting, including motion sensors so that lights are not on in public areas when people are not present.

•Carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles, while the carpet padding for soundproofing is made from recycled tires.

•Countertops are made from recycled glass and concrete.

•Energy-efficient windows and appliances.

•As much as possible, products are manufactured in the United States to reduce fossil fuel consumption to bring them to Newport News.

•A saltwater swimming pool, to reduce chemical use.

•Unlike many apartment complexes, Radius will offer recycling for residents.

Paired with the Jefferson Market Place retail plaza as part of the same development, investors are putting $50 million into the property.

AWS supports the developer and D & F management team for going the extra mile toward Environmental Performance and offering recycling to their residents. They’ll take part in measuring, reporting, & reducing their general and automotive waste emissions – and we’re glad their  being recognized for those diversion efforts. Contact AWS for Apartment Valet Trash & DoorStep Recycling programs. The easiest turn-key sustainable option for Multi-Family Communities. 866-698-2874



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