Blue Sea Development Company, a sustainable property owner, development, general contracting and management firm, has developed thousands of affordable housing units over the past 30 years. Committed to high quality, healthy and sustainable homes, the company has built many other remarkable buildings also in partnership with HDC. Three of them, all in the Bronx—The Eltona, The Colin Powell Apartments, and The Melody—were, respectively, the first, second, and third LEED Platinum affordable housing developments in New York State.
Co-owner Les Bluestone is a pioneer and a visionary in building green for affordable housing. Together with his partner, Avery Seavey, Les has been on the leading edge of the green building industry for decades. He says that when Blue Sea first started building green there wasn’t a lot of knowledge about it or materials with which to do it. “Now there’s both. Green is happening.”
Most of all, Les cares about his tenants. He cares about their physical condition, how much they exercise, what foods they eat, how much they spend on electricity. He wants to build great quality homes that will make people happy and keep them healthy. “We’re happy with the results here at Arbor House,” Les added. “Whenever we do a building, we plan things carefully. And every now and then we hit the mark. Certainly in terms of energy efficiency we’ve hit the mark here. We’re also happy with the finishing touches we’ve been able to put in: The softer, more energy-efficient LED lighting, the wallpaper in all the corridors, the carpeting and wood and marble touches, the art work. The people like it. If you treat people with respect and show that you care about them, it comes back to you, sometimes in spades.”
Blue Sea’s staff clearly takes similar pride in the development. Superintendent Ivan Crespo proudly walks through the entire development, pointing out every feature, from the automatic watering system in the backyard, to the security cameras that ensure safety in all common areas, and even to smaller details like the filtered water fountain in the fitness center. “I know everybody in Arbor House, I was here when they did the ribbon cutting.” Says Ivan, adding proudly “I take care of the whole building, front and back.”