The 80,000-square-foot Tilley Ladder Warehouse in Watervliet, N.Y. – once the oldest ladder manufacturing facility in the country – sat mostly vacant the past ten years. Built in the 1890s, the building contained bricks, wooden columns, high-beamed ceilings, an old sawdust room and a maintenance garage. In spite of its neglected condition, the structure, conveniently located in Watervliet’s Port Schuyler neighborhood and easily accessible to Interstate 787, presented an ideal site for energy efficient apartments. Furthermore, its proximity to a park and bike trail appealed to the aesthetics and eco-consciousness of the market-rate renter. Bringing this concept to reality required the collaborative efforts of several entities, including Sustainable Comfort Inc.
John Blackburn and Tom Rossi, developers at Redburn Development Companies LLC, specialize in the adaptive reuse and historic renovation of small apartment buildings with an emphasis on energy efficiency. They believed the site had potential and were determined to convert the building into 62 luxury loft-style apartments. Their efforts paid off when the project was ultimately considered one of the nation’s most energy-efficient residential developments with a LEED for Homes Platinum certification.