Gov. Cuomo names Empire Building Challenge partnerships


Albany, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo named 10 real estate groups as partners in the state’s $50 million Empire Building Challenge, to establish public-private partnerships and usher in the next generation of high-rise, low-carbon buildings to combat climate change.

Each real estate group was selected because it is committing to achieve carbon neutrality in one or more high-rise buildings it owns. These selections are the first step in the multi-phase challenge which will lead to increased comfort, sustainability, and energy performance in the state’s existing high-rise buildings.

The Empire Building Challenge is statewide and will accelerate New York’s progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“By transforming our state’s majestic high-rises into low-carbon, sustainable structures using modern, energy efficient technology, New York is taking a tremendous leap forward in our fight against climate change,” governor Cuomo said. “As part of this effort, we will work with our partners to identify ways to make buildings more climate friendly and collaboratively usher in carbon-neutral buildings across the state, helping to create cleaner air and more energy efficient office space for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

The Empire Building Challenge partners collectively control over 130 million s/f of real estate in New York State, including more than 250 buildings that contain affordable housing. The partners are each pledging to achieve carbon neutrality in one or more of their buildings and in more than 700 units of affordable housing collectively with the potential to scale across their portfolios to more than 25,000 units of affordable housing. Exceeding program requirements, Vornado, Empire State Realty Trust and Rudin Management Co. have all committed to achieving carbon neutrality in their entire real estate portfolios.


Bright Power CEO and founder Jeffrey Perlman said, “Innovative programs like the Empire Building Challenge are critical to meet New York State’s climate goals. We applaud NYSERDA’s multiple programs that engage and support real estate leaders in their path to reduce their building stock’s carbon emissions dramatically. These real estate owners, developers, and solution providers will create scalable and replicable deep energy retrofits, providing a guide for others to follow suit and enabling New York State to meet its climate goals. We look forward to working with several Empire Buildings Challenge awardees — including Jonathan Rose Companies and Omni New York — to drive decarbonization strategies in their portfolios.”

Read the full article on NYREJ’s website.