155 Water Street Building to be a 'Green' Office


 (Photos from green-desk.com)

When we noticed new windows being put in place last year May 2007 at 155 Water Street, there was speculation about the building being converted to a hotel. We now know that it is a month-to-month rental office space called Green Desk. According to Green Desk:

“Green Desk is an affordable environmentally responsible month to month rental office space in a beautiful historic building in DUMBO Brooklyn. each fully furnished workspace is wired with high-speed internet access, a voip phone and a connection to an mp3 music server with thousands of songs. utilities, copying, scanning, printing, faxing and fresh organic coffee are all included.”

The website states that there is availability on the 5th floor and rates are $300 – $1000 for individuals and $800 – $2500 for small companies. The website has a photo tour of Dumbo. I’m flattered they used our photos (If you don’t mind, please credit the other photographers: #1 = edstern, #4 = emptysquare, #5 = DumboNYC, #6 = ekonon). Despite that, we’re glad the building will bring small businesses and entreprenuers to the area. Below is a floorplan from the Green Desk website:

{green-desk.com}
{155 Water Street Window Installations, 24May2007}

46 Comment

  • This building was “renovated” by DUMBO’s biggest slum lord; Guttman. It is nothing green or environmental conscious about the building.

  • This building was “renovated” by DUMBO’s biggest slum lord; Guttman. It is nothing green or environmental conscious about the building.

  • Thats what I thought too. He ripped the old windows out before Landmarks could stop him. Those windows are from Windows R Us. Hardly state of the art and responsible for decapitating more house cats than any terrorist.

  • Thats what I thought too. He ripped the old windows out before Landmarks could stop him. Those windows are from Windows R Us. Hardly state of the art and responsible for decapitating more house cats than any terrorist.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong but this building was gut renovated and it has no valid C of O. Thats why he is renting month to month. Doesn’t the scope of this job probably require application for a C of O?

  • Correct me if I’m wrong but this building was gut renovated and it has no valid C of O. Thats why he is renting month to month. Doesn’t the scope of this job probably require application for a C of O?

  • green building is the new organic food. wider margins for sellers, consumers feel better about purchasing an inconsequentially different product.

  • green building is the new organic food. wider margins for sellers, consumers feel better about purchasing an inconsequentially different product.

  • I agree organic cleaners, organic food, organic cotton. how does anyone know for sure ? the only green this guy cares about is the rent money!!!!

  • I agree organic cleaners, organic food, organic cotton. how does anyone know for sure ? the only green this guy cares about is the rent money!!!!

  • Is this a Guttman business or just a tenant business who is leasing his building out? From the looks of the site they appear to be making *some* measures towards providing green space (I think a new term is needed for half-ass green, like ‘teal’, or ‘seafoam’ or something), although most of these efforts are easily reproduced in any normal office or apartment:

    - energy efficient lighting … purchase those CF bulbs that are all the rage. Then fill up land fills with your incandescent ones that are still technically functional.

    - recyclable furniture … plywood, metal, etc without a lot of toxic glue. Arguably most furniture is recyclable if you consider reuse or resale a form of recycling.

    - low VOC finishes … water based urethane on the floors

    - recycled paper produces … easily purchased. Who uses paper in an office these days, besides in the toilet?

    - paper, plastic, glass recycling … most buildings support this and if they don’t if you bag your recyclables in obvious blue/clear bags there is a good chance somebody is going to pick them out for the cash. Why this is considered a perk and not required by law in NYC is confusing.

    - online paperless billing … welcome to 1999

    - solar panels on the roof … do they actually do anything or are they just up there on the roof?

    - carbon offsets/renewable power … I believe you can get this by choosing an alternate power provider for any building now, which should be an option through or around Con/Ed (http://www.poweryourway.com/greenpower_escos.asp)

    - shared bicycles … Interesting idea. Proximity to a subway is probably one of the biggest helps here though.

    - rooftop garden … unless the whole roof is basically covered in grass and plants this is a nice amenity but not necessarily a very big environmental help more than a nice place to have lunch if you don’t mind the trains passing every 3 minutes and the wafts of stink from the paper processing plant at the end of the block.

    - filtered water … also not necessarily a sustainable thing, just nice not to be drinking 100% of the crap the old pipes have in them.

    - shared mp3 server … I hope nobody from the RIAA scans this one. Every office I’ve been in does this, but this is the first time I’ve seen a landlord brave enough to flaunt it, since it is technically illegal.

    So on one hand it is nice that they are taking these measures to be a little more green but it hardly accounts for a ‘green’ billing for the space. Serious measures would have required building construction that is energy efficient, which is a bigger chore when renovating an old building. I doubt Guttman would have done anything remotely appropriate with the construction, being that his teams of unskilled laborers seem barely capable of framing to code, let alone implementing anything to some sort of standard. If anything it may just be another way for the slimebag to get some sort of tax break to offset the fines he had to pay for torching Greenpoint.

  • Is this a Guttman business or just a tenant business who is leasing his building out? From the looks of the site they appear to be making *some* measures towards providing green space (I think a new term is needed for half-ass green, like ‘teal’, or ‘seafoam’ or something), although most of these efforts are easily reproduced in any normal office or apartment:

    - energy efficient lighting … purchase those CF bulbs that are all the rage. Then fill up land fills with your incandescent ones that are still technically functional.

    - recyclable furniture … plywood, metal, etc without a lot of toxic glue. Arguably most furniture is recyclable if you consider reuse or resale a form of recycling.

    - low VOC finishes … water based urethane on the floors

    - recycled paper produces … easily purchased. Who uses paper in an office these days, besides in the toilet?

    - paper, plastic, glass recycling … most buildings support this and if they don’t if you bag your recyclables in obvious blue/clear bags there is a good chance somebody is going to pick them out for the cash. Why this is considered a perk and not required by law in NYC is confusing.

    - online paperless billing … welcome to 1999

    - solar panels on the roof … do they actually do anything or are they just up there on the roof?

    - carbon offsets/renewable power … I believe you can get this by choosing an alternate power provider for any building now, which should be an option through or around Con/Ed (http://www.poweryourway.com/greenpower_escos.asp)

    - shared bicycles … Interesting idea. Proximity to a subway is probably one of the biggest helps here though.

    - rooftop garden … unless the whole roof is basically covered in grass and plants this is a nice amenity but not necessarily a very big environmental help more than a nice place to have lunch if you don’t mind the trains passing every 3 minutes and the wafts of stink from the paper processing plant at the end of the block.

    - filtered water … also not necessarily a sustainable thing, just nice not to be drinking 100% of the crap the old pipes have in them.

    - shared mp3 server … I hope nobody from the RIAA scans this one. Every office I’ve been in does this, but this is the first time I’ve seen a landlord brave enough to flaunt it, since it is technically illegal.

    So on one hand it is nice that they are taking these measures to be a little more green but it hardly accounts for a ‘green’ billing for the space. Serious measures would have required building construction that is energy efficient, which is a bigger chore when renovating an old building. I doubt Guttman would have done anything remotely appropriate with the construction, being that his teams of unskilled laborers seem barely capable of framing to code, let alone implementing anything to some sort of standard. If anything it may just be another way for the slimebag to get some sort of tax break to offset the fines he had to pay for torching Greenpoint.

  • I’ve gone to see this space. The guys who own the business are just leasing the space from Guttman. I think it’s a great initiative, and we should just wait and see how green they make the building once it’s operating.

  • I’ve gone to see this space. The guys who own the business are just leasing the space from Guttman. I think it’s a great initiative, and we should just wait and see how green they make the building once it’s operating.

  • So much of the mindless knee-jerk negativism on this site is truly disappointing.
    I agree; it’s a great initiative, a clever idea and could bring something of real value to our neighborhood.

  • So much of the mindless knee-jerk negativism on this site is truly disappointing.
    I agree; it’s a great initiative, a clever idea and could bring something of real value to our neighborhood.

  • Hi – I’m Miguel – Co-Founder of Green Desk. First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the open discussion that our efforts have generated, and I hope the dialogue continues, because like “alinear” says, being green isn’t all that difficult. It’s the small steps we can all take that make a difference, but sometimes even the small steps can be complicated. (I just related that same idea about throwing away incandescent bulbs to a potential tenant who visited our space last night.) We started Green Desk because we think that collectively, we and our tenants can make a real impact. We’ll start with the small steps, but over time, we’ll learn from our tenants (and hopefully they’ll learn from us) and we’ll work together to do great things.

    Regarding the building, we’re certainly aware of some of the aspects of the build out that aren’t green. Two of us are architectural designers who have worked on LEED projects, and we’re making no claim that the work that’s been done to the building is certifiably green. As tenants, we can only control certain aspects of the project – but we’ve done our best to make the right choices when/where possible. It has been an eye opening experience to do a project like this, because in some ways it is harder than it seems like it should be.

    I am certainly willing to talk to anyone who is interested in what we’re doing. I’m the first to say that it’s a work in progress – and all the feedback we get it helpful.

    Thanks,

    Miguel

    P.S. Regarding the photographs – I sincerely apologize. We actually just borrowed those photos to use as placeholders when we were making the demo site and then I got so busy doing everything else that I didn’t think about it when we finally made the site live. We’ll add the credits, or if you prefer, remove the photos at your request.

  • Hi – I’m Miguel – Co-Founder of Green Desk. First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the open discussion that our efforts have generated, and I hope the dialogue continues, because like “alinear” says, being green isn’t all that difficult. It’s the small steps we can all take that make a difference, but sometimes even the small steps can be complicated. (I just related that same idea about throwing away incandescent bulbs to a potential tenant who visited our space last night.) We started Green Desk because we think that collectively, we and our tenants can make a real impact. We’ll start with the small steps, but over time, we’ll learn from our tenants (and hopefully they’ll learn from us) and we’ll work together to do great things.

    Regarding the building, we’re certainly aware of some of the aspects of the build out that aren’t green. Two of us are architectural designers who have worked on LEED projects, and we’re making no claim that the work that’s been done to the building is certifiably green. As tenants, we can only control certain aspects of the project – but we’ve done our best to make the right choices when/where possible. It has been an eye opening experience to do a project like this, because in some ways it is harder than it seems like it should be.

    I am certainly willing to talk to anyone who is interested in what we’re doing. I’m the first to say that it’s a work in progress – and all the feedback we get it helpful.

    Thanks,

    Miguel

    P.S. Regarding the photographs – I sincerely apologize. We actually just borrowed those photos to use as placeholders when we were making the demo site and then I got so busy doing everything else that I didn’t think about it when we finally made the site live. We’ll add the credits, or if you prefer, remove the photos at your request.

  • It wouldn’t be New York without a healthy dose of cynicism. Mine certainly arose from any notion that the spaces are in some way a Guttman enterprise. The guy is pretty much a modern day robber baron.

    The rest is just a form of disillusion to the trend of being green (not that it isn’t wonderful that it is suddenly center stage!) and how in many circumstances it appears to be a wide brush used to paint anything that is even mildly conscious, or moreover a marketing tactic in an era of consumer guilt following a decade of excess.

    Most of the site’s bullet points that I commented on seemed a bit obvious to me, especially considering the recent green spin. A few seemed to lack much additional information related to their effectiveness (for example, the solar panels on the roof). So it was easy make brash assumptions. It is also easy to forget that many people probably still think a Hummer is a great write off and haven’t stopped to consider why they should spend a few extra cents on paper, so any measure to raise awareness and inch things forward is a step in the right direction.

    It is cool to hear a response from Miguel, calm despite provocation, and it sounds like they really are trying to make a difference over marketing a difference.

  • It wouldn’t be New York without a healthy dose of cynicism. Mine certainly arose from any notion that the spaces are in some way a Guttman enterprise. The guy is pretty much a modern day robber baron.

    The rest is just a form of disillusion to the trend of being green (not that it isn’t wonderful that it is suddenly center stage!) and how in many circumstances it appears to be a wide brush used to paint anything that is even mildly conscious, or moreover a marketing tactic in an era of consumer guilt following a decade of excess.

    Most of the site’s bullet points that I commented on seemed a bit obvious to me, especially considering the recent green spin. A few seemed to lack much additional information related to their effectiveness (for example, the solar panels on the roof). So it was easy make brash assumptions. It is also easy to forget that many people probably still think a Hummer is a great write off and haven’t stopped to consider why they should spend a few extra cents on paper, so any measure to raise awareness and inch things forward is a step in the right direction.

    It is cool to hear a response from Miguel, calm despite provocation, and it sounds like they really are trying to make a difference over marketing a difference.

  • You so smhart.

  • You so smhart.

  • This sounds like a great idea, kudos Miguel.

  • This sounds like a great idea, kudos Miguel.

  • Miguel, thank you for the feedback. I wholeheartedly support what you do and what you stand for. However, you know as well as I do that a Guttman renovation is structurally unsound at best.

    I’m just warning you that the green plants in your space might get some extra water from leaks during rainstorms, and that you waste a lot of solar energy on poor insulation and thin windows.

    But in the end, it is better you do it than doing nothing at all.

  • Miguel, thank you for the feedback. I wholeheartedly support what you do and what you stand for. However, you know as well as I do that a Guttman renovation is structurally unsound at best.

    I’m just warning you that the green plants in your space might get some extra water from leaks during rainstorms, and that you waste a lot of solar energy on poor insulation and thin windows.

    But in the end, it is better you do it than doing nothing at all.

  • I think it’s a wondeful idea. Best of luck to you Miguel!

  • I think it’s a wondeful idea. Best of luck to you Miguel!

  • Miguel, thanks for your comment. We wish the best for your new venture. As mentioned in the post, we’re glad you’re supporting the smaller businesses and individual entrepreneurs in the area. We need more of that here. As for the green efforts, kudos to you for doing something about the environment and not just changing lightbulbs to CF bulbs. If we all took the initiative collectively, we would be in a better position to save the earth’s resources.

    As for the photos, I don’t mind, but I know some other photographers like to have a mention or link back, so no sweat. Good luck!
    -hideyoshi

  • Miguel, thanks for your comment. We wish the best for your new venture. As mentioned in the post, we’re glad you’re supporting the smaller businesses and individual entrepreneurs in the area. We need more of that here. As for the green efforts, kudos to you for doing something about the environment and not just changing lightbulbs to CF bulbs. If we all took the initiative collectively, we would be in a better position to save the earth’s resources.

    As for the photos, I don’t mind, but I know some other photographers like to have a mention or link back, so no sweat. Good luck!
    -hideyoshi

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    Ed Stern
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    show details 12:39 PM (3 minutes ago)

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    Dear Miguel McKelvey or who it may concern:

    Two Things:

    1. Please do not steal my images without prior release approval from me (in reference to: http://www.green-desk.com/green_office_space_new_york_dumbo_tour1.html). My copyright rules are laid out very clearly here: http://www.flickr.com/people/edstern

    2. If you’re going to use my images on your site, a copy line below my image is needed, giving me full credit—my copyright info (©) my name (Ed Stern) and (All rights reserved). And, a link to my web page is also required. This is standard practice for my images and for most photographers. Otherwise, please remove my image from your site immediately.

    Thanks!

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    Ed Stern
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    show details 12:39 PM (3 minutes ago)

    Reply

    Dear Miguel McKelvey or who it may concern:

    Two Things:

    1. Please do not steal my images without prior release approval from me (in reference to: http://www.green-desk.com/green_office_space_new_york_dumbo_tour1.html). My copyright rules are laid out very clearly here: http://www.flickr.com/people/edstern

    2. If you’re going to use my images on your site, a copy line below my image is needed, giving me full credit—my copyright info (©) my name (Ed Stern) and (All rights reserved). And, a link to my web page is also required. This is standard practice for my images and for most photographers. Otherwise, please remove my image from your site immediately.

    Thanks!

  • don’t argue back and forth, take a peek for yourself at the ground floor truck repair shop. there are vats of diesel stored in there, with welding done inside and on the sidewalk. this is just the beginning of the mess and violations you will find in there. the building is one of the most unsafe in dumbo regardless of of how beautiful you may find one renovation. (and yes, i did look at the pics and it looks beautiful.) to be in such a firetrap is just unsafe, unfortunately, the subletters should have done more homework, both about the space and the work ethics of guttman. a trip to the dept. of buildings and a check of his current and past violations should clear up the matter. there are safe and truly green spaces out there, go find one.

  • don’t argue back and forth, take a peek for yourself at the ground floor truck repair shop. there are vats of diesel stored in there, with welding done inside and on the sidewalk. this is just the beginning of the mess and violations you will find in there. the building is one of the most unsafe in dumbo regardless of of how beautiful you may find one renovation. (and yes, i did look at the pics and it looks beautiful.) to be in such a firetrap is just unsafe, unfortunately, the subletters should have done more homework, both about the space and the work ethics of guttman. a trip to the dept. of buildings and a check of his current and past violations should clear up the matter. there are safe and truly green spaces out there, go find one.

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  • Thats what I thought too. He ripped the old windows out before Landmarks could stop him. Those windows are from Windows R Us. Hardly state of the art and responsible for decapitating more house cats than any terrorist.

  • Thats what I thought too. He ripped the old windows out before Landmarks could stop him. Those windows are from Windows R Us. Hardly state of the art and responsible for decapitating more house cats than any terrorist.

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