Home Green Design Greenhouse 26, New York’s First Green Boutique Hotel, to Open in Chelsea

Greenhouse 26, New York’s First Green Boutique Hotel, to Open in Chelsea


NEW YORK—Greenhouse 26, the first green boutique hotel in New York City, will open at 132 W. 26th St. in Spring 2008. Blending first-class amenities with progressive environmental initiatives, Greenhouse 26 will apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status, establishing that hotels of all sizes can be successfully green.

Sustainability has been an integral part of the development and design process for developers Jack Ancona, who has been in the New York City real estate industry for over 50 years, and Flatiron Real Estate Advisors LLC. With the belief that outstanding design is inherently green, the 27-room hotel will marry contemporary decor with LEED Gold-standard conservation of energy, electricity, water, materials and waste.

Pioneering the use of geothermal energy, Greenhouse 26 will be the first hotel in New York City to utilize a geothermal heating and cooling system. The 19-story building is the ideal size for this technology, which requires a 1,500-foot-deep underground well for every six to 10 stories. Energy and cost savings are estimated at 40 percent.

“There is a misconception that a development must be large to be environmentally and economically viable,” says architect Arpad Baksa, of Arpad Baksa Architect, P.C., designer of Greenhouse 26. “Green is about working with the space you have and customizing every inch to be efficient. Size only impacts the methods by which you achieve your goal.”

Innovative Insulation Technique

Greenhouse 26 will also be the first building of any type in the United States to use thermal breaks on room terraces. The thermal barrier prevents guestroom terraces from conducting outdoor heat or cold inside, thereby maximizing insulation.

Previously the site of a four-story, mixed-use building, Greenhouse 26 is being constructed with eco-friendly, non-toxic building materials that will be sourced locally. Integrating the most advanced green practices in the hotel industry, notable features include: an energy-regenerating elevator system, a superior heat recovery system, an advanced air circulation and filtration system, and bi-level lighting in corridors and stairways.

“Because my family—wife Arlene, sons Steve and Robert and daughter Sari—and I are so committed to the green movement,” says Jack Ancona, “we hope this avant-garde project will serve as a role model for future green hotels.”

“Going green is about reducing environmental impact during development and investing upfront to conserve in the future, without sacrificing the luxuries we associate with hospitality,” says Steve Ancona, president of Flatiron Real Estate Advisors. “In many cases the hotel experience will be improved by sustainable design.”

Occupancy sensors for individual rooms will have the dual function of saving energy and providing customized room illumination for guests. While dimming the lights when rooms are empty, the sensors will also alert staff when to clean rooms without disturbing occupants.

Organic Soaps and Linens

Spacious, 300-square-foot rooms will feature triple-paned, operable windows, elegant terraces and advanced entertainment systems, with iPod docks, movies and Internet access. Four full-floor suites will be created on the top floors and may attract longer stays. Rooms will be stocked with certified organic products including soaps, towels, robes and mattresses, all of which will be available for purchase. Room rates will be competitive.

Putting Greenhouse 26 on the Chelsea hotspot map, the 500-square-foot, first-floor roof will provide a lush green outdoor roof garden for guests and New Yorkers alike. A bar/cafe will exclusively serve innovative organic food and drinks. Guests can anticipate the launch of the clean martini, the ingredients of which are currently under wraps. Framing the entrance to Greenhouse 26 and running the length of the building will be a stunning front garden visually greening the passage into New York’s newest and most stylish green space.

“Greenhouse 26 is a revolutionary concept for a midsized hotel and we hope to set a trend for others to follow suit,” Jack Ancona says. “Guests can support the environment by staying at our hotel and sending a message to all cities—green is the new gold.”