Leadership in Active Design: Excellence
"Les Bluestone is one of the most innovative and creative developers of social housing. He has shown that affordable housing can also incorporate designs that build healthy communities, even with very tight budgets," said David Burney.
Blue Sea Development Company has been on the leading edge of the green building industry for decades and expanded its commitment to health as an early contributor to the Active Design Guidelines. Under Les Bluestone, Blue Sea Development pioneered the implementation of Active Design strategies in affordable housing. The company’s case studies and financial pro formas were instrumental in informing the Active Design: Affordable Design for Affordable Housing publication distributed by the Center for Active Design.
In 2011, Blue Sea Development completed “The Melody,” a low- and moderate-income co-op in the South Bronx, the first development to receive a LEED Innovation Credit for Health through Physical Activity.
“Arbor House,” a low-income rental building completed in the South Bronx in 2013, uses all of the applicable Active Design strategies. In addition, it addresses the lack of access to healthy food in this neighbhorhood by integrating a 10,000 sf hydroponic rooftop farm, which will function as a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement in which “Arbor House” residents can purchase shares of healthy food produced by the farm. Mount Sinai Hospital is conducting a formal evaluation of “Arbor House” to assess the impact of Active Design and other health-related strategies on the well-being of its residents.
In January 2013, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selected Blue Sea Development Company to lead revitalization of Prospect Plaza, Brooklyn. The project will be funded by the HOPE VI Grant it received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The residential project will comprise 364 units with 80 units of NYCHA public housing, and include a space for a new supermarket, a community facility, a rooftop greenhouse, and a new recreation area.