Under John Salib’s management, Castellan Real Estate Partners has grown to become a vertically integrated real estate firm with business lines devoted to investment, development, lending, and property management. To mitigate high energy costs in apartment buildings under its management, Castellan Real Estate Partners installs energy efficient lighting.
The average American household dedicates up to five percent of its annual budget to lighting. Making the switch to ENERGY STAR certified energy efficient light bulbs can easily lead to significant savings. These bulbs include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
CFLs are compact versions of the long fluorescent tube lamps and are available in a range of sizes and colors. Typically, an ENERGY STAR certified CFL uses one-quarter of the energy a traditional bulb uses to generate the same amount of light. It can also last up to nine times as long.
LEDs are by far the most common energy saving bulbs in the market. Previously used as indicator lights in vehicles, the bulbs have found a more widespread use in general illumination. And they are very efficient. An ENERGY STAR certified LED uses only 20 percent of the energy used by traditional bulbs to produce an equivalent amount of light and burns 25 times longer. Some LEDs have also been tested and approved for outdoor use; hence they can be used as pathway lights, floodlights, and porch lights.
Both CFLs and LEDs are more expensive than traditional bulbs. However, the energy savings they lead to can significantly reduce electricity bills as well as cut carbon emissions.
Based in New York and managed by John Salib, Castellan Real Estate Partners invests in undervalued real estate properties and renovates them to increase their value and efficiency. With a priority of improving energy efficiency in portfolio buildings, Castellan Real Estate Partners has been awarded $1.7 million in grants from the New York State Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
WAP provides financial assistance to families with low incomes to help with home improvements to reduce their heating and cooling costs. The program has assisted many people from underserved areas, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities, reduce their energy consumption and realize energy savings of more than 20 percent.
Only households with eligible incomes (below 60 percent of the state median income) can apply for weatherization assistance. For multifamily building owners to qualify, 50 percent of a building’s tenants must meet this income requirement. A typical weatherization process starts with an assessment of the individual’s home or apartment to check energy efficiency. From the results gathered, mitigating measures are then recommended. They include: sealing cracks to reduce air infiltration, insulating hot water tanks and pipes, insulating walls and attics, repairing or replacing heating systems, repairing or replacing doors and windows, installing energy efficient lighting, and correcting ventilation problems.
A respected presence in the Manhattan real estate sphere, Castellan Real Estate Partners pursues opportunistic, value-driven acquisitions and development opportunities. Castellan Real Estate Partners has experience in a wide range of residential building types, from condominiums to co-ops.
A recent Mansion Global article pointed to a shift away from co-ops when acquiring residences in the Manhattan luxury real estate sphere. A growing percentage of high-end buyers are willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to purchase condos, which are typically newer additions in a competitive market. In addition, the ownership structure of condominiums is more flexible and allows prospective owners the chance to bypass “picky” co-op boards.
This shift toward condos is reflected in substantial price differences, with Manhattan co-ops commanding an average price per square foot of $999 in the last quarter of 2016. By contrast, condos deliver an average per-square-foot price of $1,749, with new developments attaining an average price of $2,791 per square foot. The result of these trends is that a number of co-ops are relaxing restrictions in ways that allow them to attract a broader segment of buyers.
A vertically integrated real property investment company, Castellan Real Estate Partners in New York has earned a reputation for delivering significant returns on investment. Since 2009, the firm has made a total of some $750 million in equity and debt transactions. In 2016, Castellan Real Estate Partners tripled its original investment in a Washington Heights property, selling it amidst competitive bidding for $18.2 million six years after acquisition.
The residential rental property, situated on 168th Street close to an express subway station and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, consists of more than 80 individual units. With a total square footage of just over 40,000, it offers studio and one-bedroom apartments.
Castellan’s sale reflects the company’s focus on purchasing undervalued properties in neighborhoods with high potential, performing extensive upgrades, and choosing the most opportune time to re-enter the market. In selecting Washington Heights, the firm found a community that has recently attracted growing numbers of young professionals as renters. The neighborhood’s relatively inexpensive rents are part of that package, as well as its proximity to trendy restaurants and its multicultural atmosphere.