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An apple orchard sits atop one of the many rooftop terraces of Via Verde

Via Verde, the award-winning “green” development, which changed the game plan on what affordable housing can be and looks like just won another award —this time from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The world-renowned development was an Honerable Mention for built developments and recognized for ‘Smart Growth Achievement’ by the agency.

In a press release the EPA said, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized projects in seven communities as winners of the 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for their creative, sustainable initiatives that better protect the health and the environment while strengthening local economies.”

Since before construction was even finished, Via Verde was making headlines in the real estate, architectural, and sustainable development industries.

Via Verde isn’t the only green and LEED certified development in the neighborhood. In fact, the entire northeastern section of Melrose —Melrose Commons — is filled with dozens of LEED certified developments and 4 years ago became New York State’s first (and still ONLY) LEED Certified Neighborhood district.
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A year later in 2011, The Atlantic wrote about what a sustainable community looks like, citing Melrose as one of the examples. Access to public transportation and employment centers is key and with dozens of bus lines, Melrose Metro North Station, and the 2 and 5 express trains at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street (which whisks you away into midtown Manhattan within 15-20 minutes — East or West) Melrose has no shortage of options.

Since Via Verde, Courtlandt Crescent (part of the Courtlandt Corners LEED Certified development) has opened and there are 4 other green and sustainable projects approved and in the pipeline including the massive La Central which will rise across from Via Verde.

Some of these are:

Bronx Commons and the Bronx Musical Heritage Center (originally slated to break ground last year but delayed to this year).

A 260 mixed-income, mixed use development by the Briarwood Organization which is yet to be named.

In 5 years Melrose has added approximately 3,000 new apartments with a few more thousand on the way. We’ve come a long way from burnt out lots.

Now if we can only get the 5 train to run 24 hours…

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