GreenCity Lofts: A Modern Step in the Green Direction


First off, GreenCity Lofts LLC shows us how important it is to have a sleek, professional, informative website for your properties.  In the early stages of construction, word-of-mouth increases and people start to notice what’s going on.  Slap a huge sign up (with a rendering of course) and direct people to the web for more information while the building is still being finished.  A good website that’s search engine optimized (SEO) will go a long way to promoting a new building’s features and benefits.  I’ve gleaned my information from GreenCity’s website and an article in the December/January 2007 edition of Dwell Magazine.  Designed by Architect Robert Swatt, this eco-conscious complex has 62 units in 5 buildings, with units ranging in size from 500-2100 square feet, and prices from $495,000-$1,050,000 (800 – 2100 square feet). 

Green Features:
The building exceeds California Title 24 energy requirements by 15% and is Energy Star qualified; 95% of the demolition waste from construction was recycled; the steel superstructure + interior framing contain from 25-90% post-consumer recycled content creating a durable earthquake, fire, rot, mold, pest-resistant building; cement pours contain a minimum of 25% fly ash; the roof was painted gray to absorb less heat than the darker colored varieties; water efficient technologies collect rain water runoff for landscape irrigation; hydronic radiant floor heating with a gas-fired broiler saves 20-40% of the cost of conventional systems (and you have no noise or draft as in the forced-air systems); formaldehyde-free products were used where possible; zero + low-VOC paints, stains, and varnishes were used; units contain bamboo floors with other FSC-certified wood products; and lofts contain 2-3 walls with windows for abundant natural lighting. 

These places look really good, too.  One thing to consider, is the trade off when you create places with large, open, interior spaces.  It takes more energy to heat and cool larger spaces, but this may be mitigated some by using the hydronic radiant floor heating.  At least you don’t have to walk on the cold bathroom tiles when you wake up in the morning!  Oh yeah, also, GreenCity Lofts is about a 13-minute walk from BART, on the border of Emeryville and Oakland at 1007 41st Street, at the corner of 41st Street and Adeline.  Watch the GreenCity Lofts’ video

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  • Planet Relations

    I live in the neighborhood and they are nicely done. The problem is the price point. Despite the urban living appeal (which is very good in Oakland/Emeryville/Berkeley), they are (were) overpriced for the neighborhood. Last I heard they had sold a total of two. The cost per square foot was out of line with competing urban projects. Everyone liked them, but the green features didn’t sway people when the price meant you were getting substantial less square footage. Green still needs to be price competitive.

  • Preston

    Nice points PR,

    I understand that the area is on its way up, so the price point might be a little early. I mean, stuff in California is expensive, but I was wondering about the pricing.

    Not that this is the case with this group, but lots of developers are using green options to try to make their properties premium in pricing. I don’t know if that’s a smart marketing strategy. I’m hearing that most environmentally-friendly people are under 35, but there’s a range up to about 40. How many people under 30 are at the point where they can afford luxury? Lots of green people like green because you can save money by being environmentally-friendly, not spend more money.

  • Teresa Marlow

    Thank you for the great comments about GreenCity Lofts. The Developer and Architects are very proud of what they were able to accomplish.

    We now have 22 units sold and 5 units pending. You will find the price points very attractive and in line with this type of high-end property.

    I am glad P.R. brought up the cost per square foot to build. It is more expensive to build green, but well worth it. I have to correct the miss conception about this green development being overpriced for the area. The price per square foot of SOLD condos/townhomes over the past 6 months in our area ranges from $352 to $709, with an average of $520 per square foot. Based on the available and sold units at GreenCity Lofts, we range from $352 to $614 per square foot, with an average of $511 per square foot. This includes 4 penthouses.

    If you have any questions, please ask. We would love to hear from you.

  • Preston


    Thanks for dropping by and speaking to the pricing questions. I’m looking forward to hearing about more projects from this group in the future.

    Once you go green, you don’t go back!

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