Zero Place, the net-zero building going up on Route 32 in New Paltz, may still be opened in September despite pandemic-related construction delays according to developer David Shepler.
The coronavirus shutdown “hit us at a bad time,” Shepler said. The roof wasn’t on the building yet when the governor ordered all work to stop. However, exceptions to button down the structure were made, and the bare minimum to protect it from the elements was done in March under strict rules. Shepler praised local building inspectors for their cooperation. After that was completed, “It was harder to justify continuing, and we had to shut down like everybody else.”
Construction resumed when the mid-Hudson region was moved into phase one of the governor’s reopening plan, Shepler said He’s hopeful that Zero Place will be open in late September or early October. “It’s less about labor than it is about the supply chain,” he said.
The project was first proposed in 2015, with a planning process that was scrutinized by neighbors who feared it would negatively impact the nearby village historic district. In January 2019, Luis Martinez, principal of general contractor Lalo Group, was detained on immigration violations. After significant community activism, Martinez was welcomed home last June.
Shepler reports considerable interest in the 46 apartments and 8000 square feet of retail space. No agreements have been signed. Negotiations are ongoing with potential commercial tenants, he said, and the formal application process for the one- and two-bedroom apartments will be rolled out this month. Five of the units are designated as affordable, and can only be occupied from the village’s list of qualified tenants.