Rupco Energy Square wins housing award

Exterior of Energy Square building in Midtown Kingston. (Photo by Dion Ogust)

Rupco’s Energy Square project in Kingston received the upstate-project-of-the-year award on November 19 from the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, whose CEO, Jolie Milstein, described the development as “a shining example of a project that should be replicated across New York State.”

The project provides 57 affordable homes to Kingston families, boasts broadband connectivity, is environmentally friendly, and has on-site educational programming.

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“It is a testament to the transformative impact of affordable housing production for both the families living in the new homes and the communities in which they are built,” said Milstein. “Funding more projects like Energy Square will help New York recover from the pandemic while laying the foundation for a fairer, more equitable future.”

The $22-million mixed-use project on a 1.3-acre Midtown site was made possible by a com-lex partnership among New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the City of Kingston and multiple private investors. Construction was completed this summer, providing a home to 79 people. The entire bottom floor has become a place for arts and community. Commercial residents include the Center for Creative Education and The DRAW, an intergenerational art education project by Kingston Midtown Arts District. 

Energy Square is the first net-zero for living affordable housing project in upstate New York. It has a geothermal ground-source heat pump with a solar PV system to produce energy and meet the electricity needs of the entire building. It provides additional cost savings to low-income and nonprofit tenants.

In seven of its units, Energy Square has helped provide rental assistance and service for formerly homeless young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Rupco partnered with the Family of Woodstock to provide a wide array of services including job training and guidance with daily living needs.

“We are very proud of the accomplishment that Energy Square represents,” said Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Rupco. “The project truly represents the leadership of Rupco’s board of directors and staff capacity to bring together funding partners, our design and construction teams to create a magnificent and transformative mixed-use, mixed-income building in the heart of Midtown Kingston.”

At the awards ceremony, Mayor Steve Noble called Energy Square “a win-win” for Kingston, with “something for everyone.” He commended the local not-for-profit housing organization for its commitment to Kingston.