Luxury Lessons

New York City-based Rockrose Development’s doorman staff had little idea when they showed up for work this fall they would be sent back to school—doorman school, that is. In partnership with Abigail Michaels Concierge, Rockrose is sending all the doormen from their eight residential properties in Battery Park City, the Financial District, Long Island City, and the West Village to luxury hotel-style concierge training at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Led by 20-year concierge veteran Michael Romei, chief concierge at The Waldorf Towers and general secretary of international concierge society Les Clefs D’Or, the classes focus on the importance of attitude, appearance and behavior when dealing with residents. “Providing our tenants with the best experience possible is our No. 1 priority,” says Kathleen Scott of Rockrose Development Corp., who initiated the program. “Extra touches like doormen who have been professionally trained as concierges are the types of features that make our properties stand out from the competition.”


Tres Chaud!

Forget about Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider sizzling things up in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris—when it comes to hot temperatures and the City of Lights, French engineers have landed a daring new proposal: Provide energy to apartment buildings from the natural body heat emanating from Parisians simply waiting for the metro. An article this month in Popular Science details how the experimental heating system will help to warm a 17-unit public housing community by funneling caloric heat emitted by passengers and trains to underground heat exchangers, which could ultimately cut carbon emissions at the property by a third. 


Bigger is Better

If you’ve got the entitlement blues, pack your bags and get to know the way to San Jose, where the city has asked a development partnership of Republic Urban Properties and Barry Swenson Builder to make their Ohlone rental community taller and more dense, changing the property plans from two 11-story towers and one six-story structure to three 11-story towers and increasing the number of living units from 649 to 700, an additional four units per acre. "If not here, then where?" asks San Jose planning director Joe Horwedel in an article on the project in the San Jose Mercury News. “The zoning in the general plan on that site allowed for greater height than he was taking advantage of. To put a six-story building on that site was extremely short-sighted and should not have been proposed.” Sounds like there’s a lot of space and peace of mind when it comes to the San Jose development market—better hurry if you want in on the action as opposed to parking cars and pumping gas.

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