Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Partners Plotting Chain of Green Condos

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Partners Plotting Chain of Green Condos

Article excerpt

Environmentalists have touted the advantages of wildflowers and buffalo grass for years, but usually for the lawn.

Tulsa Loft Project, led by architect Shelby Navarro and contractor Micky Payne, planted such vegetation in four inches of soil on the roof at their first "green" condominium, just a block from the Cherry Street restaurant corridor at 1411 S. Rockford in Tulsa.

That marks just a few of the sustainable products and materials employed throughout the 1,800-square-foot condo's design, helping the spec project exceed platinum status marks with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Navarro expects it to become the first Oklahoma project to win that highest level of certification.

"It is one of only 25 to 26 platinum projects in the United States," said Navarro, a partner in One Architecture of Tulsa.

Tulsa Loft Project wanted that LEED statement as validation. The Tulsa firm hopes to build a chain of environmentally friendly duplexes in the Tulsa area over the next few years, depending on how its first two sell.

"We're trying to hit several different price ranges," said Navarro. "To hit LEED platinum we did absolutely everything."

Their accomplishment didn't come cheap. Listed at $469,000, with a 402-square-foot garage and studio apartment, Navarro said the price represents about a 20-percent markup from construction costs.

"This one is so high-end, I don't think you can make many on a speculative basis," said Rachel Navarro, Shelby's wife and One Architecture's accountant.

The condo represents one-half of the duplex Tulsa Loft Project raised. Shelby Navarro said they intend to complete the interior on their second condo once it sells.

The firm will then turn its attention to five or more lots it owns.

"My goal would be to build six to eight units a year," he said. …

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