River Architects Carbon-Neutral Revitalization Project Awarded $1.1 Million in New York State Grant Competitions

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NYSERDA recognizes the Hudson Valley architecture studio’s multifamily Bank Lofts project 

RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y., July 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new plan to transform a long-vacant 19th-century bank building in downtown Richfield Springs, NY, into a clean, resilient, and energy-efficient multifamily residence with ground-floor commercial space has been awarded more than $1 million in grant funding administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Bank Lofts—spearheaded by owner/developers Faith E. Gay and Francesca Zambello of Mohawk Valley–based Dooalot, LLC, and designed by River Architects, PLLC, of Cold Spring, NY—is one of 10 regionally significant projects to share $12 million in support as part of the state’s Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program. River Architects, PLLC’s design also won statewide recognition and support in the latest round of NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence competition (early stage design component), which spotlights plans for multifamily buildings that demonstrate replicable decarbonization solutions straight from the drawing board. Both awards aim to encourage carbon-neutral building projects that model safe, healthy, comfortable living spaces for the people who occupy them and attractive long-term business opportunities for owners.

THE BANK LOFTS adaptive reuse project will convert the long-vacant former First National Bank of Richfield Springs building into a carbon-neutral, mixed-use multifamily, with nine loft-style apartments and ground-level commercial space. "We're hoping to create a fresh ripple of confidence that will continue all the way up and down Main Street, attracting more people to live, visit, and support new businesses and job opportunities in this beautiful and historic community,” says building owner and developer Francesca Zambello. Artist rendering © River Architects, PLLC

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is pleased to provide support to the Bank Lofts project, a model for clean and resilient design with the incorporation of energy efficiency, electrification features, and on-site renewable energy. This award-winning design demonstrates how low-carbon green buildings provide energy savings and health benefits for occupants while supporting Governor Hochul’s commitment to achieve two million climate-friendly homes by 2030.”

Award-winning architect Juhee Lee-Hartford of River Architects will direct the $2.5 million retrofit in close collaboration with fellow passive building specialist Josh Edmonds, of Otsego County–based Simple Integrity. When complete, the converted circa-1882 former First National Bank building at 118 West Main Street will offer nine loft-style rental apartments, including one ground-level ADA-accessible residence. The design will also repurpose the Gilded Age–era building’s walk-in vault, mosaic-tile flooring, and marble and brass details—further preserving historic character while reducing waste. The project team views the mixed-used revitalization of the landmark building as a potential boost for the Richfield Springs community, which earned renown and prosperity as a 19th-century spa resort. The project is targeted for Spring 2024 occupancy. www.bankloftsotsego.com | www.nyserda.ny.gov 





Heidi Stephens 

Marjorie E. Gage 

Juhee Lee-Hartford, AIA

[email protected] 

[email protected] 

James Hartford, AIA




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SOURCE River Architects, PLLC | The Bank Lofts

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