WINNER: Josh Weisstuch for
Arverne View (NY)

Category: The All Rounder

Who led the charge

Josh Weisstuch
Project Manager
L+M Development Partners

Over the past four years, Josh has worked with L+M on financing the preservation of over 3,000 low-income housing units in the NYC area, with development costs totaling over $625 million. The work at these buildings has enhanced tenant quality of life as well as building efficiency. In their latest affordable project in Brownsville, L+M is integrating three distributed generation systems: solar, fuel cells and batteries.


Leaks, mold, and worse—this affordable housing complex in New York’s Rockaway Peninsula was in dire need of a renovation after 40 years of ocean-front weather. Then Superstorm Sandy hit.

Four decades of beachfront weather had taken its toll on Arverne View. Once optimistically named “Ocean Village,” this 11-building, 11,000-unit complex was not built to withstand the weather that came with its name. The buildings were “literally coming apart at the seams,” according to the project team. An eroding façade, leaky ceilings, toxic mold, unreliable heat and hot water, out-of-service elevators, and dwindling occupancy made for a bleak future for what had once been a promising beachfront community. When Josh Weisstuch and L+M teamed up with Bright Power to tackle energy retrofits, the plan was a complete transformation. 

It was then that Superstorm Sandy hit, turning what was already a desperate situation into a crisis. Flooding left electrical equipment completely submerged in water, existing problems were made worse, and 700 tenants were left without power.

The first step at Arverne was to rewrap the exterior in EIFS (exterior insulation and finish system). Developed in Europe after WWII, EIFS is to facades as spackle is to the DIYer—it can give an existing façade a new lease on life while insulating, sealing gaps, and creating an energy-reducing, heat-saving, weatherproof new envelope. This first step was key, and Josh and his team could then isolate and fix the other problems facing Arverne View.

Today, Arverne View is at 100% occupancy and a beautiful development that matches its outstanding scenery, ready for the extreme weather that tomorrow may bring.


  • Partnered with Bright Power to find solutions that impacted both the bottom line and the community;
  • Reclad the exterior in EIFS, which allowed the project team to pinpoint specific problem areas and solve many of their problems up front;
  • Overhauled the ventilation system with ECM fans and energy recovery ventilators;
  • A water overhaul including condensing boilers, booster pumps, and low-flow fixtures
  • Lighting retrofit and upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Implemented resiliency features like onsite generators and second-floor mechanical room