If you want to make a statement, there are few better places to do so than from the middle of Times Square — or, in Daniel Neiditch’s case, from atop a massive building just next door.
Neiditch does a lot. He’s the real estate mogul at the helm of River 2 River Realty, a firm that has acquired over $1 billion in real estate holdings across New York state. He’s a philanthropist with a fierce passion for helping New York City’s homeless. In his free time, he serves as an on-call EMT for the city. Neiditch even threw the opening ball for a Red Sox home game in 2018.
But the cause that Daniel Neiditch is really known for, the one that quite literally sends a message from the rooftops, is sustainable energy.
In the spring of 2011, Neiditch installed the city’s highest residential solar array atop the Atelier, a 46-story luxury condo building in Manhattan. The glittering panels broadcast an eye-catching message, not in the least because of their total rejection of the environmentally-unfriendly stereotypes so often associated with luxury.
The idea of high-priced NYC real estate brings jaw-dropping excess to mind — amped-up electricity needs, sprawling square footage to heat, extravagant water needs. And, to be fair, Atelier Condos does boast an Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, and luxurious penthouse with a price point of $85 million.
But, Daniel Neiditch explains, even the kind of extravagance that draws celebrity tenants and awes veteran interior design photographers doesn’t have to be wasteful.
Neiditch’s Manhattan gem offers a cohort of environmentally-friendly amenities including motion-activated hallway lights equipped with efficient fluorescent bulbs, energy-saving appliances, double-paned windows, and, of course, solar energy. Daniel Neiditch sets himself apart from his peers by making mindful consumption a guiding principle of his real estate endeavors.
The shift into green thinking hasn’t only been a win for the environment — according to Neiditch, the change has boosted his bottom line quite a bit, as well. Since 2015, the Atelier has achieved around $120,000 in savings every year and reduced energy consumption by a full 15 percent.
“It’s still mind-boggling to me that more groups haven’t done what we did at the Atelier […] This is such a no-brainer, I feel like it’s just a matter of making more people aware,” Neiditch said of the savings to the Midtown Patch. “For a relatively inexpensive choice, it’s given us so much return.”
Daniel Neiditch hopes that his sky-high solar panels will inspire others in his field to realize the benefits of environmentally-friendly construction and retrofitting.
“[The Atelier is] the highest building in NYC with solar panels, and that’s something I’m really proud of […] I just want more builders and developers, people in my position, to see what a great benefit solar power creates for their business and the city as a whole.” he says. “As a city with 8 million people, we need to do better. We consume too much energy not to.”
Daniel Neiditch’s frustration with the New York real estate sector’s lack of action has made him a self-proclaimed evangelist for green building and technology. He often writes on matters of sustainability and green building for publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur, explaining why the green energy revolution should be seen as a driver for new and profitable change rather than a costly burden.
In one such article for Forbes, Neiditch writes: “In an industry where being environmentally conscious is becoming more important and being money conscious has always been crucial, solar power is the easiest way to generate clean energy and excitement at the same time.”
It seems unlikely that with all of this passion, Neiditch will stop at conventional solar panels. During an interview for the entrepreneur-centric platform Ideamensch, he aired a few of his still-percolating ideas.
“There’s one thing that Europe, specifically Denmark, is doing that hasn’t caught on in the United States yet, and that’s solar water pumping systems,” he shared. “Though they’re usually utilized on farms and other rural areas to water crops, they would still be a great coup for investors, especially ones in the real estate industry.”
Will Daniel Neiditch be the one to bring Danish solar energy innovations to New York’s luxury residential sector? There’s no way to be sure — but you would certainly be wrong to underestimate his drive to make New York a brighter, greener, and healthier city.
After all, it’s easy to see what comes over the horizon when you’re pioneering solar energy from high-rise rooftops.