Posts Tagged "News"

EcologiCiti Update


One of the core tenets of Catalyst building practices is that of sustainability. We’ve spent a number of years researching opportunities for repurposing real estate where economic activity and industry have fallen off, and one such opportunity has presented itself where our personal interests and deep experience in building intersect: EcologiCiti Sustainable Urban Food Centers. EcologiCiti is our solution for developing and building centers that will create jobs and economic development in our urban communities by sustainably growing and distributing healthy, local food.

PhbCatalystGroup is now reaching out to investors with solid institutional backing and larger and deeper platform from which to pursue our initiatives, and simultaneously we have created BuildFarms as our investment vehicle through a joint venture with Valmiki Capital Management, our institutional investor and an asset management company in New York. Valmiki brings connections in the energy efficient real estate space and in cleantech, and with this relationship we have crossed a major threshold toward scalable development.

CEO Emilio Valls has spent the better part of 2015 refining our model, all the while searching for a farmer interested in partnering in our venture toward sustainable food. As we progress toward our first center, conversations continue with a number of parties who may potentially fill this key role in our business model. And into 2016 we will broaden our search from the east coast to explore other markets, seeking out established players in the field of vertical farming.

Interested parties should contact Emilio Valls, CEO, or Erin Robertson, Director of Marketing, at 212-812-9370, by email at or else please visit our website at

1 Hotel Central Park


Only the second of its kind, the 1 Hotel Central Park opened its doors in November 2015, offering New York City a uniquely new, eco-luxury lifestyle brand (1 Hotels.) Under the helm of Starwood Capital Group, the 1920’s-era building underwent a complete gut renovation, essentially “recycling” the building. The 229-key boutique hotel was originally purposed as a residential hotel and later was converted into an office building.

Catalyst was intimately involved in all aspects of the project from initial project design, pre-construction, construction and through to pre-opening of the property. Catalyst managed a large team of consultants, incorporating into the interior design unique, eco-friendly materials to create a hybrid style that is luxurious yet sustainable. From the reclaimed barn wood lobby floor to the double front doors born of 16,000 branches intricately woven together, recycled woods are a common theme throughout. Other recycled materials include cork, blackened steel, and stone, creating a rich contrast of textures and materials.

The 1 Hotel Central Park has applied for LEED certification which is currently in process.

Owner: Starwood Capital Group
Architect: Gene Kaufman Architect P.C.  Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects, LLC
Role (services provided): Development Manager
Year: 2010-2015