Greater Aims Than Marketing With a Film Starring Green Luxury Apartments


Veronica Mainetti, the developer of 60 White, and the filmmaker Daniel Fickle inside the building in Manhattan.

Michael Appleton for The New York Times

The film shows a man in a leather biker jacket and a woman in an oversize black parka leaning against the gunwale of a boat, staring up at the huge icebergs floating by, dressed more for the cobblestones of SoHo than for the shoals of Greenland. The camera captures their amazement at the drifts of glacial beauty. Just then — crack! — both jump as a piece of ice the size of a townhouse cascades into the water.

“I wanted to go see firsthand what the effects are of climate change and carbon emissions,” the woman in the parka, Veronica Mainetti, said last week while sitting on a green leather couch inside 60 White Street, a loft building in TriBeCa. “To see it, and to hear from the biologists and the climatologists — and the Greenlanders, what they’re going through. I knew we had to do something, but I was determined to do more.”

So she decided that 60 White, the conversion of an 1869 loft building into multimillion-dollar apartments and the latest project of her family’s development company, the Sorgente Group, should do its part to save the world. Ms. Mainetti thought the eight-unit project could have an even bigger impact if the world knew about it, too. The building is now the star of a documentary, “Giglio on White,” about its redevelopment, with Ms. Mainetti co-starring as the crusader turning environmental anxieties into luxury accommodations one locally sourced granite countertop at a time.


A rendering of 60 White Street, a loft building in TriBeCa that is being converted to environmentally conscious luxury apartments.

VUW Studio

Equal parts “An Inconvenient Truth” and “This Old House,” the film follows Ms. Mainetti and Daniel Fickle, the director and her companion on the trip to Greenland, as she searches for the most airtight windows, battles with New York bureaucrats, rattles off statistics (70 percent of the city’s energy goes into its buildings) and makes a side trip to those glaciers.

Only a four-minute trailer exists at the moment, helping to lure buyers of the $4 million to $10 million apartments, and they will eventually receive a copy of the film when it is completed next year. But the ambitions are much greater than marketing.

“We’d love for it to premiere at Tribeca,” Mr. Fickle said, referring to the film festival founded by Robert De Niro and held annually a few blocks away. “Wouldn’t that be perfect?” And then on to an air-conditioned multiplex, perhaps.

The name “Giglio on White” comes from the Giglio brand of environmentally sensitive condos that Ms. Mainetti hopes to introduce with this project. For those who might consider luxury real estate and environmental conservation to get along like an oil slick and water, Ms. Mainetti said that view misses the point. “If even one person sees what we’ve done and changes the way they build, or live, the movie will have been worth it,” she said.

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