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June 24, 2024 / 2024 Power 25 Real Estate

2024 Power 25 Real Estate: Neil Rubler

Neil Rubler founded Vessel Technologies with a new approach to addressing the national housing shortage. 

His firm’s strategy is to quickly and efficiently build prefabricated and “attainable” apartments geared toward middle-income residents like firefighters, teachers, municipal employees, young people and senior citizens. 

And he’s targeted Connecticut as a major growth market, with nearly 250 new apartments under construction or approved in the state, including in New London, Simsbury, Granby, Rocky Hill and Cheshire.

Vessel’s development model relies on using prefabricated apartments that are more “panelized” as opposed to modular. Panels that make up a building — like walls, ceilings and floors — are built off-site, broken down, packed and shipped flat, then reassembled on-site.

Each Vessel apartment building follows a near identical architectural design and engineering blueprint, reducing the time and cost for each development, Rubler said.

Properties are primarily made up of one-bedroom apartments targeted at residents who don’t qualify for subsidized housing, but for whom luxury or even market-rate rents are out of reach.

Rubler’s first Connecticut project in New London is a five-story apartment building, at 174 Bank St., with 30 one-bedroom units. The building is expected to begin accepting tenants next month. 

Since pitching that first development, Rubler’s firm has been making its way across the state in search of new opportunities. 

Rubler has been a prominent developer and landlord in New York for years, and his expansion in Connecticut hasn’t been without headaches. The firm has received intense opposition on some of its proposed projects, including in Simsbury and Glastonbury, that have created some regulatory roadblocks. 

Check out the other 2024 Real Estate Power Players

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