“We have always looked at energy-efficient building processes and had a focus on
energy efficiency within our own business,
whether in retail or the operations areas,”
she explains. “We wanted to go with a
third-party certification to see whether we
could obtain it, what it would mean, what
it would take to get there and how meaningful it would be in the marketplace.
We’ve determined that it’s attainable.
There may be upfront costs, but there are
faster paybacks for energy efficiencies.”
Beam adds that to her knowledge, LL
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Wal-Mart’s first in a series of high-efficiency
stores opened early last year in Kansas City, MO.
The prototype is expected to use 20% less energy
than its standard Supercenters.
Bean has not experienced an upfront price
premium for the development of its sustainable stores.
As in all property sectors, cost premiums for green building is a concern within
the retail segment. However, it’s one that
many retailers and developers say is not a
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tremendous worry, and definitely does not
outweigh the benefits of sustainable
Wachovia’s Austin suggests the company’s approximately 4% premium for its
sustainable branches is almost negligible in
light of the possible savings. “That premium is just an uptick on the initial cost,”
he explains. “Primarily what you are looking at in branches is an opportunity to save
energy costs and water.”
The long-term paybacks compared to
the initial outlay are likewise insignificant
to Trademark Property Co. of Ft. Worth.
The development firm’s CEO, Terry
Montesi, says the company anticipates
anywhere from zero to a 1.5% premium
in its pursuit of LEED certification for its
entire $1-billion development and redevelopment portfolio.
“If you start with the intention from the
inception of your planning process, we
don’t believe that there has to be any premium,” says Montesi. “If there is a premium, you can get a reasonable return on
that additional investment, so we call it no
net premium. If you spend $1 million extra
upfront, but it saves you $100,000 in operating costs, it’s a premium, but it’s really not
a net premium because there is a return.”
Late last year, Trademark set off to
become one of the first retail and mixed-use developers to work toward achieving
LEED certification for its entire pipeline.
“We really want to enhance the communi-