The Mississippi Lofts are a new mixed-use development (56,000 square feet) coming to Portland's Mississippi Historic District. It looks as if they are going all out on this one. Brownfield redevelopment...check. Storm-water Management system...check. Use of regional materials...check. Certified wood, use of low-e paint and materials, water efficient landscaping...all check. The are shooting for LEED Golf certification, which requires between 39-51 points on a LEED scorecard and the Mississippi Lofts are attempting to receive 48 points. They are scheduled to be completed by next month but by the looks of their blog, they seem to still be in the construction phase. HOA fees seem to run from about $170 to $300 per month depending on the unit. Some of the smaller units are going for about $393 per sq/ft (737 total square feet) where as the larger units go for about $341 per sq/ft (1172 total square feet).
Hopefully, as more companies begin to adopt a full-service green strategy, you will hear more "Work from home!" and less "Get to work!" A panel at the recent CoreNet Global Summit encouraged U.S. corporations to implement worker mobility "telecommuting" programs in an effort to reduce carbon footprints. Gervais Tompkin (no relation to Ricky Gervais), principal at architectural firm Gensler, reports that about 73 million square feet of office space was delivered in the US during 2007. Alternatively, studies have found that as much as 55% of the nation's office space is underutilized. At HP in the UK, instituting a mobility program resulted in consolidating more than 2,800 workers in 451,000 square feet of office space down to 165,000 square feet...resulting in a 49% energy savings! Given the transition from the manufacturing to the service sector AND the focus on corporate globalization over the past 50 years, mobility programs of one variety or another should be carefully considered at many, if not all, service firms in the US. In theory, all you need is a computer and an internet connection, right?
If Pottery Barn built green homes on white sandy beaches with views of the Pacific Ocean, they wouldn't do it any better than Seabrook Land Company's Seabrook community. Spearheaded by town founder & president, Casey Roloff, Seabrook is an "authentic beach town atop a well-situated bluff on the Washinton State coast (map)." The homes come loaded with green features like...
I got an invite from the FHA Mortgage Center today about a contest they are running for real estate bloggers. So, I submitted Equity Green to the contest and we will see if it can make some noise over the next month. The contest runs through June 1st and they give out prizes based on votes received, Editor's Choice, etc. They have a leaderboard, which is cool but it sort of feels like I'm in a golf tournament. Anyway, if you like what I have been doing with Equity Green, I would appreciate your vote! In the meantime, I will keep the posts coming!
Driving through Southern Utah, there are three things that always catch my attention. The red rock terrain, the green golf courses, and the heat. Just last week, my wife and I drove through St. George and it was probably 85 degrees...in April. Temperatures start to average in the mid 80's starting in May and usually last till October, getting to the upper 90's and 100's in June, July, August and September. The heat provides the perfect opportunity for residents to embrace green building...and that seems to be the case in St. George. A housing panel is weighing plans for the construction of a green housing development aimed at households earning between 60% and 110% of the area median income. The Flats at South Point will save residents 50% or more on heating and cooling costs and will have a targeted home value between $180,000 and $230,000 . An affordable green development in the ballpark of $135 per square foot. That's awesome! The first phase of construction is slated for completion around July 2008.
10 cities have been chosen by the AIA's Center for Communities by Design to work with architects and local stakeholders to work out a plan for implementing sustainability. By participating, the cities, which include Detroit, Tampa, New Orleans and Fort Worth (and 6 other cities), will be able to mentor and provide a blueprint to neighboring cities on how to implement various aspects of sustainability. The program will address neighborhood revitalization, transportation infrastructure challenges, as well as offer strategies to improve air and water quality.
Venture capital funding is out there and it is showing signs of life in the green world. I read an article today on CNN Money about a company called Hycrete, which makes concrete more sustainable by reducing the carbon-based energy required in manufacturing and using recyclables in the actual materials. Interesting article. If the green industry today is where the computer industry was in the late 70's/early 80's, then both green innovators and green input providers alike are poised for huge growth in the marketplace (Microsoft scored big with the computer and so did Intel by supplying the processor.) I came across an article talking about green inputs being a big market mover...if I can find it, I will post it.
Well, there's no doubt that real estate has been hit hard over the last 6-12 months (residential, commercial, mortgage lending, etc.). Industries involved with building and developing infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) have fared a bit better (See Green Trends post) especially here in Salt Lake...but the thought that keeps running through my head is who will be the first to turn things around? Green REITs? Maybe. Eventually. I would think green properties would be more desirable in the portfolio and have a leg up on traditional properties in terms of coming out of a downturn. Green properties would have lower operating costs, demand relatively higher market values, experience more demand among potential tenants, etc., which would lead me to believe that green REITs or greener REITs (REITs holding greener properties than the next REIT) would experience quicker than expected turnarounds.
Good you-tube video showcasing an interview with Leo Marmol, managing principal at Marmol Radziner, considered by many to be the leading firm in designing and building customized, green prefabricated homes. Good insight on the prefab movement and actual prefab building process. The host is corny (Starbucks reference) but still a good video.