Green Retail Development a Hot Topic at ICSC Fall Conference

The International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”) devoted attention to the intersection of sustainability and shopping center development at its 2007 Fall Conference in New Orleans, which wrapped up earlier this week. Specific green retail projects that were discussed included the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, which has reduced its energy costs by C$400,000 since [...]

The International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”) devoted attention to the intersection of sustainability and shopping center development at its 2007 Fall Conference in New Orleans, which wrapped up earlier this week. Specific green retail projects that were discussed included the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, which has reduced its energy costs by C$400,000 since 2004 thanks to the use of advanced lighting technology that allows it to keep interior lights off during more than 95% daylight hours. The first LEED-certified shopping center in the country, Abercorn Common in Savannah, Georgia, earned Silver back in April of 2006 and initially had difficulty attracting tenants. Now, it reports that tenants are enjoying record sales levels- obviously attractive to developers who seek high quality tenants. At Abercorn, green design features include a reflective white roof and other energy-efficient measures that save tenants, including Circuit City, Panera Bread, and McDonald’s, thirty percent over conventional retail space. The complex was developed by Georgia-based Melaver, Inc.

Green retail provides developers with a unique ability to educate consumers about sustainability. As Jeff Grossberg, principal at Chicago-based SkySite Property noted, “[t]he shopping center arena has the opportunity to be the spokesperson for the entire industry. Of any asset class, we’re in touch with the consumer on a regular basis. We can educate.” While the principles for which consumer retail and sustainability stand are obviously quite different, it is important than an industry which is, fundamentally, grounded in consumption begin to slowly shift its emphasis towards conservation.

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at stephen@gbNYC.com, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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