Tishman Speyer Wraps Rockefeller Center in Green for Holidays

At a recent press conference, Tishman Speyer announced a number of green initiatives that are underway at Rockefeller Center, just in time for the holidays.

Just in time for the holidays, and as a nice complement to the efficient LED lights that will grace this year’s Christmas tree, Tishman Speyer has installed 363 solar panels on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Last week, at the same press conference announcing both of these initiatives, Tishman, which has owned the complex since 2000, also announced that it’s in the process of installing an ice storage plant to provide air conditioning for the entire Rockefeller Center, as well as an 18,000-square-foot green roof on top of Radio City Music Hall. The 70kW solar panel installation is now the largest privately-owned source of solar power generation in Manhattan, and the ice plant will produce ice overnight from forty-seven tanks powered by Tishman-purchased wind energy.

At a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg praised Tishman’s initiatives, noting that “[w]hen we developed PlaNYC, we hoped that public leadership would inspire private-sector creativity and investment in a greener, greater New York and I want to commend [Tishman Speyer] for stepping up and meeting that challenge.” Tishman’s green efforts aren’t just limited to its work at Rockefeller Center; it also served as the development manager at LEED Gold Court Square Two in Long Island City and has over four million square feet of office space under development in the U.S. for which it intends to seek LEED certification.

Interestingly, large private commercial owners are embracing green initiatives without the stick of legislative mandate being waved in their faces; Tishman’s efforts follow recent news from CB Richard Ellis that it will enroll 100 of its commercial buildings in USGBC’s LEED Portfolio Program under the LEED for Existing Buildings (“LEED-EB”) standard, as well as increased green awareness throughout the retail sector. It’s only a matter of time before these types of announcements become standard throughout the private commercial real estate sector, and we’ll be curious to see whether the pressure to legislate green standards accordingly abates to any appreciable extent.

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