*This article is being cross-posted at our sister publication, the Green Real Estate Law Journal.
Earlier this year, New York City took an important step towards becoming the country’s leader in public green leasing practices when Mayor Bloomberg’s Green Lease Task Force released model green lease language aimed at addressing the split incentive in most commercial office leases. The language was incorporated with much fanfare by Silverstein Properties into its lease with the law firm WilmerHale at the LEED Gold 7 World Trade Center, as well as adopted by the City for all of its future leases.
Now, recently, after it was named North America’s greenest city in a study published by Siemens, San Francisco has fired back by launching a Green Tenant Toolkit of its own, created at the recommendation of the San Francisco Mayor’s Task Force on Existing Commercial Buildings. Although designed primarily for San Francisco buildings, the free, on-line resource is being promoted as adaptable for any geographic location. It was developed by a 26-member group of real estate and environmental professionals representing brokers, property management, large tenant groups, attorneys, electrical utilities, and design and construction experts, assembled by San Francisco’s Business Council on Climate Change.
The Toolkit is divided into three sections: a general green leasing guide, tips on stakeholder engagement, and a checklist of items summarizing key sustainability metrics for any property. The toolkit isn’t written for lawyers. But it appears to be a good jumping off point for tenants and landlords that are unfamiliar with green leasing generally and want to get up to speed quickly, regardless of where they may find themselves in the leasing process. And it’s also worth noting that the New York City model language is included in the Green Tenant Toolkit’s database of additional resources.
As you may recall, San Francisco led two major green building indices this year: the study from Siemens and, for a second consecutive year, the city topped Cushman & Wakefield’s Green Building Opportunity Index. We reviewed the Index’s analysis of New York City’s Midtown submarket – which placed second overall in the Index – earlier this year here at gbNYC in significant detail.