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In Seattle, Real Estate Sector to 'Green' Its Buildings as Economic Fix-It

The city's real estate industry is spearheading a first-of-its-kind green building initiative to help boost property values and lure businesses

Jul 22, 2011
(Page 2 of 2 )
Seattle

Geller said: "We'll be the first major urban area that's going to have something like that."

The city itself received a $20 million grant from the Obama administration's Better Buildings Initiative, which aims to increase the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 20 percent in 2020.

Seattle also joined Los Angeles and Atlanta this summer in the federal initiative's Better Buildings Challenge to spur $500 million in private investment for energy efficiency improvements nationwide.

Geller noted that a huge push form the private sector has made his city's initiative unique compared to other urban efficiency efforts.

"[The city] is doing a lot to keep this effort moving forward but without necessarily leading it," he said.

Brandon Morgan, development manager at Vulcan Real Estate, said that his company joined the district early on to inspire other real estate firms to follow in Vulcan's sustainable footsteps.

"We're hoping to be the trailblazers to share that knowledge and our success stories with other building owners," he said.

"It is not very often that you have competitors sitting at a table thinking of ways we can collectively help each other learn from successes and failures."

Unico's Phillips added: "We're not looking at this as a competition block-by-block or building-by-building. We're looking at it as a competitive advantage market-by-market and city-by-city. We're positioning ourselves to compete against Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles to attract businesses, as opposed to try to compete against owners or managers down the block."

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