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Vestar's GreenSTAR program is a vow to sustainable development and operation for millions of square feet of retail space.
Vestar's GreenSTAR initiative marks the Southwest's first large-scale commitment to sustainable shopping center building techniques with the goal to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification for the company's new development projects.
In the United States, buildings represent 71% of our nation's electricity consumption and 65% of its waste output.* Since new development is at the core of what we do, we feel an obligation to embrace the advancements in green building materials and systems and develop as responsibly as possible.
LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings granted by the US Green Building Council. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project is environmentally responsible, sustainable and provides a healthy place to live and work.
For more information, visit the US Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org.
Vestar has always been committed to the communities in which it operates and develops and mindful of its corporate responsibility to have a positive and lasting impact on those communities. GreenSTAR is really an extension of that philosophy and an effort to incorporate sustainable building techniques in our work. It's Vestar's hope that the benefits realized by this program will last for many years. With the emergence of the USGBC's LEED program, the advances in green building techniques, and following Vestar's success with the largest environmental clean-up in Arizona history (which today is the vibrant Tempe Marketplace), the timing was right for Vestar to formalize it efforts and take its sustainability program to the next level by pursuing LEED certification.
Vestar is credited with Arizona's largest environmental cleanup by way of its marquee development Tempe Marketplace (www.tempemarketplace.com.) A Brownfield and former Superfund site, the 130-acre Tempe Marketplace is now the state's largest and most successful outdoor retail, entertainment and dining destination, and the venue in which countless green construction techniques and materials were pioneered and tested. The project celebrated its Grand Opening in September 2007 near Arizona State University and has earned top environmental and development honors including the 2003 ICSC Design and Development Certificate of Merit Award for Desert Ridge Marketplace, 2009 Silver LEED Certification for Oro Valley Marketplace, 2010 ICSC Design and Development Silver Award for Tempe Marketplace and the 2011 Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Award of Merit for Tempe Marketplace.
The first Vestar project to be part of the GreenSTAR brand was Oro Valley Marketplace, a 900,000-square-foot center just north of Tucson. Projects throughout the Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles metro areas will be developed to the new standards which will reduce water use, cut CO2 emissions, reduce waste and lower electricity consumption.
In 2009, Vestar Development Co.'s Oro Valley Marketplace earned Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, marking the first retail project in the state to earn the designation, and one of the first in the Southwest. This national recognition is a marquee success of Vestar's GreenStar initiative, one of the largest and most aggressive environmental commitments from any of the United States' major retail developers.
"With an owner committed to doing the right thing and a cooperative design and construction team, we were able to put together a green design, construction and operations plan that represents a model for future retail development in Arizona," said Jerry Yudelson, Principal of Yudelson Associates. "This project exemplifies what you can do with land use, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials choices, leasing guidelines and operating practices, to achieve green development goals."
"The strength of USGBC has always been the collective strength of our leaders in the building industry," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Vestar Development demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification of Oro Valley Marketplace."
In addition to the LEED certification, Oro Valley Marketplace is the largest environmental restoration project in Oro Valley history, and today, the riparian area is a mecca for hikers, bikers, horses, shoppers and of course, birds. It opened in October 2008.
* Source: USGBC