Retail developer Vestar Development has launched GreenStar, a commitment to sustainable shopping center building techniques with the goal of achieving LEED certification for new development projects.
The US Green Building Council currently doesn’t have an approved LEED program for retail projects. Guidelines were drafted in September 2007 and are currently in the pilot stage – Vestar is participating – but adoption is not expected until early 2009.
The first Vestar project to be part of the new initiative will be 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 Vestar says will reduce water use, cut CO2 emissions, reduce waste and lower electricity consumption.Current Vestar projects are being evaluated for potential green retro-fitting.