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BETHESDA, MD-Lerner Enterprises, a real estate developer, haspurchased wind power for a retail center under construction as wellas a 157-key hotel, both in Dulles, VA. Theenvironmentally-friendly transaction is part of the company's GreenInitiative Program, which it implemented with the goal ofconserving natural resources both in its existing portfolio and inprojects under development.

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Dulles 28 Centre, a 300,000-sf retail center still being built,and the Residence Inn - Dulles Airport at Dulles 28 Centre willboth utilize wind power. This alternative power source, Lerner iscurrently using at its 1050 Connecticut Ave. property in WashingtonSquare. The energy needs of the class A, 1-million-sf officebuilding are 100% supplied by wind power.

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Ronald Charvet Jr., senior vice president of asset managementtells GlobeSt.com that the firm is looking at other buildings inits portfolio to add wind energy. "We have a lot of buildings. Ourgoal is to have a portfolio in which we are confident we are doingeverything possible to save energy and resources."

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Lerner Enterprises began seriously investigating and thendeploying various conservation measures across its portfolio abouttwo years ago. In some cases, it has begun development on buildingsthat have been designed to be LEED certified by the US GreenBuilding Council.

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Other changes have been less dramatic, such as installing energyefficient light bulbs. In all cases, Charvet says, "we know therewill be a return of some kind." He says it can be difficult toestimate these savings not only because the technology isrelatively new but also because the company's energy needs changefrom year to year. One winter might be unusually mild; anothersummer could be hotter than expected. Also, as he puts it, "it canbe tough to define what green means."

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Lerner's new headquarters facility in Rockville, MD is slated tobuilt according to LEED Gold certification standards. Located at2000 Tower Oaks Blvd., the 200,000-sf building will house bothLerner, which will occupy 46,000 sf, and Bethesda-based the TowerCos., which will have 23,000 sf for its operations. The propertywill be inhabitable in the fall of 2008.

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The environmental benefits of the design include replacing 100%of the air in the building every 55 minutes, reducing energyconsumption by 41% and water consumption by 48%. This building aswell will be equipped with wind energy technology.

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Additionally, the company is building 20 M St. in Washington,DC. The 190,633-sf, 10-floor, class A office building has alsoapplied to receive LEED Gold certification. Construction shouldcomplete this spring.

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The investment, Charvet says, makes sense from a businessstandpoint, and in the big picture as well. "We have limitedenvironmental resources. It is only right to do what you can toconserve them."

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