John Zanetos

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Los Angeles is the sixth greenest city on the planet. Accordingto a new report from CBRE, which analyzed greenbuildings around the globe, 49.4% of the commercial space in LosAngeles is green certified, meaning that they have an EPA ENERGYSTAR label, USGBC LEED certification. Los Angeles' green rating hasbeen growing steadily, and this year, the city's square footage ofgreen space increased by 3%. To find out more about Los Angeles'green buildings and the benefits, we sat down with CBRE'sJohn Zanetos for an exclusive interview.

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GlobeSt.com: What do you think is driving the growthof Green Building in Los Angeles?

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John Zanetos: The driving fuel behindgreen building growth in Los Angeles has come from twosources. One, fund managers for real estate have pressurefrom investors to make sure their portfolio of real estate is LEEDcertified and has a minimal impact on the environment. Inaddition, many corporate users of real estate have their ownmandates to make sure their own occupancy of space has a minimalimpact on the environment. Generally speaking, this willguide tenants to LEED-certified and Energy Star-ratedbuildings.

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GlobeSt.com: For investors/landlords, what are thebenefits, other than that it is good to protect theenvironment?

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Zanetos: The benefits includeincreased occupancy and increased building values. Mosttenants in today's office market will gravitate to a LEED-certifiedbuilding versus a non-LEED-certified one, if all other factors areequal. In addition, the operating efficiencies over time willallow the landlord to achieve a higher net operating income, andthis will increase the building's value.

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GlobeSt.com: Has Los Angeles' rank beenincreasing?

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Zanetos: Yes. Los Angeles has been atthe forefront for many green initiatives, and it is growing. Los Angeles was one of the first major markets to have officebuildings designated as LEED Platinum – both existing buildings andnew buildings. Los Angeles is also seeing innovativeapproaches to merging green initiatives with health &wellness. For example, CBRE's headquarters office in downtownhas both the LEED Platinum certification and Delos Wellnesscertification.

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GlobeSt.com: How does the city compare with othermajor cities, globally and domestically?

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Zanetos: The demand for buildings withgreen initiatives is ultimately driven by the end users. Generally speaking, the tenant base in Los Angeles has a preferencefor product that has minimal impact on the environment. Inaddition, the local regulations that have recently been passed withrespect to the “Existing Buildings Energy and Water EfficiencyProgram” should fuel more landlords to implement green measures attheir properties.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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