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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Locally based Regency Centers and the US Green Building Council are teaming up to implement a pilot program aimed at developing “green” shopping centers across the country.

The goal of the program is to unite the various parties involved in shopping center construction in an effort to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification with new developments. Regency Centers and the council have been in discussions regarding the initiative since December 2006.

“There are many players involved in the development of a shopping center including the project developer, major and sub-major anchors, in-line shops and out parcels, to name a few,” says Regency Center CIO Brian Smith, in a prepared statement. “No one entity controls all of the components or determines to what degree they may or may not be constructed as green. As a result, it is difficult for one entity to achieve LEED certification on its own.”

The first project to be developed under the partnership is the 67,226-sf Shops of Santa Barbara, to be anchored by a Whole Foods, located at Hitchcock Way and State Street in Santa Barbara, CA. Partners in the project will include the City of Santa Barbara, Whole Foods and Circuit City, among others.

For the Santa Barbara project, Regency Centers and the council will develop an inclusive LEED scorecard for the shopping center. Each development participant earns LEED points for the green elements of the project under its control. Points earned by individual participants are then added together to determine whether a project has enough points to achieve LEED certification. If a project achieves LEED certification, all participants receive recognition.

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