PLANO, TX-At a mid-morning press conference, Dallas-based Cawley Wilcox has declared all construction going forward will be “green.” The announcement was made on the doorstep of the developer’s under-construction, 180,000-sf LEED-certified office building, 190 Wilcox Center.

“We started thinking about it and felt it was the right thing to do,” Bill Cawley, chairman and CEO of the Dallas-based company, tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re taking a stand and will create projects that are as environmentally friendly as possible.” In addition to 190 Wilcox Center at 3033 Texas 190, the developer is planning to scrape a 284-room hotel in Fort Worth and rebuild with a “green” office building. Cawley also plans to pursue cost-effective, environmentally friendly reforms for the rest of its 14-property, 3.5-million-sf portfolio in five states. He says the goal is to achieve LEED Platinum status, if possible.

Cawley says the team initially believed LEED construction would add 8% to 12% to 190 Wilcox Center’s cost. “And, we’re finding it’s more like 2% to 3%. I think in a couple more buildings, it will be cost neutral,” he says.

The under-construction class A 190 Wilcox Center will be the first LEED-certified building in Plano, according to Cawley. And, he’s eyeing a “Gold” stamp for the project, which delivers in mid-November. The spec building, one of two planned for the 22-acre tract, is being marketed at $23.50 per sf plus electric.

“I believe there will be tenants that will be attracted to Wilcox Center because it’s a green building,” Cawley says. Although there are no deals in hand as yet, he says interest is running high, with several large users eyeing the second development site, where a concerted effort was made to retain all trees, map out an environmentally friendly landscape and use recyclable materials as a means to reduce its carbon footprint.

“The whole team really got excited about trying to deliver a green product,” Cawley says, citing the professional goal has filtered into employees’ personal lives as well. “We want to get to a carbon neutral position by 2010.” On the dais with him were Plano Mayor Pat Evans and David Rodriguez, vice chairman of the North Texas US Green Building Council.

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