[IMGCAP(1)]FORT WORTH-Trademark Property Co., with Ware Architecture at its side, is taking the initiative to secure LEED core and shell certification for a $1-billion pipeline of mixed-use space. The pursuit includes some existing space, including the one-million-sf Padre Staples Mall in Corpus Christi, TX and an office building that’s under contract in West Fort Worth.

Trademark’s pledge is considered the largest of its type for mixed use and retail space in North Texas and possibly the entire state. “I don’t know of anything larger,” says David Rodriguez, Ware’s VP and vice chairman of the North Texas US Green Building Council.

Going forward, all Trademark development and redevelopment projects will be green. The initial pledge covers five mixed-use projects in Texas and one in Colorado.

“We’re committed to everything we’re developing and redeveloping being LEED certified,” Terry Montesi, CEO of the Fort Worth-based Trademark, stresses to GlobeSt.com. “We’re not aware of any developer who’s said going forward our entire pipeline is going to be LEED certified. We believe it’s the right thing to do.”

Similar pledges have been made by Houston-based Hines and CalPERS, Dallas-headquartered Cawley Wilcox, Granite Properties Inc., also from Dallas, and Jacksonville, FL-based Regency Centers Inc. But, all have included the caveat that it will be done “when it makes sense” or as in Regency’s case, a percentage of its project load. In the Phoenix metro, Indianapolis-based Lauth Property Co. is planning to build 1.23-million sf of mixed-use LEED space in 2008.

In going a step further, Montesi not only vows to pursue certification for ground-up space, but also existing buildings in its redevelopment pipeline. “We have an incredible opportunity to make a significant change,” he says. “And, I believe the market in a few years will put a lower value on properties that aren’t LEED certified.”

[IMGCAP(2)]Rodriguez says the first Trademark property to earn the certification most likely will be the 1.15-million-sf Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm at US Hwy. 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen, north of Dallas. The application has just gone in to the USGBC in Washington, DC. Due diligence is under way on the Padre Staples Mall at 5488 S. Padre Island Dr. Solar and geothermal energy sources are being explored as the team starts to plan how to turn a 40-year-old dinosaur mall into an energy-efficient commercial behemoth.

“Existing buildings are challenging,” Rodriguez says. To earn LEED Existing Building certification, changes will have to be made to older buildings’ mechanical systems to reduce energy consumption and improve the health and welfare of daily occupants. “Every building is different and every component is different,” he says, adding the variables make costs difficult to calculate.

Rodriguez is one of four LEED-accredited architects in the seven-employee firm in Dallas. Others are Billy Ware, president and partner; Brian McLaren, partner; and Nadine Krutcher, architect.

As Trademark’s sustainable consultant, Rodriguez is overseeing the design and LEED process for Trademark’s High Street, a 370,000-sf dense urban mixed-use along Westheimer Road in Houston, and WestBend, a 320,000-sf mixed-use campus surrounding an existing office and hotel at the intersection of Interstate 30 and University Drive in Fort Worth.

Trademark’s LEED-certified pipeline includes the 500,000-sf Market Street Flowood,, a lifestyle and power center along Lakewood Drive in Flowood, MS, and a 90-acre development with residential, office, retail and a hotel in Avon, CO.

Trademark’s introduction to LEED possibilities was the 150-acre Alliance Town Center along Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, which is part of a USGBC pilot neighborhood program. Trademark’s partner, Hillwood, took the initiative to get the project into the pilot program and also has earmarked select developments in its portfolio for LEED certification. Hillwood’s senior development manager David Karr is a LEED-accredited professional.

“We have started designing these projects from scratch with all of our consultants knowing we want to be LEED certified. All of our employees know that and all of our consultants know that,” Montesi says.

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