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WASHINGTON, DC-Building valuations in many commercial real estate markets are in flux; the debt markets for finance remain frozen solid. Yet real estate developers, owners and investors are eager to investigate the return on investment in both developing green buildings and retrofitting existing ones to sustainable standards. Interest in green building has become a marked trend in the commercial real estate space, Real Estate Media’s RealShare conference producer Jason Young tells GlobeSt.com. “The interest is being driven by two main factors: one is the environment aspect, of course. But the other is the economic business case–how improvements, for instance, can add significant resale value to an asset and how a green building can deliver lower operating costs over a period of time.”

In two weeks, on June 3, approximately 350 people will be attending RealShare’s Green Buildings Conference here at the Grand Hyatt Washington. “It is important to note that this will not be a green building 101-type of event,” Young adds. “We will be looking at very sophisticated angles on this subject, most of which are focused on the economics or business case of green building.”

After opening remarks, the conference will kick off with a panel discussion called “the State of the Green Building Market.” Raymond Quartararo, managing director for the northeast region of Jones Lang LaSalle, will be moderating the panel, which will include Paul Beckwith, vice president of Construction at Northeast for Regency Centers, Aaron Binkley, director of Sustainability Programs at AMB Property Corp., James Finlay, vice president at Wells Fargo Bank and Aaron Liebert, SVP and area managing partner at JPI.

Roger Platt, senior vice president at the Real Estate Roundtable, will be moderating the next panel session, called “Green Buildings Power Panel: Leading Owners Speak Out on Retrofitting.” Tim Helmig, executive vice president and chief development officer at Monday Properties, and Stanley Roualdes, executive vice president and director of Property Management and Construction at the Shorenstein Co., are the two panelists. Olivia Millar, director of Sustainability and Workplace Strategies at Studley, will be moderating “Tenants Discuss the Importance of Green,” on which John Hirschfeld CEO of Class Green Capital Partners, and Jim Mayer, a partner at Holland & Knight, are paneled.

Paul Collins, senior managing director at Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers, Steve Gossett Jr., VP of Development at Transcend Equity, and Nicholas Stolatis, director of Strategic Initiatives and Asset Management at TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate, will be discussing financing trends during the “Green for Green: Financing and Investing in Green Buildings” session. Running concurrently will be “From The Ground Up: Greening During Construction,” on which Christopher Gorthy, East Coast sustainability manager for DPR Construction, Dean Newins, principal, Opus Architects & Engineers, Jake Ragusa, SVP at Koll Development Co., and Steven Shapiro of the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., are the panelists. Tom Boeck, SVP of Transwestern, is the moderator. Steven Rizzo, director of CodeGreen, will be moderating “Furnishing the Ultimate Green Office Space.”

“The Business Case for Green” will be the last panel of the day. Moderated by John Salustri, editorial director of Real Estate Media, panelists will include Shelby Christensen, director of property management and senior vice president for Liberty Property Trust, Victoria Kahn, managing director at ING Clarion Partners, Al Skodowski, SVP at Transwestern, Sally Wilson, global director of environmental strategy at CB Richard Ellis, and Brenna Walraven, chairman of BOMA International–an organization that has launched several green initiatives over the last year.

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