Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monterey lays claim to California’s first constitution, first public library and first theater. Developer Douglas Wiele hopes to add first green shopping center to the list.
Wiele, president of Foothill Partners, along with a team of architects, contractors and engineers, is in the final stages of seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the new Trader Joe’s shopping center on Munras Avenue. Currently, the retail plaza includes a Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Pharmaca holistic pharmacy and an outdoor courtyard and firepit. RG Burgers and Wild Plum Café are slated to open in April and May; Erik’s Deli, Kaya boutique and Massage Envy, a day-spa chain, are set for June.
If the development team is successful, the downtown Monterey shopping center will be the first LEED-certified one in the state. The U.S. Green Building Council will make its determination in less than two weeks.
“I am not an environmentalist,” Wiele says, “but I am a conservationist. I think the shopping center industry has been hard on communities, and I think as developers, we have a stewardship responsibility to do the right thing.
“Wall Street attaches no value to doing the right thing,” he continues. “But we agreed that if we could get it done on budget, on time, it would be worth it.”
The development team budgeted about $10,000 for material and construction costs. They came in under budget. Using green-building materials saved about $17,000 in construction costs.
To receive the green-building certification, developers must earn a minimum of 23 points for things like conserving water, building near public transportation and using recycled materials.
Foothill Partners expect to receive two LEED points for using steel framing, and for deconstructing – as opposed to demolishing – the old Safeway building that now houses Trader Joe’s. In the process, builders diverted 2,100 tons of concrete and asphalt from the landfill, recycling 96 percent of construction waste. Contractors also salvaged wood from the former Safeway roof, and Santa Rita stone from the building’s facade, and reused both materials to build Pete’s roof and exterior, respectively. Trader Joe’s uses waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets to save water, in addition to the center’s drip-irrigation system and drought-resistant plants. Indoors, low-chemical-emitting paints and glues earn points. So does its location: downtown, across the street from a public transit center.