From: Paul Schaefer
Published November 1, 2007 03:45 PM

Regency Centers Launches Major Green Sustainable Building Initiative

 Jacksonville, Fla. – After months of intensive preparation Regency Centers (NYSE: REG), a national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers, is planning a major greening of its developments, operating properties and corporate operations nationwide. 

In new developments, Regency will include smart irrigation and planting of native foliage, low flow plumbing fixtures, low volatile organic compounds (VOC) in paints and adhesives, high efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) efficiency and lighting for reduced energy consumption, and eco-friendly housekeeping chemicals, among others. In existing centers, the new baseline measures - called "Greenlight' - will be incorporated, along with new capital expenditure guidelines such as “cool” roofs, native plants and parking lot lighting that will be installed when replacement of the existing elements becomes necessary. Also, tenant build-out guidelines will be provided to tenants to guide their choices as they build out their space, including suggestions for efficient lights, low VOC in paints and adhesives and other sustainable practices and products.

The company adopted the recommendations of its green building task force formed last year. The group studied how Regency could best incorporate environmental sustainability into its business strategy and operations. In addition, the company has formed a partnership with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to create a method that would enable Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for shopping center developments.

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According to Hap Stein, Regency Centers CEO and chairman of the board, the company will begin a variety of programs designed to mitigate where practicable Regency’s impact on the environment. “We’ve taken a global look at Regency’s practices and have established higher environmental standards. As a result, our company will fulfill our commitment to becoming better stewards in the communities we serve through operating and development practices,” said Stein.

“Regency strives to be a leader in the shopping center industry,” Stein said, “Becoming a sustainable owner and LEED developer is not only the right thing to do, it’s something we’re committed to, and thanks to the hard work and diligent research of our task force, we have a plan to make Regency a more sustainable company thereby lessening our impact on the environment,” he said.

“We began our intensive ‘green’ task force study group in October 2006 to investigate how every area of Regency’s business model could incorporate and support sustainable building and operating practices and LEED certification,” said Brian Smith, Regency Centers chief investment officer. “Ultimately, the task force, which was comprised of subcommittees of Regency team members in construction, development, operations and marketing, presented their findings to our executive committee. Their recommendations were embraced by our top executives.  The Company has implemented LEED certification goals for our new developments as well as baseline sustainability measures and initiatives that will be implemented into our existing properties and corporate operations,” he said.

According to Smith, the company has committed to LEED certify 20 percent of its 2008 development starts, 40 percent of 2009’s starts and  60 percent of its 2010 development starts.  In addition, beginning next year, the Company will incorporate LEED certification into redevelopments of existing properties.

According to Stein, the company plans to hire a Sustainability Officer to oversee corporate-wide initiatives on sustainability and green building in the form of Regency’s sustainability plan.

The company’s “Greenlight” program is an element of the overall plan and is a nominal cost/ no cost baseline of sustainability measures that will be incorporated into all new and existing centers.

“In addition to our shopping center Greenlight initiatives and LEED certification goals, our corporate operations will implement in-house recycling programs, sustainable design features for new offices, purchasing policies emphasizing recycled content, a campaign to reduce printing, just to name a few,” Smith said.

Regency has identified the USGBC as the brand leader in sustainable building certification.  In addition, Regency is partnering with USGBC to create a method to attain LEED certification for shopping centers, which does not currently exist. “The shopping center initiative with the USGBC is a collaborative effort involving retailers and the developer to integrate sustainability into the shopping center format that ultimately will result in LEED certification for the entire center,” said Smith. “LEED has been recognized by the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations as the most appropriate and credible sustainable building rating system available. We’ve begun pursuing LEED certification at Shops of Santa Barbara in California, a Whole Foods-anchored shopping center Regency currently has under development, and have announced our intent to pursue the certification of Shops on Main, a lifestyle and town center the Company is developing in the greater Chicago area,” he said.

Regency is the leading national owner, operator, and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers.  At September 30, 2007, the Company owned 447 retail properties, including those held in co-investment partnerships. Including tenant-owned square footage, the portfolio encompassed 59.0 million square feet located in top markets throughout the United States.  Since 2000 Regency has developed 179 shopping centers, including those currently in-process, representing an investment at completion of approximately $2.8 billion.  Operating as a fully integrated real estate company, Regency is a qualified real estate investment trust that is self-administered and self-managed.

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