When the real estate market was booming a few years ago, everyone was looking for an edge, and the interest in sustainability and green building methods began to take off. By spending a little more in construction, developers were able to market a project as environmentally friendly and achieve a long-term reduction in operating costs, which created considerable added appeal for their properties.
Even as lenders have tightened up financing and developers have canceled or scaled back projects over the last few years, green building has managed to stay on the radar. Some developers have been reluctant to add any costs to projects, even if minimal, as the need to shrink construction budgets has been a primary focus. Others, however, have seen that the return on investment is worth the additional cost, particularly if they plan to hold a building for any significant length of time.
Although Florida has not been at the forefront of green building, several markets in the state are starting to catch up. A recent article in the Tampa Tribune explained the impact of the sustainability culture on the Tampa Bay market.
In addition, a recent report prepared for the Energy Foundation shows the potential for billions of dollars in financing opportunities associated with sustainability.
As the real estate market continues to rebound from the economic downturn, we encourage our clients to consider all potential financing resources and concepts for development. As Gerald M. Stern said in The Buffalo Creek Disaster: “Sometimes you do well by doing good.”