The Flats has often been called the birthplace of Cleveland. Soon, it will gain a new tagline when it’s reborn as the city’s first green-certified neighborhood.
The Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties, co-developers of the Flats East Bank project, are using sustainable building practices in the $272 million project, which broke ground in December. The project’s financing dried up in 2008, but the developers revived the deal, cobbling together more than 35 public and private funding sources. The first phase will include an office tower, hotel, retail and 14-acre riverfront park.
Last year, the U.S. Green Building Council certified that the project had met Phase I criteria for Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND). LEED is considered to be the national standard for sustainable design.
“Early on, the developers committed to pursue LEED Neighborhood status, and also a green-built project,” says Justin Glanville, Project Director for Building Cleveland by Design (BCBD), a collaboration of two nonprofits, ParkWorks and Cleveland Public Art, to inject more thoughtful design into prominent building projects in Cleveland.
“This is the direction the market is headed,” adds Glanville. “Prospective tenants asked the developers about energy-efficient design because it lowers occupancy costs.”
The Flats East Bank project meets LEED-ND criteria by incorporating LEED-certified buildings, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, the use of recycled content in building materials, roof gardens, reduced water use, and a reduced parking footprint. It also gets points for compact development, connection to the river and brown field remediation.
BCBD states that Cleveland is fourth in the U.S. in the number of projects seeking LEED-ND certification. The developers hired BCBD to complete the certification process.