First commercial 'green' building built in S.J.

March 21, 2008 10:48:21 AM PDT
A San Jose developer has built what he calls the city's first totally green retail center.

San Jose's City Hall prides itself on it, some homes are modeled after it and now a San Jose developer is basing his business on it.

The concept of going green.

"This is the first green commercial building in San Jose," said building owner Arzhang Kalbali.

The McKee Green Plaza looks like any other building on the city's East Side.

But walking through the two story building, it's clear the goal is energy efficiency and sustainability.

As far as the construction of this building, all the lights up above, they're on timer and they're low watt. And every single door and window is double-paned and every suite has a minimum of six sky lights. The cost for the owners to make sure the building went green - an extra $200,000.

"If we have a business that's a green building it will benefit not only us as a business owner but also as a community," said Kalbali.

"It's a community effort to achieve a green vision in doing what we can collaboratively," said Mary Tucker from the San Jose Department of Environmental Services.

This year, the city of San Jose unveiled its green vision - a 15 year plan aimed at cutting environmental problems and becoming a green model nationally, for technology and growth.

'It gives you shade at the same time there is light through to the inside," said Kalbali.

Kalbali hopes his plaza will act as a local model for developers in Silicon Valley.

"What they're doing at McKee Green Plaza is an example of what can be done with all the retail around the city," said Tucker.

According to PG&E, there are only about 15 buildings under construction right now, in San Jose, following the green concept.

Tenants who move in could end up saving up to 40 percent on their energy bill every month, but they'll pay more in other areas.

Office spaces at the McKee Green Plaza lease for 25 cents more per square foot than other retail centers.

It's the cost of going green.


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