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Old Posted Dec 20, 2007, 3:42 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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Environmental group moving to Pearl site

Web Posted: 12/19/2007 08:13 PM CST

Creighton A. Welch
Express-News Business Writer

It already uses wind power and water collecting, supports a restaurant with locally grown food and soon will install the state's largest solar project. Now, to continue with its theme of environmental sustainability, the Pearl Brewery has added the Nature Conservancy as its most recent tenant.

The international group whose goal is to save land in its natural state signed a lease for 10,000 square feet of space at the Full Goods Building, a 67,000-square-foot "L-shaped" building under construction.

"They're great leaders for the environment," said Daryl Byrd, director of development with Silver Ventures, which is redeveloping Pearl Brewery.

The Nature Conservancy's Texas headquarters is already in San Antonio, at the Travis Park Plaza office building on Navarro Street. The group will move its office and have about 45 staff members at the new location.

"We're thrilled to be out there," said Linda Webb, director of finance and operations with the Nature Conservancy. "From what we can tell, it's going to be a very vibrant community that brings things together. And what's particularly exciting to us is all the Earth-friendly renovations they're doing."

Old vats that once held beer-making ingredients are being turned in to 7,500-gallon cisterns. The Full Goods Building will have three of those tanks.

The Full Goods Building also will have the largest solar project in the state, a $1.35 million effort that can generate up to 200 kilowatts at one time, which translates to a possible 260,076 kilowatt-hours per year — enough for one-fourth of the building's energy.

"It's all kind of fitting with the messages we're trying to promote, and the compounding effect you can have on the environment," Webb said.

The Nature Conservancy says it has helped protect more than 750,000 acres across Texas.

The brewery is already home to the Aveda Institute beauty school and the Center for Foods of the Americas culinary school. It also has Texas Farm to Table, a sandwich shop that uses ingredients mostly from in-state producers, and Synergy Studio, a yoga, Pilates and dance studio.

The first three apartments at Pearl Brewery, in the Can Recycling Building, also have been completed recently.

Despite all the new environmental measures, Silver Ventures hopes to keep in touch with the past with its reuse of relics such as beer vats, gas pumps, horse stables and train cars, which can be found around the brewery grounds.

"It's about today, but we want people to recognize its history," Byrd said.

Last edited by sirkingwilliam; Dec 20, 2007 at 4:47 AM.
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