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Old Posted May 2, 2007, 4:02 PM
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Portland's Pearl: HSP applies for LEED for Neighborhood Development Prog

Hoyt Street Properties Vying for Participation in Pilot LEED for Neighborhood Development Program

Pearl District Developer Submits Portland Urban Renewal Zone for Consideration

Hoyt Street Properties, the largest developer in Portland’s Pearl District, is vying for certification in the U.S. Green Building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Development program, a pioneering rating system that extends the possibility of LEED certification from individual buildings to entire neighborhoods. In its pilot phase, the program is intended to become the first national standard for green neighborhood design. Hoyt Street Properties has submitted its urban renewal project in the Pearl District for consideration by the U.S. Green Building Council, detailing how sustainable development practices helped to realize one of the most efficient, progressive, and renowned neighborhoods in the United States.

“We are excited to see strong parallels between our longtime approach to the Pearl District and the ideals described in the LEED for Neighborhood Development Program,” said Tiffany Sweitzer, President/CEO of Hoyt Street Properties. “Involvement in this groundbreaking program would complement our plans for the continuing development of the Pearl District. We will uphold and expand upon our longtime commitment to exploring and implementing eco-friendly solutions,” Sweitzer added.

Similar to the LEED program for individual projects, The LEED for Neighborhood Development program is a rating system that integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building. In the program’s pilot phase, the U.S. Green Building Council will select up to 120 projects to participate. After the pilot phase, the council will introduce the system to its comprehensive suite of LEED assessment tools, used to promote sustainable design, construction, and operations of the built environment.

Hoyt Street Properties is the development company responsible for transforming a 34-acre retired rail yard in a worn Portland industrial zone into a thriving mixed-use community called the Pearl District. A prime example of successful urban renewal, the area integrates homes, businesses, retail shops, restaurants, galleries, and parks into a vibrant and efficient multiuse neighborhood. In addition to incorporating eco-friendly components and features throughout its buildings, Hoyt Street Properties has applied an equally green approach in creating a community where limited car usage is made possible. Residents and visitors in the area enjoy the convenience of transportation options such as a streetcar, buses, and carefully designed roads and sidewalks where pedestrian and bike-friendly living is accommodated and encouraged.

Internationally recognized as a working model of responsible urban renewal, the Pearl District and Hoyt Street Properties have hosted dozens of visits from city planners, developers, and urban renewal experts from around the world. Most recently, Hoyt Street Properties has been studied by an Arkansas-based development company, Moses Tucker Real Estate, which is modeling an $80 million, 500,000-square-foot community in Little Rock after Hoyt’s development in Portland’s Pearl District.

Hoyt Street Properties has also been recognized by the Sierra Club, America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, for spearheading the transformation of a faded industrial zone into a revitalized multiuse community. In a first-of-its-kind report entitled, “Building Better: America’s Best New Development Projects,” the Sierra Club named the Pearl District as one of the nation’s 12 most eco-friendly development areas, and commended Hoyt Street Properties for working with the Portland Development Commission in creating a pedestrian-friendly environment where walking, cycling, and streetcars are embraced as viable means of transportation.

Hoyt Street Properties’ commitment to sustainable urban renewal practices will be paramount as the company approaches the second phase of development in the 34-acre parcel of Pearl District land. With over 2,500 dwelling units constructed to date- including condos, live/work spaces, affordable housing, and rentals- plus two city parks and approximately 90,000 square feet of retail space, the company’s plans for the remaining 10 acres will be devoted to high-performance designs with low environmental impact. Teaming with Portland firm, BOORA, as an architectural partner, Hoyt Street Properties has been devising a comprehensive Master Plan, which addresses the future vision for the remainder of the industrial land.

“Our efforts in the Pearl District are but halfway completed,” Sweitzer said. “ We will continue to support the evolution of this special neighborhood architecturally, culturally, and by continuing to make green, responsible development a top priority,” she added. “We are proud to play a role in fostering what has become one of the nation’s most sustainable neighborhoods, and we will continue to meet and exceed national standards in neighborhood design. Participation in the LEED for Neighborhood Development program would be a great honor for Hoyt Street Properties, the Pearl District, and our city as a whole,” Sweitzer concluded. Selected program participants will be notified in May 2007.

The LEED for Neighborhood Development system is from the U.S. Green Building Council in collaboration with the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development's location and design meet accepted high standards for environmentally responsible, sustainable, development.

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