Even today, the task of developing successful green places to live and work still means dealing with a number of unknowns and new ways of doing business. Nevertheless, SARES•REGIS Group of Irvine has emerged as one of O.C.’s pioneering green real estate developers.
The proof: Just last month, one of the company’s local landmark green developments – The Crossing in Anaheim – earned a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Nearby, the Canyon Point industrial development is a LEED Gold candidate, and it’s the first speculative green industrial project in the county. Even in an over-supplied industrial market, two of the buildings sold before the project was complete last September. One of the buyers was a South Korean company that has a green corporate mandate.
“We made the decision in 2006 that all our new ground-up developments would be green,” says John Hagestad, a managing director of the 17-year-old company, which develops and manages apartment communities and commercial property throughout the West.
It’s a pledge that the company has carried through to all levels of its operation. It has slashed water and energy use, stepped up recycling and switched to green cleaning products at all of the 16,000 apartments it manages.
“In this decade, we’ve cut the emissions of more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide gas through careful management of millions of square feet of commercial buildings,” Hagestad says. “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved.”
The Crossing’s 316-unit luxury, transit-oriented apartment community is designed to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. And SARES•REGIS Group upped the ante by establishing a property-wide smoke-free policy – a first in Orange County.
“Since smoke-free properties anywhere are rare, we weren’t sure whether it might take a bit longer to attract non-smoking residents,” says Mike Winter, senior vice president for the company’s Multifamily Development Division. “Turns out it didn’t. We opened in April, and The Crossing is 92 percent leased, which is ahead of schedule.”