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Green year for city hall, businesses

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

It’s been a year since Republican Mayor Greg Ballard launched the City’s Office of Sustainability. Actually the groundwork had been laid by his Democratic predecessor, Bart Peterson, but Ballard saw value to taxpayers in many elements of sustainability, such as energy savings and reduced pollution.

On Oct. 6, Ballard and his sustainability director, Karen Haley, outlined accomplishments in the first year. Highlights include the purchase of 89 hybrid electric vehicles for the city’s fleet, an additional 14 miles of on-street bike lanes, and 17 walk-up recycling bins.

They also noted that many firms and schools made extensive energy improvements, and that six had achieved so-called LEED certification, including LEED “gold” ratings at the headquarters of developer Shiel Sexton, environmental consulting firm August Mack and the not-for-profit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

The 47-year-old City-County Building could cost $700,000 a year less to operate, under options explored by city’s sustainability program. (IBJ File Photo)

The city also launched a major sustainability project for its flagship building—the City-County Building. Teaming with the Rocky Mountain Institute this summer, officials identified $678,500 a year in potential savings—principally through reduced electricity use. Recommendations include the installation of sensors that automatically turn off lights when nobody is in a room, use of LED lighting, and installation of lighting shafts to help illuminate the building’s underground parking garage. How to pay for those improvements is still being worked out.

The first annual report did not provide a detailed cost-benefit analysis of improvements made so far.

 

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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