Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Parmenter Focuses on Sustainability


“In a perfect world VHA would have stayed, we would have removed the lease risk and then sold the building,” Hedderich says. “We hoped for the best but planned for the worst.”
DALLAS – The former VHA Place has been renovated and renamed by the owners, a partnership between Parmenter Realty Partners and American National Insurance Co. As part of the renovation process, the new Mandalay Towerreceived LEED Siler certification for existing buildings.
When Parmenter purchased the 325,000-square-foot property in 2010, Josh Hedderich, asset manager for Mandalay Tower, says they were unsure of the future. As GlobeSt.com reported at the time, the 13-story property was in foreclosure and purchased for roughly $16 million.
Hedderich tells GlobeSt.com the company was able to purchase the property for such a low price due to the down market at the uncertainty of the major tenant.    
VHA’s lease was set to expire in May of 2014. The company had been in place for nearly 15 years and leased 74% of the building, In late 2012, VHA made plans to relocate, leaving Parmenter to consider next steps.
“In a perfect world VHA would have stayed, we would have removed the lease risk and then sold the building,” Hedderich says. “We hoped for the best but planned for the worst.”
But the worst ended up being the best as the company launched a renovation plan that would take the 1980s building into the modern era and in the end earn them a LEED Silver certification. Due to budget concerns, sustainability manager, Eileen Gohr, says they were shooting for just obtaining LEED certification, but were able to put in place a number of systems that were both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Now the common areas have a lighter and more open feel. Building amenities include a fitness center and wi-fi lounge off the lobby for those looking to step out of the office for a while.
Once VHA’s space becomes available, at the end of the month, the property will be 21% occupied. But Hedderich says earlier in the week they inked a lease deal with at least one more on the immediate horizon, which will leave between 135,000 and 150,000 square feet of space remaining to be filled. Hedderich says they have twice as much interest as space available, with many potential tenants attracted to the amenities the space offers as well as the LEED certification.
Creating space that is environmentally friendly is one of Parmenter’s top priorities, according to Gohr. This latest certification brings Parmenter’s LEED certified portfolio to 4.9 million square feet. With the three more projects the company plans to complete this year, Parmenter will have nearly 7 million square feet of LEED certified property, or 82% of its total portfolio.
“We have always had a commitment to green building and being leaders in sustainability,” Hedderich says. “This translates into lower costs and a happy, healthier environment.”