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Most people support the “Green Movement” in real estate for all of the feel-good reasons. It helps preserve our planet, provides a more pleasant work environment, and seems like “the right thing to do.” But few people are willing to pay extra for it.

The real estate industry has invested a great deal of brain power trying to figure out how to get tenants to pay more for the upgraded environment these new earth conscious green buildings provide, but has spent comparatively little effort figuring out how to profit from upgrading existing, obsolete buildings to today’s green standards.

Manekin is spending time and money on exactly that. And for us, the answer is in repurposing buildings. To profit, the building must be one that can be changed to a higher and better use without demolishing the building and bruising the pro-forma with extra cost.

If a warehouse can be re-skinned and converted to retail or a one-story office building, without the cost associated with creating a completely new building, the numbers change dramatically. If handled correctly, environmental guidelines could end enhance – rather than impede – the number of new class A buildings.

While we use green features and materials to drive a green certification to the building, what can be friendlier to the environment than repurposing a functionally obsolete building? Don’t think of green as a necessary evil imposed on us by government regulations, but as an opportunity for profits.