- May 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 5

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The next stage: A sustainable investment strategy needs to go beyond classifications to encompass the neighborhood

by Doug Poutasse

Commercial real estate investors who equate sustainability only with building certifications are behind the curve. Yes, investments made to achieve certifications such as LEED and ENERGY STAR demonstrably increase net operating income (NOI) and enhance return on investment (ROI). But what happens within the walls of buildings is only half the battle. Today, a smart, sustainable investment strategy focuses on areas where the built environment supports the attraction and retention of the talent required to sustain growth through business cycles. These areas have multiple names — live-work-play neighborhoods, transit-oriented developments and walkable cities — but these terms do not quite capture the totality of their appeal. We call them sustainable urban neighborhoods because they enable a vibrant, amenitized lifestyle while reducing environmental impacts and time lost to commuting. And of importance, they are capable of sustaining dense populations effectively over the long term

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