Vegas' First LEED Gold Retrofit Opens

Vegas' First LEED Gold Retrofit Opens

By Natalie Dolce, Globe

Shangri-La Construction and Thompson National Properties opened its first joint development project, a retrofitted class A office building in Las Vegas is the first in the state of Nevada to be awarded Gold certification under the USGBC’s LEED rating system. The 1960s office building, located at 302 E. Carson Ave. in downtown Las Vegas, was the centerpiece at a grand opening event held Wednesday with special guests Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman; and Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the USGBC.

The formerly obsolete 1960s-vintage building “now stands as a beacon for sustainable property redevelopment in the downtown Las Vegas revitalization zone,” according to a prepared statement. Efficiency upgrades incorporated as part of the retrofit across eleven floors and 162,000 rentable square feet are projected to decrease building energy use by more than 30% and water consumption by 40%, which will reduce and stabilize long-term operating costs.

The $11.5 million building retrofit was completed in 13 months by Shangri-La Construction in the role of general contractor with building management by Thompson National Properties. The building revitalization generated approximately 250 green collar and conventional construction jobs in Las Vegas, according to the statement, with an estimated 60% of work performed by union labor.

As previously reported, there are currently four tenants in the upgraded building. Clark County Constable’s Office took 12,300 square feet for the entire 5th floor, Shangri-La Construction signed on for 2,664 rentable square feet on the 3rd floor, ViaWest Inc. took 3,987 rentable square feet, and Corelink Data Center LLC took 1,353 rentable square feet.

“We have demonstrated that retrofitting can be a smart and viable option to upgrade and redevelop aging properties in less time while reducing demolition debris and construction materials used as compared to new build projects,” said Andy Meyers, CEO, Shangri-La Construction, at the opening. “Shangri-La Construction offers organizations strategic sustainable construction design and build services, and it is our holistic and comprehensive approach that made it possible to complete this top to bottom upgrade in just 13 months.”

New building features at 302 E. Carson Ave. include: chiller replacement and extensive HVAC efficiency upgrades—to improve building performance by more than 30%, saving in excess of $50,000 per year in electricity costs; cooling tower replacement—to increase energy efficiency and improve interior air quality; solar white roof—light colored roof to reduce its urban heat island effect and interior building temperature; window system replacement—new dual glaze windows reduce heat transfer into the building, lowering utility bills and increasing tenant comfort; plumbing upgrades—low-flow and no-flush plumbing fixtures have been installed to reduce water use in the building by 40%, while native and drought tolerant landscaping has been installed with a drip irrigation system that reduces potable water use by more than 72%; and upgraded lobby, elevator and finishes—to modernize the building to current class “A” standards.

“We are very pleased to play a part in the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas through the renovation of 302 E. Carson Ave., the first portfolio project of the $100 million Thompson National Properties/Shangri-La Industries Green Building Fund,” said Tony Thompson, chairman and CEO of Thompson National Properties LLC, at the opening. “Through this fund we are redeveloping commercial properties via cost-effective renovations and leasing LEED certified buildings that recoup investment costs more quickly while our tenants enjoy working in more energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable buildings.”

As previously reported, TNP Vulture Fund VIII acquired the 11-story 162,000-square-foot property and an adjacent four-story parking garage in October of 2008 for $21.5 million. The seller was Barden Entertainment Corp. paid approximately $13 million for the property in 2006, according to county records.