Even in a floundering economy, the so-called “green” movement is blossoming in the Inland Empire.
The economy might not be throwing commercial real-estate professionals champaign salaries like it was before the downturn, but now seems better than ever to capitalize on renewable technologies, according to some who work in the field.
“(The green movement) is chugging along faster,” said Mary Sullivan, long-time commercial market researcher and owner of Riverside-based Sullivan Consulting Services.
“On the development side, it takes a while, but people are realizing it won’t be as expensive as they once thought.”
Tenants looking to rent space are increasingly inquiring about green office and industrial buildings, she said.
“It was originally thought to be more expensive, and there are still financial challenges,” Sullivan said. “But they realize they can recapture that in long-term (energy efficiency) savings.”
One of the largest local green projects garnering attention is a 600,000 square-foot rooftop on a large industrial building in Fontana. Several photovoltaic solar panels that will eventually transform sunlight into electricity are being installed by Rosemead-based electricity provider Southern California Edison.
The project is the first step of a larger $875 million proposal to fill more rooftops with solar panels. Edison is waiting for approval within the next six months from the California Public Utilities Commission to move forward.