Oro Valley Marketplace has earned Silver certification for meeting Leadership Energy and Environmental Design standards as established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Vestar Corp., development is the first retail project in Arizona to earn the designation, and one of the first in the Southwest, a release said.

"Vestar is proud of its corporate commitment to creating projects that have a positive impact on the surrounding community," said David Larcher, Vestar executive vice president. "Oro Valley Marketplace is a wonderful example of our 20-year commitment to responsible development. And with advancements in green building materials and the availability for retail applications, we anticipate more environmental achievements within our projects."

"With an owner committed to doing the right thing and a cooperative design and construction team, we were able to put together a green design, construction and operations plan that represents a model for future retail development in Arizona," said Jerry Yudelson, principal of Yudelson Associates. "This project exemplifies what you can do with land use, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials choices, leasing guidelines and operating practices, to achieve green development goals."

"The strength of USGBC has always been the collective strength of our leaders in the building industry," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Vestar Development demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification of Oro Valley Marketplace."

Oro Valley Marketplace is "the largest environmental restoration project in Oro Valley history, and today, the riparian area is a mecca for hikers, bikers, horses, shoppers and of course, birds," the release said.

"As exemplified by this project, the benefits from Oro Valley Marketplace extend far beyond the convenience and revenue brought to the town," said David Malin, Vestar senior project manager. "We are delighted to serve as a statewide model for environmental sustainability."

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