- Written by: Neil Cote
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Turnover being a constant in the world of commercial property, there’s almost always ample office space to lease in the tallest building in Dallas: the 72-story, 1.8 million-square-foot Bank of America Plaza.
It’s on the 42nd floor where you’ll find Peloton, the company responsible for upgrading the iconic skyscraper to LEED Gold status, as well as leasing and management. As Bill Moebius, the affable senior vice president of commercial real estate reminds, what better way to display your specialty than by operating in the most conspicuous example of it.
In Peloton’s case, that specialty involves third-party leasing and management of energy-friendly commercial property in the Lone Star State’s major metropolitan areas: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
Exhibit A being the BOA Plaza, its many tenants have every incentive not to go elsewhere: Classy digs with a panoramic view of Big D that can’t be beat, along with all the means to mitigate the high air-conditioning costs that are another constant of doing business deep in the heart of Texas.
Good as that building is, Moebius says it’ll only get better.
Going for the Gold
“What we did with the LEED upgrade was put the building on a continual path to improve,” says Moebius, who brought his formidable credentials to Peloton in October 2014, after over a dozen years in a similar role with another Dallas company, Stream Realty Partners. “The building is in the process of finishing up a major energy upgrade that will enable it to operate even more efficiently.”
Now retrofitting a 921-foot modernist skyscraper in the robust Main Street District, while causing minimal inconvenience to its occupants, might seem like bypass surgery on an up-and-about patient. Only not to Moebius, who, during a February interview with U.S. Builders Review, likens it more to a minor outpatient operation.
“What we were doing was mostly working around the margins of the building, not the mainstream,” he explains. “Much of the time the tenants might not even have been aware of what was going on.”
It still took three years, however; the process only getting underway after an enthusiastic OK from BOA Plaza and meetings with the many tenants. All seemed on board for going for the Gold, which is just below the highest level of Platinum for points scored in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design report card, whose standards are perpetually rising. Particularly so for water efficiency, Moebius notes, adding that a high LEED score can’t be attained without the most progressive toilets, faucets and other plumbing fixtures.
Those accessories and more went into the BOA mix, and in 2016 the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council provided the Gold certificate for the hanging.
To date, energy efficiency measures have resulted in 67,000 fewer kilowatt hours annually, placing BOA Plaza in the top 25 percent of similar buildings. Meanwhile, water efficiency has saved over 2.5 million gallons, while recycling has diverted more than 582,000 pounds of consumables from landfills. As far as indoor environment is concerned, it’s been enhanced by low-impact cleaning products, effective janitorial equipment and high-quality air filtration.
Thinking globally, acting locally
“I look upon sustainability as being among the best management practices—it’s a win-win-win scenario for the owner, manager and tenant,” Moebius says. “It’s really something the firm was focusing on long before I arrived. It’s great for our clients and keeps us in good standing as a founding member of Dallas 2030 District.”
Moebius is referring to the city’s participation in Architecture 2030, an international effort fronted by the venerable architect Ed Mazria, who advocates sustainability as a means to prevent what he sees as irreversible climate change a dozen years from now.
Dallas is one of many major and midsized U.S. and Canadian cities agreeing to try to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by the middle of this century, and the Peloton crew gladly tries to do its part. After all, even if the science of climate change is unsettled, what company wouldn’t want to lower its utility costs?
Certainly not the companies that depend on Peloton for office space. With the Texas construction industry again humming, Peloton is fielding requests at all of its offices. Moebius notes increased opportunities in Houston, where the physical facilities of some companies remain staggered after Hurricane Harvey slammed the Gulf Coast last year. Some may be building from scratch, which is easier than retrofitting when it comes to energy efficiency.
“The construction industry is so hot now that companies are facing a dearth of qualified workers,” Moebius says. “Although we’ve had properties in Houston for years, we haven’t had that major a presence, but we’re ramping up efforts there now. All signs point to significant growth.”
An expanding footprint
And not just in Dallas and Houston. Moebius points with pride to his company’s management of a couple of Austin projects.
There’s Prominent Pointe, a three-story Class A office building of 105,000 square feet, enhanced by a high-performance glass skin, thermal storage that boosts off-peak energy generation, 95 percent exterior LED lighting and four charging stations for electric cars.
The Texas capital being at the forefront of a progressive agenda on all fronts, it lauds Prominent Pointe, as well as the suburban Las Cimas II and III office complex, both facilities ENERGY STAR certified with scores in the low 90s.
It’s an impressive Peloton portfolio, clients ranging from the largest banks and insurance companies to small commercial investors, and the firm maintaining a team of brokers, as well as property and asset managers, among its work force of about 200.
But, as Moebius says, Peloton must stay ahead of the curve, with the industry constantly changing. Peloton’s expertise is constantly enhanced with up-to-date software, providing for maximum energy sustainability and optimization.
Then there’s the personnel factor.
“Our people and our culture are at the top of the list,” says Moebius, who logged four years as a Navy lieutenant between earning degrees from Rice University (managerial studies) and the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin (MBA). “We work hard to train and educate our people on an ongoing basis to ensure that everyone is employing the best practices.”
The Dallas Building Owners and Managers Association might weigh in on that count, having awarded Peloton its Outstanding Building of the Year award last year. That, of course, is the BOA Plaza that overshadows every other structure around Dallas and Fort Worth.
“A minor outpatient operation?”
Well, maybe to the folks at Peloton.
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