More and more, we’re seeing our commercial clients moving to landscape solutions that are more sustainable and drought-tolerant, saving them money in maintenance fees and water bills. One of our commercial clients in particular is implementing this landscape strategy in all new projects, as well as retrofitting projects they currently own and/or manage.
This project was their first redevelopment, and it is also their corporate headquarters. In addition to adopting a new development strategy, they knew their major tenant, who occupied over 50% of the lease space, was scheduled to move to their new corporate headquarters mid-2019. The project is in an older office setting and competition for lease space is very strong in the area. They knew that curb appeal and look were very important to providing a competitive leasing advantage and they staged the redevelopment to coincide with the tenant move out.
The redevelopment of the landscape presented several challenges, the first of which was that we could not disrupt the use of the facility by the tenants. We addressed this issue by staging the work and performing the work in non-peak hours for the tenants and management. The second challenge was that the building is in a municipality that is very “pro-landscape” and very involved in all facets of redevelopment. We were able to draw, review and present the plans to the city for approval long before work was scheduled to begin, as to assure that we were didn’t lose time.
In terms of the landscaping, we were tasked with keeping as many trees as possible, yet opening visual corridors. We were able to achieve this by removing some of the older trees and lifting the canopies of the larger trees. Because we were transforming the beds from traditional, water-guzzling ones to drought-tolerant, water-saving beds, the irrigation system needed to be upgraded. We converted the irrigation system to drip irrigation, drastically reducing water usage. Additionally, since the turf areas were eliminated and replaced with perennial beds, the maintenance required went from weekly maintenance to bi-monthly!
We filled the perennial beds with native plants and trees, such as Vitex, Turk’s Cap, Inland Sea Oats and Red Yucca, all surrounded by warm and welcoming swaths of decomposed granite and river rock and accentuated by intermittent accent boulders.