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Demand for ‘LEED Silver’ Would Kill Hilton, Developer Says

At the Falls Church Planning Commission work session on the proposed Hilton Garden Inn Tuesday night, held in the Community Center because the air conditioning was out at City Hall, hotel developer Rich Palmer said that City insistence that the new hotel meet “LEED Silver” environmental standards “would be a deal killer.”

Among the revisions to the voluntary concessions sought by the developer group, Gosnell Palmer Holdings and the Young Group, for the project is a downgrade from a “LEED Silver” to a basic “LEED” standard, along with other changes. But the Planning Commission’s newest member, Bob Loftur-Thun, insisted that “LEED Silver” is required to maintain the quality of the Falls Church “brand.” Palmer responded that the difference could involve “a whole different HVAC system,” and could add 7-to-10 percent to the cost of building the hotel.

He said that cost savings, without diminishing the quality of the overall product, are required to achieve financing. The matter was put to further study.