By Susan Minichiello
Premier Maintenance client Ronus Properties prides itself on being an innovative, environmentally conscious property ownership and management company. Proving this notion once again, the company recently installed two electric car charging stations in West Hartford at Blue Back Square (BBS), a mixed-use development that comprises about 600,000 square feet of residential, retail, restaurant, office and medical space. Ronus/BBS officially unveiled the stations on July 22, 2011.
Will Lorenz, property manager at BBS, is very cognizant of the need for “green” thinking. He came up with the idea of installing the charging stations as both an environmental endeavor and a service to BBS tenants. He spearheaded the effort, proposing the idea first to Ronus and securing corporate approval, and then working in partnership with the newly-formed Connecticut Electric Car (CEC; a division of Newington Electric Company) and General Electric (GE) to bring the plan to fruition.
“We are pleased to be one of the first developments in the area to offer electric car charging stations to our tenants and would like to thank Ed Ingalls of Connecticut Electric Car and General Electric for working with us on this project,” Lorenz said.
In fact, BBS is the first such property in the state to install electric car charging stations. The GE Level II charging stations are located in the Lexicon garage to which BBS residents, tenants and employees all have access. BBS Project Marketing Manager Barbara Lerner believes electric cars are the wave of the future and said the company wanted to be ahead of the curve, installing charging stations now before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and wait lists inevitably come into play. She also said that the stations are very practical for the populations they serve.
“Most of our employees and tenants live and work within a 40-mile radius, and since the average electric car can go about 40 miles on a full charge, having the charging stations here makes perfect sense,” Lerner said. “There is definitely a growing need for this type of service, and we’re happy to provide it to the consumers taking advantage of all that Blue Back Square has to offer.”
Lerner and Lorenz both hope that other area properties and towns will follow their lead. Connecticut Electric Car President Ed Ingalls told the West Hartford News, “Electric cars are becoming very popular in Connecticut and are catching on fast.” He is targeting municipalities, retailers, restaurants, and other types of properties to make them aware of the potential sales draw of charging stations as well as the tax incentives currently available.
According to the Hartford Business Journal, “Connecticut has expanded its electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the past two years as part of an initiative launched by former Governor M. Jodi Rell to prepare for the rollout of more electric vehicles in the marketplace.” The state now has 13 electric car charging stations in place, including the two at BBS, and an additional 15 stations are “in the planning stages.”
In step with its other environmentally-friendly practices, BBS takes advantage of the Green Cleaning Solutions offered by Premier Maintenance. Premier is contracted by Ronus to provide cleaning services for the Lexicon and Rutherford buildings, which primarily house office and medical space, and to do major cleaning when there is tenant or resident turnover.
“We have long advocated the benefits of green cleaning and encouraged clients to get on board,” said Premier President Michael Diamond. “Working with Ronus and the BBS development takes this to a whole new level and we are proud to serve such a forward-thinking, green-conscious company.”
(Pictures courtesy of CEC and BBS)