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Remain conscious of the environment

BY SRI PONNADA | OCTOBER 04, 2012 6:30 AM

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There is a proposal by Kinseth Hospitality Companies to build a new 12-story building downtown. This proposed structure would be near the intersection of Burlington and Clinton Streets, at 320 S. Clinton St., and would house two hotels — Holiday Inn and StayBridge Suites.

Half of the building would house Holiday Inn, which will accommodate people for shorter periods of time, while the other half would house Staybridge Suites, which is ideal for persons who want an extended stay. Although this is a unique project and would possibly lead to the development of the Riverfront Crossing District, part of which was damaged by flooding, its construction may not be the best idea.

Every year, approximately 170,000 commercial buildings are constructed in the United States. According to the EPA, commercial buildings, such as hotels, used 49 percent of the 72 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption in 2006 that buildings accounted for. These buildings release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus contributing to the warming of our environment.

Building-related construction and demolition debris totals approximately 160 million tons per year, according to the EPA — and only around 20 to 30 percent of that debris is recovered for processing and recycling.

In addition to that, Kinseth stated its intention to come to an agreement with city officials to use the parking ramp adjacent to the property. As we all know, Iowa City already has no place to park. Where are these new people coming into town going to put their cars?

The city needs to invest in new development that protects its citizens and rejuvenates its environment. There are many other ways to revitalize an area other than building fancy buildings for businesses. Something as simple as planting some trees and building a small fountain to make a park could significantly enhance Iowa City’s aesthetic appearance and also invite potential investors who won’t drastically change our city’s dynamic.


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