Factbox: Urban sustainability lab planned in Texas

(Reuters) - A public-private partnership between the Texas A&M University System and Dallas-based Realty Appreciation Ltd is developing a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use urban community north of Dallas, where companies and researchers will test devices and technology for sustainable living.

The proposed Urban Living Laboratory will use a technology platform inside and outside each building to monitor the performance of energy- and water-saving devices and designs. An open research platform will allow scientists from any university to access data to research a wide variety of urban sustainability issues.

The $127 million Urban Living Laboratory is expected to break ground in late 2011 and to be built in phases. It will include:

- Phase 1: Sustainability Center, the research and development hub for the complex, which will host conferences and serve as the network operations center, is set to begin construction in early 2012. Cost: $8.8 million. A total of 300 multifamily units will also be built. Cost: $25.9 million.

- Phase 2: Construction of office and retail space along with more multifamily residences planned in 2013. Cost: $34.5 million.

- Phase 3: Construction of a hotel, with additional office and retail space seen in 2014. Cost: $22.7 million 34.5

- Phase 4: Multifamily and student housing to be built in 2015. Cost: $14.1 million.

- Phase 5: Additional mixed-use space for retail and hospitality use seen in 2016. Cost $21.4 million.


Reporting by Eileen O’Grady, editing by Gerald E. McCormick