The project will ultimately offer about 60,000 square meters of gross floor space, as compared to 15,000 square meters initially on the site at Grand-Saconnex, Geneva. The phase one buildings now under construction include Montreal, the residential building, and Kyoto, the first office building.
“We recognize that we have not just one building project but six or seven," said Dr Anne Glynn Mackoul, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, USA, a member of the Green Village steering committee. “The WCC has to reimburse the pension fund loan; however it aims to achieve much more.”
In undertaking the work, the WCC works closely with the leading Swiss construction and real estate services company, Implenia.
“Given the overall objective for income from the project, land lease for Stockholm was decided as a preferred strategy subject to the results of market tests and studies,” explained Mackoul. “The Montreal project launch was successful. The WCC is well on the way to meeting the net target result for Montreal”.
The WCC has selected a hotel operator for Rio, however, given the conditions in the hotel industry, that project is now on hold for review in autumn of this year.
“We go forward prayerfully, and with hope and vision,” said Mackoul.
Archbishop emeritus Dr Anders Wejryd, Church of Sweden, also a member of the Green Village steering committee, spoke about important steps toward clean energy in the Green Village. “For phase one, the Montreal and Kyoto buildings now under construction, energy for heating and cooling will be geothermal,” he explained. “The solar panels on the roofs will be connected to the main electricity grid, and will produce electricity for the Green Village buildings.” The energy plan is designed to meet the One Planet Living principles, which the WCC aims to adopt for the whole Green Village site, in cooperation with future owners and tenants.
“A building project is complex,” added Wejryd. “We do not go forward without meeting challenges.” He referred in particular to the impacts of COVID-19 on the local real estate market.
Yet the project continues to move forward, and the latest news has been positive, he said.
From 2012, WCC has been working on marketing, design, and sales related to the Green Village, but from 2022 there will be a new phase, planning for removal, demolition and construction, Wejryd said.
“We see the signs of hope and progress already today,” he concluded.