The 2008 finanical crisis took down many developments, and the Green Exchange in Chicago was for a time among the victims. But well-capitalized Ledcor, a Chicago area-based construction company, teamed up with Baum Development to finance the LEED Platinum (adaptive reuse) renovation in 2011, rescuing the half-renovated project at at time when loans and tenants were hard to come by.
As I explain in this article, the 272,000-square-foot building has some extraordinary features (a rooftop garden, VFD cooling system, a 41,000 gallon cistern, energy-efficient windows) and has attracted tenants that include a green bank, architects, fair-trade tea importers, renewable-energy installers, and a shipping logistics company (Coyote Logistics) that specializes in backhaul-trucking efficiencies. In a meat-and-potatoes town such as Chicago, these services are transforming how traditional companies do business -- in ways that are greener, bring higher service levels and are more cost-effective.
Russ Klettke is a business writer with experience in sustainability, food, finance and services. Contact him to discuss your organization's communications needs.