In exchange for adding renewable energy and building its warehouse to LEED standards, Testa Produce is getting a building site from the city of Chicago for one dollar.
Renewable energy should provide about 55 percent of the facility’s electricity needs, resulting in up to $90,000 a year in savings, said President Peter Testa.
In early March, Testa sought to have the city sell the lot for a dollar, reports Crains Business. The 13-acre lot, at the old city stockyards, is valued at $1.6 million.
Testa confirmed that the deal went through in late March, and construction might be complete by December.
“With this deal, the city has put a challenge out there to other companies,” Testa said. “That’s been Mayor Daly’s plan for several years, and now it’s up to the city’s business community to live up to the challenge.”
The 86,000 square-foot warehouse will include a 245-foot-tall wind turbine, which Testa says will be the first of its kind in Chicago.
The $20 million building also will have roof and pole-mounted solar photovoltaic panels and solar-powered water heating.
The building will cost about 20 percent more than if Testa had gone with a less environmentally friendly design, Testa said.
Testa said the building should be the first LEED Platinum food distribution facility in the U.S.
Here are some other features of the building:
– partially vegetated roof to prevent storm-water runoff
– an external retention pond, along with an internal filtered cistern, will capture and recycle water for non-potable uses such as landscaping
– permeable pavers in parking lot will drain to a live wetlands
– skylights will help provide interior ambient lighting
As for Testa’s other operations, the distributor has converted its delivery fleet to biodiesel and company cars are hybrids.
The firm also plans to install electrical ports for plug-in hybrid vehicles as the technology becomes more available.