Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An Eco-Friendly Concept from Our Neighbors to the North

In Chicago, Baum Development is hard at work converting a 93-year-old factory into a one-stop shop for environmentally focused stores and services. Known as the Green Exchange, the 250,000 square foot loft building will serve as a "green" retail center and an incubator for fledgling environmentally-conscious companies.

30 of the Green Exchange's 100 commercial spaces have already been leased. Tenants include an electric vehicle dealership, a car sharing service, a commercial printer that uses all-vegetable ink and recycled paper, and a company which sells hand-produced packaging for the specialty gift industry made from wild grass, banana fiber and other "tree free" paper.

True to the mission of the Green Exchange, Baum Development anticipates that the renovation will earn a silver certification from LEED. The project will include a green roof, bike room, cistern for rainwater collection and other environmentally-friendly features.

This project is a fantastic idea, and a concept that would be perfect for downtown St. Louis. The Art of Living building and the tech incubator in the Bandwith Exchange building are just two examples of successful of similar projects here. There's certainly room for more!

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