CHICAGO (February 9, 2010)—Testa Produce Inc. is not just interested in selling green produce, the company is also aiming to be the first food distributor to occupy a LEED Platinum certified warehouse. Construction is about to begin on the 91,000-square-foot, $15-million project at 4555 S. Racine Ave. within the Stockyards Industrial Park.
"Our new facility will showcase how a brownfield site can be transformed into a thriving, energy-efficient space that adds to the urban landscape with a minimal environmental footprint," says Peter Testa, owner of Testa Produce. "Our long-term business growth at Testa will benefit significantly from the cost reduction of this new facility and will enable us to serve our customers at an even higher level."
The facility is likely to be the country’s first LEED Platinum certified warehouse for a food distribution company, according to Craig Chico, president and CEO of the Back of the Yards Council, the park’s property manager. To achieve the certification, Testa’s facility will contain a wind turbine to co-generate electricity, hot water solar panels, PV solar panels, a green roof, rainwater harvesting and daylight harvesting.
Summit Design + Build LLC is handling the project’s construction management. Epstein & Sons is the architect.
The produce distributor will relocate from its existing 44,500-square-foot facility at 1501 S. Blue Island, which is currently being marketed for sale. The new building will be an expansion of both office and warehouse space; with 18,000 square feet dedicated to office and 73,000 square feet for warehouse. The company expects to occupy its new space by the first quarter 2011.
The move to build new is not a common trend these days with large blocks of vacant space available on the market. Adam Miller, president of Summit Design, tells GlobeSt.com, Testa had the “big picture” in mind when making this decision.
“The client is well aware of the vacant available product but this truly is a one of a kind facility,” he says. “This is a family company and it expects to remain that way for a long time. Building a new facility with the big picture in mind is the goal. Testa believes in sustainable construction and would like to be a good example for others to follow.”