CHICAGO-Baum Development LLC officials say they are waiting on city zoning approval for a 250,000-sf, mixed-use project called the Green Exchange at 2545 West Diversey Ave. The developer intends to build and lease the asset with an eye toward the environment. The company already has three letters of intent signed to occupy the former Frederick Cooper Lamp Co. building, with a planned $30 million renovation if the project is approved.

Doug Baugh, the director of leasing for the project, tells that the building will be the first in the city to be leased exclusively to tenants that make or provide sustainable products and services. The company hopes to populate the building with organic restaurants, sustainable furniture stores, a green-building supply company, an eco-friendly printer, architects and engineers focused on sustainability. The building is also being renovated to meet LEED standards, Baugh says.

“The idea is create a symbiotic community of like-minded tenants,” he states. “The green economy is growing, and so is the demand for sustainable products and services.”

He says tenants signed include Green Maker Supply, a distributor for sustainable building materials; Consolidated Printing, which follows ecology-friendly practices, and a furniture design and home interiors showroom company. “Collaborating with business that share our goals will only further the efforts to preserve the environment,” says Marilyn Jones, president of the printing firm, in a marketing brochure statement. Baugh did not reveal how much space each of the tenants has agreed to fill.

The building will have about 100,000 sf of office space, Baugh reports. “We’re actively targeting environmental-service providers,” he says. The first floor will feature retail and parking, and the top three floors will have showroom space, offices and incubator lofts, surrounding a courtyard garden and topped with a green roof.

Baugh says Baum is not receiving any financial incentives for the project. However, the company’s brochure advertises that tenants will be eligible for Enterprise Zone benefits. Hartshorne and Plunkard are the architects for the project. The building is scheduled to be complete in mid-2007.

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