Chicago: Testa Produce Inc., Chicago's premier independent wholesale produce distributor, recently cut the ribbon on its new distribution center. This officially opens the most exciting chapter to date in the family-owned company's nearly 100-year history.
The 91,000-square-foot, $20-million facility, located in the Chicago Stockyards Industrial Park, is on track to become the first foodservice distribution facility in the nation to gain the highest rating available from the U.S. Green Building Council—LEED Platinum certification.
The facility incorporates multiple advanced sustainable features, including:
- Freestanding 238-foot, 750kW wind turbine – the first in Chicago;
- 100 percent solar-heated hot water;
- 45,000-square-foot barreled vegetated roof;
- Sophisticated rainwater reclamation system, including bio swales to capture run-off, a 5,000-gallon internal cistern, and a 765,000-gallon detention pond;
- 180 solar panels located on the roof, dock and pole-mounted solar trees in the parking lot;
- LED lighting in offices, freezer, outdoor fixtures and dock areas;
- Extensive recycling program and use of recycled and reused building materials.
"Four and a half years were spent designing and building this building," says Peter Testa, president and CEO of Testa Producer. "There were times we didn't think we were going to get it done. There were times when I had a little doubt. But all doubts are now erased. We're very proud of this moment."
The distribution center was designed by Epstein architects. Summit Design + Build served as the construction manager and WBS Equities served as owner's project consultant. Construction and permanent financing was provided by MB Financial. All are local Chicago-based concerns.