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Testa Produce opens foodservice distribution facility

Testa Produce opens foodservice distribution facility

Testa Produce Inc cut the ribbon May 10 on its new distribution center in Chicago IL. This officially opens the most exciting chapter to date in the family-owned independent wholesale produce distributor’s nearly 100-year history.

This 91,000-square-foot, $20-million facility 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 US Green Building Council—Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

The facility incorporates sustainable features, including:

•Freestanding 238-ft, 750-kilowatt wind turbine—the first in Chicago

•100% solar-heated hot water

•45,000-sq-ft 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 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,” said Peter Testa, president and chief executive officer of Testa Produce. “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.”

Chicago dignitaries on hand for the ribbon-cutting included Cook County Commissioner John Daley; Alderman Jim Balcer; Andy Mooney, commissioner of housing and economic development; Norma Reyes, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection; Craig Chico, president of the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council; and Mark Heckler, senior vice-president of MB Financial.

“It seems appropriate that Testa Produce, a company rich in Chicago history and tradition, chose to open this facility in the heart of the former historic Union Stockyards. Not only will this project serve to revitalize a long vacant and blighted parcel, it will serve as a new standard bearer for environmentally sensitive design by incorporating countless sustainable components, not the least of which is the wind turbine, the first of its kind in Chicago,” said Mooney.

The new Testa Produce 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.

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