Green Exchange

“David Roeder”:,CST-FIN-roeder29.article in the Sun-Times casts a skepitcal glance at the Green Exchange:

ECO- ECHO: In Logan Square, there’s an alderman, Manny Flores (1st), who has insisted that anybody who wants to redevelop the old Cooper Lamp factory, 2545 W. Diversey, at least replace the 125 jobs lost when it closed last year. This stance has been somewhat inconvenient for developers, who see any usable old factory inside the city as a place to live, not as a place to make something.

Despite this obstacle, an affiliate of Baum Realty Group Inc. bought the 250,000-square-foot building for $7.5 million in 2005.

With Flores’ blessing, principal David Baum has announced plans to turn the building, a familiar sight to drivers stuck on the Kennedy Expy., into a kind of Merchandise Mart for businesses that promote environmental sustainability. He calls it the “Green Exchange”: and his marketing materials say he has tentative lease deals with Greenmaker Supply, which provides ecologically friendly building materials, and a so-called “green” printer, Consolidated Printing Co.

Baum has asked for zoning that would let him build “live-work” units in the building strictly as residents for people who have a business on the property. He has stressed that he wants most of the space to be commercial because it’s cheaper than residential to refurbish.