Professionals in the fields of green technology and sustainability could see a new space for collaboration in the city as the result of a partnership with a Chicago developer.
Chicago-based company Baum Development, LLC has been selected to plan the development of the Madison Sustainability Commerce Center, which will feature green technologies and provide a sustainable commerce and retail location.
Baum Development is known for its work constructing the Green Exchange in Logan Square in Chicago, David Baum, president of the development team, said. Green Exchange is a sustainable retail and office community in Chicago.
“The 1,500 people working within the Green Exchange in Chicago have encouraged neighborhood growth,” Baum said. “The green facility has created a platform for ecological entrepreneurs as well as attracted tenants to the area.”
Bryant Moroder, principal of the Sustainable Resource Group and a member of the team for developing the MSCC, is partnering with Baum Development to bring a similar sustainable commerce center to Madison.
Moroder said they are currently looking at sites for the center. Once they choose a site, the project’s time frame will depend on the acquisition and approval processes, along with two separate construction processes. He said they are not certain whether they will use a new or existing building for the center.
The Capitol East District is being considered as a location, according to a City of Madison statement, but a specific site has not yet been finalized. Baum Development will manage the feasibility study for the project and decide on different designs and technologies it can use throughout the building, the statement said.
The project is being funded by a $300,000 grant to the city through the Capital Region Sustainable Communities Initiative, and $75,000 of this grant will go to this contract, the statement said.
The statement said MSCC is an effort to increase the region’s clean tech competitiveness by fostering cooperation between two major cities. It said this was an opportunity to have a presence and access to work space in both Chicago and Madison markets.
Moroder said they hope the building will not simply be “a bunch of offices,” but a space that encourages collaboration and engagement among the tenants as well as inviting the community.
“I hope people in health and wellness and non-profits can share a commonality with the space,” he said.
Moroder added the goal is to have all types of businesses come together to network and promote a green space. He said he wants to give smaller tenants a platform to network, especially those that are sustainable.
Moroder said he predicts the project in Madison will be better than Chicago because of “lessons learned.”
The team has had a “great partnership with the city from day one,” Moroder said. The project is generating a lot of interest from all types of organizations in the community, and the team has received a great deal of encouragement, he said.
Moroder said he wants people to understand what they are trying to achieve while being flexible and adapting to different opportunities.
“They have to be aware of various different expectations when building a sustainability center,” Moroder said. “It can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.”