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January 5, 2011 
 
 
Graze School

As we move forward in 2011, we're curious what you think are the hottest topics in the real estate world. Have an idea or topic for a future event? Send us an e-mail.

 
The Academy For Global Citizenship, a charter school on the Southwest Side, is finalizing its search for a 10-acre site, a real estate consultant, and a contracting budget for the greenest school in Illinois, set to be completed around 2014.
 
AGC's Sarah Elizabeth Ippel and Peter Vitale
AGC's Sarah Elizabeth Ippel and Peter Vitale (with 6-year-old helpers) showed us around the school's current 12k SF building at 47th and Knox yesterday. The new school will incoporate the urban gardening, schoolyard chickens, and organic meals already available to students but will be Illinois' first net-positive energy school. Last year, OWP/P Cannon Design took the second grader's suggestions while designing the new campus, which is slated to have four buildings totaling 55k SF. One innovative feature will be the world's first positive-energy playground, where kinetic energy from children's play will be channeled back to the grid. (You thought it was hard getting kids to come in from recess before? Now they can claim going to math promotes global warming.)
Peter Vitale and Sarah Elizabeth Ippel
The new campus will have no hallways (just walkways covered by solar panels), which will improve light and heat efficiency and each classroom or “learning studio” will have a door to the outside. Energy will come from wind turbines, like the one on their current playground, as well as solar panels above outdoor walkways between the classrooms. A geothermal heat pump under the grazing fields and orchards will provide HVAC and a solar power plug-in car port will fuel electric vehicles. Peter and Sarah Elizabeth have narrowed the site choices down to a just a handful between Cicero and Kedzie south of I-55, and are estimating the cost of the project to be around $30M, about half of the typical cost to build a Chicago public school.
AGC campus
Funding will come from private investors, foundations, corporate support, as well as public sources, says Sarah Elizabeth. The school will add an interim satellite campus to support its grades K-4 next year, and add one grade per year until eighth, ultimately serving about 550 students per grade. The Academy for Global Citizenship is working to meet standards of the Living Building Challenge, a new designation that promotes building as a means of restoring the environment.

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North Submarkets Lease
 
Paine/Wetzel's Sam Badger
Woodland Foods ended the year by signing a 131k SF lease at 3751 Sunset in Waukegan, consolidating its three rented facilities into one warehouse and absorbing 35k SF in the 13% to 14% vacant submarket. But Paine/Wetzel's Sam Badger, who repped Woodland in the lease along with Whit Heitman and Brad Weiner, says the new lease is key because it absorbed a non-divisible space that had been on the market for three years as either sublease or vacant space, and left three smaller, easier to lease spaces (50K SF, 30k SF and 14K SF) in the north 'burbs.
3751 Sunset
Colliers International's Jack Rosenberg, Fred Regnery, and Ned Frank repped building owner ING. The Paine/Wetzel team leased about 1M SF in the Lake County and Southeast Wisconsin submarkets in 2010, and Sam says the Illinois state government incentives helped keep Woodland Foods from crossing over to Wisconsin. The importer of spices and specialty food items plans to use the incentives to train new employees and offset the cost of improvements to the 30-year-old warehouse to meet food regulations.

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Roycemore School Buys New Site
 
Roycemore School
After four years of searching, Roycemore School in Evanston has found a new home—still in Evanston. The 250-student school, currently at 640 Lincoln Ave will move to a new $5.6M, 68k SF space at 1200 Davis St in late 2011. The site's seller is the General Board of Pension Funds for the United Methodist Church. The new school will allow for more students. Roycemore is working with The Dobbins Group for pre-construction services on a new gym and outdoor stairwells for the existing building on the site. Podolsky Northstar CORFAC International's Randy Podolsky, Adam Tarantur, Thomas Callahan, and Melissa Podolsky helped in the search and analysis and repped Roycemore. MB Real Estate's Andy Davidson repped the seller. Podolsky will continue to work with the school through its construction and move-in phase throughout 2011.
 
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