Oct. 28, 2013 (CHICAGO)— Erik Kunz and Chris Leggee, vice president and assistant vice president of the Chicago office of NorthMarq, have secured $2.5 million in financing for the redevelopment of Southpoint Plaza, an Evanston, Ill. retail center which will include Walgreen’s first-in-the-nation “net zero energy” retail store scheduled to open in late November. Southpoint Plaza, located at 635 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, is also home to eight other tenants, six of which have been at the property for more than 20 years. NorthMarq’s financing provides for a ground lease at Southpoint Plaza, which will bring improvements to other buildings and common areas such as the parking lot. Combining numerous green technologies including solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal technology, energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting and ultra-high-efficiency refrigeration, the new Walgreens store is projected to produce more energy than it consumes, serving as a centralized testing point for the company’s sustainability agenda. Construction began in March 2013. “This deal was out of the ordinary and received significant national media attention, which helped in selling it to potential investors,” Leggee said. The net zero building replaces an older Walgreens located on the same lot. It is being developed with recycled brick and materials from the former Walgreens store. Engineers have estimated the new store will use 200,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity, while generating 256,000 kilowatt hours per year, meaning the store could actually sell back its extra energy to a local utility. Walgreens has expressed hope that the building will achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, the premier mark of achievement in green building. Leggee believes that the money and extra effort needed to achieve such a prestigious status will be beneficial. “Even though there’s a high cost associated with LEED Platinum status, I think they are setting a standard for the future.” He added, “I think it’s great Walgreens is doing this and that there’s more LEED and sustainable development happening.” In addition to serving as a testing ground for the spectrum of green technologies for Walgreens, the Southpoint Plaza location will contribute to the company’s goal of a chain-wide 20 percent energy reduction by 2020. To learn more about the project and Walgreens’ other environmental initiatives, visit the Walgreens Net Zero Facebook page.