Walgreens to Build Net-Zero Store in Evanston

March 27, 2013

Net-Zero Chicago Real EstateThis November, Chicago-area residents can support the green energy movement through shopping.  Walgreens, the national drugstore chain, has announced plans to build the nation’s first net-zero retail store in Evanston, Ill.  The store hopes to generate more energy than it uses within one year of operation.

According to, the Walgreens store located on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Keeney Street will be torn down and rebuilt with a new energy-efficient design.  This design will include several of the usual green technologies, including solar panels, LED lighting and wind turbines. But, engineers plan to use several more creative methods to reduce energy usage; in addition to more familiar green technologies, the store design will implement carbon dioxide refrigeration and geothermal energy. Walgreens engineers hope that these technologies will help reduce energy usage by more than 40 percent.

Walgreens is the first retail company to build a store of this kind. According to Jamie Meyers, Walgreens’ manager of sustainability, building the net-zero store is a “pretty difficult task, especially for a retailer.”  However, Walgreens’ national headquarters are located in nearby Deerfield, Ill., making it convenient for engineers to stop by to access progress and measure performance through the first year of operation.

The planning and building of the net-zero store will not only contribute to sustainable energy, but will also involve the city of Evanston and local vendors, including Cooper Lighting, Geothermal International, SoCore Energy and Theodore Architects.

Walgreens will not disclose how much the new store will cost to build, but predicts that it will cost more than a typical outlet. However, green energy methods will likely reduce the cost of operation over the next several years, as well as attract new customers who live in the area.  Hopefully, the store will generate a positive buzz and start a trend of building net-zero stores in the commercial Chicago real estate sphere.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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