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Can America's Largest Green Business Development Spark a Movement?

An attempt to build the country's largest sustainable shopping center morphed into an experiment in green business development.


In 2006, a green-minded developer proposed converting a hulking former underwear and lamp factory—a landmark for those who have driven the freeway between O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago—into one of the country’s first eco-focused shopping centers.

The Green Exchange project has since evolved, stalled, and been revived to house varying types of tenants, all dedicated to sustainability. The building’s green overhaul has been praised, but the project’s true impact may be creating a model for promoting sustainability and green networking among its tenant businesses and their customers.

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