A Growing CNT Expands to Second Building at 1741 N. Western
CHICAGO (April 19, 2011)—The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a 33 year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to urban sustainability, has purchased a building at 1741 N. Western Ave. to accommodate growth in the organization and its two affiliates, CNT Energy and I-GO Car Sharing. The expansion reflects the increased demand for CNT’s solutions that simultaneously promote economic growth and environmental sustainability. Staff will move into the building this summer.
“We like to practice what we preach, and this is a nice example of what CNT is all about: uncover a community’s hidden assets and put them to new uses in ways that help the economy and the planet,” said Kathy Tholin, CNT’s Chief Executive Officer. “We needed a building, and this building needed us. It was slated to be demolished to make room for new condos before the housing bubble burst. Now this 97-year-old structure will be home to CNT’s committed staff, and we will soon draft plans to make the building a model of today’s energy efficiency technology, much like we did with our first building in the early 2000s.”
The purchase of 1741 N. Western marks a new chapter in CNT’s history. A CNT staff of 30 moved into 2125 W. North Ave. in 1987. In 2005, CNT remodeled the former weaving factory to become one of the first platinum USGBC LEED-certified buildings in the United States.
Since then, CNT has grown to include 96 staff across CNT, CNT Energy and I-GO Car Sharing. The research, programs and policies the organizations test and advocate for have taken off as concern over climate change, high energy costs, and inefficient use of existing community assets has steadily increased.
CNT Energy staff will move into the new building this summer. Demand for energy efficiency retrofits to the Chicago region’s building stock has dramatically increased in recent years, thanks to the Chicago Climate Action Plan goal of retrofitting 50 percent of the city’s buildings by 2020, multiple tax credits and rebates, and the savings owners see on utility bills.
Last fall, the region was awarded $25 million in stimulus funding to scale up the energy efficiency retrofit market. CNT Energy was chosen to administer the program, the Chicago Regional Initiative for Better Buildings, due in large part to its successful Energy Savers program. Energy Savers has helped local building owners make energy efficiency improvements in more than 3,500 housing units, cutting energy costs by 30 percent on average or $10,000 per year.
“I’m thrilled CNT is expanding into the 1st Ward,” said Alderman Joe Moreno. “We welcome our newest neighbor’s commitment to making communities economically and environmentally stronger.”
Emily Robinson, Center for Neighborhood Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-269-4043