Memphis Industrial Reuse Project Lands LEED Platinum

The former Sears Crosstown distribution center is now a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development comprising apartments, office and retail, as well as a high school.

The world’s largest building to be awarded LEED Platinum certification for historic adaptive reuse is located in Memphis, Tenn. The project, renamed Crosstown Concourse, is also seeking WELL certification through the International WELL Building Institute.

From distribution center to urban village

The $200 million mixed-use project reopened in August last year after being renovated as a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development at N. Watkins and N. Parkway. It is the conversion of the historic Sears Crosstown building into a vertical urban village with office and retail tenant spaces, and even a high school. Behind the design of the project are Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) and DIALOG, while engineering firm OGCB and contractor Grinder, Taber & Grinder led the removal of 54 million pounds of concrete and 10 million pounds of metal to create atriums of natural light. The rubble was crushed and reused as base material for road building.

“It starts with the whole concept of reusing the building,’‘ Tony Pellicciotti, principal at LRK, said in a prepared statement. “Everything about the site is sustainable starting from the density. Hard to argue about the density of Crosstown,” he said, referring to the 267 residential apartments and about 40 commercial and nonprofit tenants, including a high school, stores and restaurants.

Recycling was one of the major contributors to the LEED Platinum achievement. More than 65 million pounds of material were recycled, the equivalent of 94 percent of all the waste created during demolition and construction.

A project like Crosstown Concourse, with such size and complexity, could have easily succumbed into following conventional design and construction methods,” added Krissy Buck Flickinger, LRK’s director of sustainability and wellness. “But with the unwavering commitment of the Crosstown development team led by Todd Richardson and McLean Wilson, we found partners who cherished the opportunity to make an eco-conscious statement in the community.”

Images courtesy of Grinder, Taber & Grinder