Harris Teeter to open greener branch in Crozet May 1, 2009
The Crozet Harris Teeter is the first store on the East Coast to receive gold-level certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Daily Progress/Photo by Megan Lovett
Published: May 1, 2009
Harris Teeter will open a store in Crozet in five days — the company’s first with the environmentally friendly Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.
“We have never … had a LEED-certified store until Crozet,” said Catherine Reuhl, communications specialist for Harris Teeter. “We were interested to test this concept in one of our stores. At the same time, we felt the residential population in Crozet would be receptive to the idea.”
Reuhl said the grocery store earns high marks for being environmentally friendly, with 82 percent of construction wastes having been recycled and 50 percent of the wood coming from certified sustainable forests. The store is partially lit by natural light from skylights, and it will also have water-saving faucets and recycling bins on site.
The 48,000-square-foot building is in step with Albemarle County’s emphasis on “going green.” In February 2007, for example, the Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to pursue LEED certification for all new county construction projects.
To get LEED certification — through the U.S. Green Building Council — buildings have to garner points in a rating system for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The new Harris Teeter is also the first store on the East Coast to receive gold-level certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for having environmentally friendly commercial refrigeration systems, Reuhl said.
The store, which began construction last summer, will open Wednesday in the Blue Ridge Shopping Center. Its hours will be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. More than 60 people have been hired to work in the store, Reuhl said.
Surrounding the new Harris Teeter are open spaces for businesses. BB&T is expected to have a large branch bank near Harris Teeter. Another 11,000-square-foot building nearby would be filled with various retail stores and restaurants, though details weren’t immediately available on Thursday.
However, Susan Stimart, business development coordinator for the county, said that she doesn’t envision massive commercial development in or near the shopping center. County officials are aiming to keep the bulk of Crozet development in designated areas downtown, Stimart noted.
Michael Harvey, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, said that new commercial developments in Crozet are tied to a population increase.
“There’s an old saying: Retail follows the rooftops,” Harvey said. “Crozet built out pretty aggressively over the past decade or so.”