St Louis ain’t just for BBQ anymore!

9 Sep

Live near St. Louis?

This just in…

For a while now I’ve been asking (quite loudly) why it seems to be impossible for “the little guy” to be able to raise his/her family in affordable, energy efficient housing. After all, apparently Taxpayer money is being thrown willy-nilly at everything that moves, so why not throw some at (gasp!) actually housing families?

If we can pay the Federal bills (whether we want to or not) to “create” jobs at $200k per job, or bask in the “lives touched” phenomenon that seems to be the latest spin… why can’t they throw some of that money into housing for the families that built this country?

Okay, it’s not ISBU. Hey, it’s not even “alternative housing.” But, if you’re looking for a rental, it might be a real good idea.

Media Advisory

September 14, 2010, 11AM


Diana Weis or Lisa Kortkamp, Capstone Development.
Bryan Zises, Zises Communications, 773-225-3787

Nation’s First Net-Zero Energy Affordable Community to Break Ground in Suburban St. Louis Cornfield

32 three-bedroom homes to lease for $590/month
Solar panels, wind turbines to cut utility bill to $0; LEED Platinum eligible design

JERSEYVILLE, IL – The long-awaited promise of affordable, net-zero, green living will finally become reality in a St. Louis suburban cornfield in southern Illinois, where 32 single-family homes will be rented for $590 per month. Solar panels, wind turbines and other technology will reduce the utility bills to $0. The homes are expected to be LEED Platinum certified at completion.

Groundbreaking Event for Lexington Farms Subdivision

Where: Fairgrounds & Cemetery Aves., Jerseyville
When: September 14th, 11:00 AM

“Cutting edge green renewable technology has been a cost-prohibitive, inner-city luxury that few could afford. Until today,” said Bill Luchini, President of Capstone Development Group. “This development will be rented to rural families that earn less than $41,000 per year. And they won’t have a gas bill. They won’t have a heating bill. When they get their electric bill, it is more likely to be credit instead of a cost. Green technology will truly make a more affordable and more sustainable life for everyone in the community.”

Financing for the development includes Federal Tax Credit Equity from the National Equity Fund. Financing from the Illinois Housing Development Authority ensures that the development will remain affordable for working families the long-term. Additional financing was provided by Sterling Bank.

The 32 single-family homes will each have three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and an attached two-car garage. A separate building will house a clubhouse/resource center, community room with kitchenette and bathroom, conference room, computer lab, property manager’s office and a storage room. The site will be landscaped with native plants to reduce water usage and will include a state-of-the-art playground.

When complete, it will also be the first LEED Platinum Certified affordable community of its kind in the nation.

Building Highlights

The homes will be approximately 1,230 square feet, and will feature central air conditioning, heat, hot water and other appliances that all run on electric energy, powered by roof-mounted solar panels on all homes, as well as wind turbines throughout the subdivision. Even the streetlights will be powered by wind and solar.

Modern building techniques will reduce construction waste to nearly zero. The design will incorporate highly energy efficient materials, long-term durability and maintenance, and an interior clean air environment.

  • Sustainable landscape practices include efficient irrigation systems
  • Water efficient faucets, showerheads and WaterSense toilets
  • Bathroom and kitchen exhaust vented to the outdoors removing sources of pollutants
  • Energy-efficient design, ENERGY STAR appliances, exceeding ENERGY STAR for New Homes requirements
  • Wall insulation at R-21 and R-49 insulation in the attic
  • Well sealed and air-tight construction reducing drafts
  • Low VOC paints
  • Energy efficient florescent light fixtures
  • Argon gas U35-rated low-e windows
  • Extensive use of recycled materials

Construction will begin in September 2010. The first homes will be complete and ready to lease starting in late 2010. The need for affordable family living is particularly acute in rural Illinois suburbs of St. Louis. According to a recent market study, the median family income in Jerseyville is 36% lower than the rest of Illinois and one-third of all families in Jerseyville earn less than $25,000 per year.

About Capstone Development Group and Blackhawk Apartments

Capstone Development Group has developed more than 350 rental housing communities in 16 states, with more than 14,000 units and over $1.5 billion of development. Capstone is proud to be the developer of the nation’s first 100% renewable, green, affordable community.

Blackhawk Apartments, Inc. is a not for profit developer of quality, affordable housing in under-served communities.

If you live near this site, go check it out!

6 Responses to “St Louis ain’t just for BBQ anymore!”

  1. ted yrizarry September 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Hey its fixed!?! Not sure why it wouldn’t let me leave a message but its all better now, Yea!
    I would love to jump up and down and sound excited about this one Ronin…I would. I just don’t know yet…gotta let it sink in a bit. Thick skull takes a while too!
    Kind of a solar sububurbia aimed towards the lower middle class? Ish? I like the ideas for those that prefer their neighbors really close I suppose? And in a way I could see this as a better way to do some kind of (I can’t believe this is comming from my mouth)potential Govt. housing. Kind of a green projects where people getting back on their feet could live and by having so much green energy powered the tax burden could be less for the rest of us?
    Though I can’t tell from the picks where exactally the “recycled materials” came into play…?
    All in all a benni for the masses. Me? I’ll settle for some privacy, land, and my own little metal mansion. 😉

    • Meghan Lee September 10, 2010 at 5:45 am #

      My goal is to have privacy as well. I also hate POAs and HOAs. They’re nothing but a headache as far as I can ascertain.

      I’m with Ted. Give me land…lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in!

      • ted yrizarry September 10, 2010 at 10:20 am #

        Shhhhhh Meghan…They will hear you and then they will ALL want land. Heehee.

    • Renaissance Ronin September 11, 2010 at 1:08 am #

      Okay, okay…

      I think the point that I was trying to make was that you don’t HAVE to live in a shipping container, a cob house, an earthbag house, or even (gasp!) a yurt.

      You can find ways to live green if you really, really, look for them.

      What I like about this is that the kids growing up in these homes may get infected with the “I gotta live greener” bug, and they’ll carry that forward with them into adult life. At least I hope so.

      Every mind you change starts something exponential.

      Um… unless you’re Ted. I mean… nobody listens to Ted. If you read his comments, the reasons are obvious… 🙂

      (Sorry ted, I just had to.. I mean, it was sitting right there…) 😉


  2. Meghan Lee September 11, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    Yes, I agree that this a good start. If we can get more folks taking the middle ground on living within their means and living a “greener” life, the future generations will thank us.

    I’ve been checking out land in North Georgia and found some amazing deals.

    • ted yrizarry September 11, 2010 at 9:52 am #

      Funny Meghan…I grew up hiking all over N Ga! And I agree there are deals on land there if you look. And for the most part you don’t run into the same building “issues” one would see further west. Partly because us Georgians are a little backwoods and behind the times. (Go ahead Ronin…stab away! Et tu Brutus?) LOL. And while it may take some effort to get the local zoners to understand the concept (bring leggos and crayons!) I wouldn’t foresee much resistance for you. Nice thing is there are far less hurdles for things like water rights and wind or solar impact. And living “out in the sticks” not only means no HOA but nobody to gripe about how horrible that wind generator is or how “tacky” that solar array is. Plus the views can be stunning in the fall!
      If you get time and would like to camp, head to Blood Mountain in early fall. Summer is a great time to hit Jacks River Falls for a swim too! Good luck!

Comments are closed.