Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hawthorne EcoVillage to Break Ground!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image from and the facebook page. A version of this post originally appeared on the Hawthorne Voices blog.

This blog has reported extensively on the EcoVillage, its trials and tribulations, and its successes. In fact, the EcoVillage was the site of Johnny Northside's foray into the ultra-affordable home ownership opportunities in NoMi. (Click here for that story.)

After years of clearing out the criminal element, going through acquisition processes that were often made agonizingly slow and complex by the mortgage meltdown, and establishing a neighborhood vision, we are now breaking ground on Thursday January 7, 2010, 2:30 p.m. at 400 31st Ave N. After that brief ceremony, a reception will be held at Farview Park.

The following post appeared on the Hawthorne Voices blog...

On Thursday January 7, 2010, the Hawthorne EcoVillage will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking on its first new construction! Hawthorne residents realized early on that it would take a "pioneering spirit" to bring people into the neighborhood in light of many of the challenges we faced. Well before "green" became a buzzword in the housing industry, Hawthorne community members decided to build off of that pioneering spirit by setting a goal that the EcoVillage development would be among the first LEED-certified projects in the nation.

With a $500,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation, cluster status designation from the Northside Home Fund, the help of many partners listed above, and the vision and dedication of our neighborhood, the EcoVillage has already made a significant difference in the community. Valeria Golebiowski, a resident for over 43 years, had struggled with the rampant crime, foreclosures, squatters, and problem properties in the area and at one point was close to selling her home as a result. Thanks to the strides made through this development, her commitment to the neighborhood has redoubled. "If not for the EcoVillage, I'd be leaving," she said.

Come join us on Thursday, January 7, 2:30 p.m. for a brief groundbreaking ceremony at 400 31st Ave N, the site of the first new construction unit of the EcoVillage. We know it's cold, so a reception will follow at Farview Park nearby. A heartfelt thanks goes out to all of our residents and partners for making this day possible!

(End Hawthorne Voices post, begin a moment of reflection by the Hawthorne Hawkman)

This day has been a long time coming. So many neighborhood residents and so many excellent partners have contributed immeasurably to our community by taking one of the roughest spots around and TRANSFORMING it. That work has largely consisted of the removal of negative elements such as crime and dilapidated housing. Knowing that 2010 marks the beginning of building new houses in the EcoVillage is exciting and inspiring beyond words. To all who have contributed in any way, I simply cannot thank you enough. I hope to see you on Thursday as we celebrate!


Ed Kohler said...

This is awesome news. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone.

Anonymous said...

seems like it's getting good press. see here