Northside at the forefront of green redevelopment

The Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CNCURC) is quickly becoming the local leader in green redevelopment techniques.

The most visible example of their work is the two new homes, built to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED standards, at the corner of Chase Avenue and Fergus Street on what was formerly District 5's top drug and crime hotspot.

Designed by S. Flavio Espinoza with assistance from Northside architect Alice Emmons, the homes are an outgrowth of David Brown's HOME House Project, a national design initiative to build attractive, environmentally-friendly affordable housing.

The Northside homes are the first two HOME House Project designs to be completed in the United States, and one of only two projects in the city participating in the USGBC's LEED pilot program to develop standards for urban infill.

Stefanie Sunderland, president of CNCURC, says that interest in the homes has been "stupendous".

Groups from the Community Development Corporations Association of Cincinnati, the mayor's Cincinnati Real Estate Ambassadors, and CF3 have toured the homes.  Last month, over 100 residents and community leaders watched a 30-minute Power Point presentation on the project at the city's Neighborhood Summit.

The project is also scheduled to appear in Angie's List in April and in a Robert Charles Lesser & Co. national research report in July.

"I believe that the City of Cincinnati will point to our homes - which in large part they funded - as an example of their efforts to support green construction," Sunderland says.

CNCURC has acquired several parcels for new construction and plans to rehabilitate 20 homes in the area.  They were also chosen as the lead for the LEED Neighborhood Development "SUN" Project, to be built on 10 acres of land left over from the abandoned Colerain Connector project.

Sunderland says that they're committed to building and rehabilitating to LEED standards whenever possible, and she credits the people of Northside for helping it happen.

"We strive to establish a pedestrian-friendly and neighborly urban community where residents are committed to staying in the City," she says.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Stefanie Sunderland, president, CNCURC
Photography by Scott Beseler
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