Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Closing Time

Worked out the finer detail of our construction loan and with any luck we'll have some money in the bank after we empty our pockets one last time. I guess it feels good to know that we are really moving forward - without this loan commitment letter in hand it never felt right to break ground which we will be doing very soon on 3140 Pennsylvania. I've got the details worked out and 18 months later we are finally going build some homes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Committment is Scary

I made the decision to have Contempri Homes build our first units. They were able to build a flat roof and they have Iceynene foam insulation at a reasonable price. I sent my deposit and we are off to the races. Changed around the bathroom on the second floor and have been fine tuning our design to meet the requirements of the LEED for Homes certification. Shooting for a early February 2007 delivery.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dwell Conference

Just spent a few days getting inspired in San Francisco at the Dwell conference. What an inspiration to see so many committed individuals who are collectively moving things forward - pushing design and asking important questions about HOW and WHY our homes and businesses are built and what products and materials we put into them. Lots more to learn, but this was a great step forward.

Things to do:

Follow up with Breckenridge Homes
Call Joesph Tanney with Res4 Architecture
Work with Dwell editors on a design challenge for affordable infill.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I feel like I'm hibernating...

After pushing so hard to get these homes built over the summer it feels as if I'm just derailing everything, and putting it on hold for a few months. I find myself fine tuning design details, picking out appliances and fixtures - and I believe that the home that eventually gets constructed will be better for having had this time on ice.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No sense in rushing

I figure even if I get things worked out with our modular builder I won't have a home until late August at BEST, and the last thing I want is a home that hits the market at the wrong time. So, we decided that it would be best to move forward with a February/March 2007 delivery to hit the market at the best time. This allows me lots of time to work out our construction loan, get our website functional and create a real demand for EcoUrban Homes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Two more lots

Closed on 3103-3105 Magnolia today. Great location, but awkward parcel size. Our plan is to build two historic units to complement our modern display home on Pennsylvania.

Total parcel count = 15

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Time to start making some tough choices

I imagine I could have built 10 of these homes with a hammer myself by now, but we are committed to the process and the building system approach. I am just amazed how clueless the front office of almos every modular builders I have attempted to work with are at moving custom designs from ideas on paper to homes on land. Advanced Building Concepts continues to work hard, but I'm not convinced they can even deliver and Contempri just won't get back to me. Am I missing something here?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Greening the Heartland

I presented a "poster" at the Greening the Heartland conference in Kansas City recently and was really encouraged by the reaction to our building plan and design. The conference wasn't overly technical and there was a lot of preaching to the choir, but I think most of left with some great distributor contacts and the knowledge that we are not alone in our effort to green up homes across America.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Still Looking for Modular Builder...

Advanced Building Concepts just is unable to figure out a flat roof and they are really bad about communication. I've deceided to open up my call list again and Contempri Homes in Pinckneyville might just be getting a call.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Land and more land...

EcoUrban closed a big parcel of land today located on the corner of Arsenal and Minnesota. We hope this will be the future of home of 10-12 new green homes and we hope to build on the momentum of the neighborhood with so many other projects in development.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Green, Green and more Green

We have committed to the USGBC to build our homes under the LEED for Homes certification program and I attended the training in Grand Rapids, Michigan to register EcoUrban Homes as a builder in the pilot program. While I imagine I could have viewed the powerpoint presentation from St. Louis it was worthwhile to explore a new city and share with the other 15 or so attendees the spirit of green building. More details later.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stopped in Action

I guess according to my original timeline I should be delivering the first modules today on their foundations. However, the reality is that modular manufacturers just don't get it - and we are heading to Linton, Indiana tomorrow to "tour" Advance Building Concepts factory and hopefully kiss enough ass for them to finally get them to committ to building our homes.

We selected a General Contractor back in February (or I should say they selected us as the only contractor to submit a bid) and we have been adjusting our design and floor plans ever since to hit our $100/sq. ft. target. Right now we are at $180/ft.

I'm not sure what else I can be in action on. I've pulled together the land for up to 12 homes to be built at a cost of around $125K after some unexpected commissions - and am working on an additional 4 lots that would come with some unwanted buildings. The architect seems to be pushing our project around meetings that are spaced out by days and weeks at times and I still don't have a firm grasp on when I should (if at all) pull the trigger.

I know that there is more to be done (Public Service Commission Issues, tax issues, LRA issues, marketing, etc.) but I just feel stopped in action. Perhaps after this weekend in New Orleans I'll find some new inspiration.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bad News Comes in Pairs

We were just a few days from putting the seal on the construction drawings when we got two days of bad news. First our prospective modular manufacturer got a big order from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana and pushed off our timeline by two months. Then our regional sewer district passed regulations prohibiting bathrooms in basements without proper pumps to get water and sewage up to a newly required 1st floor waste lateral. Just another day trying to build modular.