Tuesdays at APA–Chicago — February 2012

Redfield to Redevelopment in Libertyville, Illinois

February 21, 2012

The newly minted term redfield refers to financially distressed development projects (i.e., properties in the red). As a result of the Great Recession, few communities are immune to the negative effects of redfields. The relatively affluent community of Libertyville, Illinois, felt the sting when plans for high-end townhomes and the adaptive reuse of a decommissioned elementary school near the village's vibrant downtown went bust in 2008. Then in 2010 Libertyville-based developer John McLinden negotiated purchase of the bank-owned site and secured approval from the Village for the new urbanist SchoolStreet development.

At build out, SchoolStreet will feature 26 single-family homes designed to blend with the historic turn-of-the-century homes in the neighborhood in addition to urban lofts in the preserved school. Apart from the project's prime location near downtown and a commuter rail station, another key to the project's success has been an architect-guided design process that allows buyers to customize their homes without adding to final costs.

John Spoden, AICP, from the Village of Libertyville and John McLinden from StreetScape Development discussed the details of the SchoolStreet project and explained how this project supports the village's long-term vision for growth and change.


PowerPoint presentation (ppt)

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)


About the Speakers

John Spoden, AICPJohn Spoden, AICP, is the Director of Community Development for Libertyville, Illinois. In this role he is responsible for coordination of all aspects of development including supervision of the Planning, Economic Development, and Building Divisions of the department. Spoden also serves as Commissioner and Finance Chair for the Lake County Housing Authority. Previously, he was the first Community Development Director for the Village of Northfield, Illinois, and Senior Planner for the City of Highland Park, Illinois.

John McLindenJohn McLinden is the President of StreetScape Development, LLC, a design / development / construction company focused on urban-infill development projects that embody the principles of new urbanism. Over the past 29 years he has been involved in the development and building of hundreds of urban residences in Chicago and other cities.