East St. Louis
Nonprofit Lansdowne Up provided an update on the project on Monday.
Lansdowne Up is named after the East St. Louis neighborhood it is working to redevelop by clearing lots, renovating existing homes and constructing new ones like those in the 20-home subdivision, which will be called Lansdowne Park.
It is planned for the corner of North 25th and Gross streets. Lansdowne Up officials said Monday that some of the three-bedroom homes will be finished within the next few months, in early 2023.
They invited community leaders, real estate agents and members of the media to a news conference in East St. Louis to share timetables and floor plans for the future homes.
The price of the homes are higher than Lansdowne Up originally expected because of the increased cost of construction material, according to the nonprofit.
East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III said during the news conference that the city needs market-rate homes like those in the new subdivision in addition to housing for people living on low and moderate incomes.
In East St. Louis, the median home value is $53,900 and median household income is $24,009, according to the U.S. Census. About 30% of the city’s residents live in poverty.
Eastern said the new development will improve a once-blighted area, help change the way people think of East St. Louis and bring growth to the city.
“The economic engine that this is going to create because now the homes that you appraise, the appraisal value, it changes everything around this region,” Eastern said. “… It’s definitely going to be an upswing for the city of East St. Louis.”
Kevin Green, Lansdowne Up’s director of administration, described Lansdowne as a “once beautiful community” that began to experience urban blight with overgrown properties, abandoned houses, illegal trash dumping and unsafe streets. It’s close to Jones Park, the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center and the future headquarters of the Illinois State Police.
Green said the future residents of the subdivision could include East St. Louis natives who moved away for college or to similar housing in other towns in the metro-east and across the country. Lansdowne Up has received calls from people in Seattle and Washington, D.C., who are interested in moving in, according to Green.
“It’s not very hard to find the residents who want to move back to East St. Louis,” he said.