Planned Neighborhoods Never Built, Lots Overgrown with Weeds

Housing crunch hits burbs

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The housing crisis has left scads of boarded-up buildings and weed-choked lawns in many stretches of urban America.

    In Detroit it's been reported that feral animals are appearing and wildlife is returning where neighborhoods once existed.

    So it's hard to feel sorry for the unintended wildlife in suburban housing developments that never came to be. Nonetheless another side of the economy's collapse can be found in subdivisions that never sprang to life.

    Take Stony Ridge in Grayslake. Builders promised 38 homes ranging in price from $500,000 to $1 million. Only one has been built.

    "You know what?" that one homeowner, Madhana Gulliver, told the Daily Herald. "There's a lot of wildlife here. And that's kind of cool. If we had a lot of houses (nearby), I don't think we'd see as many of the (animals)."

    Other failed developments include Settlers Ridge in Sugar Grove, where only 110 of 960 proposed homes have been built, and Tall Grass Ridge in Mundelein, where only four of 43 single-family homes have been built.

    "Our dog no longer has to go to the dog park because we have so much open space," Tall Grass Ridge resident Margaret Witt told the Daily Herald.

    For those few residents who got their homes in these subdivisions, life may be a little lonely, but there is an upside.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if after acquiring a taste for country living, some of these homeowners decide they don't want to be in a typical subdivision after all," DH commenter Chooks says. "If they didn't overpay initially (unlikely) and if they really like the open space, they should buy the lots adjacent to their own."

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.