Metro-East News

Homes haven't been built in this neighborhood for decades. That's about to change.

Belleville home construction to begin in April

Adam Hill plans to build new homes on West Main Street beginning in April. "We took a condemned, crime-ridden piece of property and it's another opportunity for us to improve the neighborhood," he said.
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Adam Hill plans to build new homes on West Main Street beginning in April. "We took a condemned, crime-ridden piece of property and it's another opportunity for us to improve the neighborhood," he said.

For the first time in decades, new homes are planned to be built along West Main Street in Belleville.

Construction is scheduled to start in April on the site of the demolished Rob Nora Apartments at 7009 W. Main St.

Two buildings, each with four attached homes, are planned for the development dubbed the Renaissance. Developer Adam Hill expects the sales price to be just below $200,000, with the first building estimated to be completed in August and the second building by the end of the year.

“We’ve done a lot of work redeveloping the west end and this is just a continuation of our efforts,” Hill said. “We’re taking a condemned, crime-ridden piece of property and making it productive again. This project has a far greater impact on the west end than if you bought 20 acres … and did a development.”

Hill also demolished the Forest Hills apartment complex at 8512 W. Main St. and plans build two single-family homes there but he does not have a time frame for this construction.

The City Council last year approved a $235,000 TIF 3 grant to kick-start Hill’s efforts.

In 2016, Hill received a $275,000 TIF grant from the city to help him renovate the nearby Market Place Shopping Center, where 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. bought the former Mad Pricer grocery store from Hill in the 6400 block of West Main and opened a brewery, banquet center and taproom last year.

The city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the preliminary and sketch plats for the Renaissance development. The commission’s vote is considered a recommendation and the City Council has the final say. Hill expects aldermen to vote on the plats on March 19.

Hill describes the Renaissance as “garden homes” with a sun room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each home will have 2,124 square feet, including a two-car garage. The one-story, brick and stone homes also will have a 1,352-square-foot basement.

The homes are planned for the land where the Rob Nora Apartments once stood.

A judge ruled in 2016 the Rob Nora conditions were “dangerous to the lives” of the residents, and a week after his ruling, the ceiling of one of the Rob Nora units fell down on a resident. All residents were forced to leave the complex that year, and all of the Forest Hills residents were forced to leave last year.

Parts of the Rob Nora Apartments were burned by city firefighters as part of a training exercise before the complex was demolished.

Different parts of the Belleville apartment complex were burned to help the Belleville Fire Department with training in December 2017.

Mike Koziatek: 618-239-2502, @MikeKoziatekBND
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