GREATER GRAND CROSSING — Plans to build a village of container homes on the South Side are “paused” as developers move forward with another project in a nearby suburb.
Developers Darryl Burton and Anthony Casboni shared plans in summer 2022 to build Vincennes Village, 12 luxury single-family container homes destined for vacant land at 7231 S. Vincennes Ave. They hosted a groundbreaking ceremony that June.
The two-story luxury homes — built from 40-foot-long train containers — aim to have three to four bedrooms, full appliances, a covered patio and parking garages, Burton previously told Block Club, and would start at $300,000..
The 1,200- to 1,800-square-foot homes could also “be customized to fit your needs,” according to the project’s website.
Burton and Casboni hoped to have the first families moved in by Christmas 2022, the developers previously said. In December, the duo pushed back their timeline and Burton said they would break ground “in the first quarter of 2023.”
Blueprints submitted to the city’s buildings department hadn’t yet been approved “because of a major influx of requests from other builders in the Chicagoland area,” Burton said at the time. The project was “still a go,” but developers were “waiting on the city to give us that ‘yes,’” Burton said.
The 12 homes are “paused as of now,” Burton told Block Club Monday. The duo hopes to “revisit it sometime soon,” he said.
Burton declined to answer questions about city permits or provide a new timeline for when the container homes would be completed.
A representative for the city’s buildings department referred questions to the developer because “it is a project by a private developer, and the city does not own this land.”
In the meantime, the developers are “shovel ready” to build 300 homes in the south suburban village of Ford Heights, Burton said. The project is “by far the largest and most lucrative in terms of [construction] volume,” Burton said.
“… We did not want to spread ourselves too thin by doing a smaller project and also a much more lucrative one. So, we put the smaller one momentarily on hold until we can accommodate the Ford Heights project and not vice versa,” Burton said.
The vision for Vincennes Village was born after Burton and Casboni unexpectedly crossed each other’s paths, the developers previously told Block Club.
Casboni and his late brothers once owned the demolished Vincennes Discount Center. The family served the Greater Grand Crossing community for over six decades, Casboni has said.
Over the years, the brothers built eight homes on the vacant land where the store once operated. They paused their real estate venture in 2008 after the housing market collapsed, Casboni said.
The family struggled for years to find a developer that could continue their work until Casboni met Burton, Casboni said.
Casboni and Burton, the owner of Global Financial Services, have never built container homes, although they have toured the nation to study container-home communities, Burton has said.
Vincennes Village would put the excess train containers “permeating our planet” to use and potentially boost home ownership on the South Side, Burton said.
Container homes can be rehabbed and sold “in half the time and half the costs as a traditional wooden house,” according to Burton.
“Container homes enhance communities,” Burton has said. “That’s what we’re in the process of doing. The community can be elevated.”
Vincennes Village was touted as “the first single-family container homes” within city limits.
Developers received “about 3,000 requests” from potential homeowners, Burton said in August 2022.
It took “two years to secure blueprints, funding, and builders, and get everything approved through the city of Chicago,” according to an online media kit shared by the developers. Burton declined to answer Block Club’s questions about funding for the project.
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