ENGLEWOOD — After developers of a South Side “village” of container homes announced last week their project was “paused” for now, city officials said the permit application to build the homes has been void for months.
Developers Darryl Burton and Anthony Casboni first shared plans in summer 2022 to build Vincennes Village. The 12 single-family, two-story homes built from 40-foot-long shipping containers would be the first of their kind within city limits, developers previously said.
Burton and Casboni initially hoped to have families move into Vincennes Village by Christmas 2022, the developers previously told Block Club Chicago. By December 2022, the project was delayed to “the first quarter of 2023” but was “still a go,” developers said at the time.
“We’re just waiting on the city to give us that ‘Yes,'” Burton told Block Club on Dec. 20.
Then, last week, Burton said plans to build the homes were “paused as of now” while the developers chased a “shovel ready” project in south suburban Ford Heights — and two days later, city officials said the permit submitted to the city’s Buildings Department to construct Vincennes Village has actually been void for months.
The developers “submitted a single permit application for one residential building” at 7231 S. Vincennes Ave., said Matthew Beaudet, commissioner at the Chicago Department of Buildings. To build the dozen container homes, the developers would have had to submit a permit application for each building, Beaudet said.
On Dec. 17, the developers “received architectural and structural corrections” from the buildings department for the submitted permit, Beaudet said. The corrections “dealt with the technical provisions of the code, and also the requirement for completed material schedules,” Beaudet said.
When the developers didn’t respond to the corrections after 120 days, “the permit application became void,” Beaudet said.
To move forward with Vincennes Village, the developers would have to resubmit permit applications for all 12 container homes, Beaudet said.
The developers did not respond to Block Club’s requests for comment about the voided permit.
Vincennes Village, the brainchild of Burton and Casboni, was born after the duo unexpectedly crossed each other’s paths, the developers previously said.
Casboni and his late brothers once owned the demolished Vincennes Discount Center, which served the 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, the owner of Global Financial Services, Casboni said.
Casboni and Burton had never built container homes, although they have toured the nation to study container-home communities, Burton has said.
The dozen South Side homes would put the excess train containers “permeating our planet” to use and potentially boost home ownership, Burton has said.
The luxury, eco-friendly homes would have three to four bedrooms and full appliances, and could be customized to fit the homeowner’s needs, according to the project’s website. Pricing would start at $300,000.
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.
Developers received “about 3,000 requests” from potential homeowners, Burton said in August 2022.
Burton declined to answer Block Club’s questions about funding for the project.
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