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Villas at College Hill Groundbreaking

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Renaissance Rock Island
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By next spring, Rock Island's College Hill neighborhood will be feature three new homes. Today, Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation held a ground breaking for the single-family homes, off 30th Street and 9th Avenue, near Augustana College. 

Renaissance Rock Island President, Brian Hollenback, says it's part of a partnership between the city and college to develop a new subdivision, made up of 52 lots. 

"This is an opportunity now for those who either own lots and have been waiting to build that they can see the activity that would support comparable sales that would encoruage someone else to go ahead and take that risk of building, or those that would be interested in purchasing a lot to build a new home."

The 1,500 - 1,800 square feet homes will have four bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, with a fireplace and either an attached or detached garage. They'll cost $209,000 to  229,000; and Augustana faculty will receive a $10,000 down payment loan. 

Steve Bahls, President of the college, lives in the neighborhood and wants to encourage others to live there or to bring a business.

"There are significant advantages of living close to a college and enjoying the cultural amenities associated with the college, as well as the wonderful business that have established establishments in our neighborhood over the last couple of years," he says.

The total project will cost $930,000, and one-third of the money will come from a settlement agreement from the Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.