Net Zero Community Planned for Lockport Would be Largest in Chicagoland
Southwest suburb Lockport could be home to the largest net zero housing plan in the Chicagoland area. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Hawthorne Development in Burr Ridge is finalizing a proposal for 500 homes using solar power and geothermal systems on a 189-acre site. It will be the only net-zero development in Will County.
The project, which is led by Hawthorne CEO Ganesan “Vish” Visvabharathy, will be on the Serenity Landing subdivision site that was purchased out of foreclosure when a previous subdivision failed. Located near the intersection of Bruce and Farrell roads, the lot was already zoned for a similar density so community objections are unlikely.
The plan will include a total of 500 houses, townhouses, condominiums, and senior apartments. All the energy generated on site will equal what the residents and businesses consume. According to the plans, solar panels will be installed on nearly every structure, and geothermal pumps will circulate water below the ground to regulate temperature throughout the seasons.
The sheer size of the plot allows developers to “experiment with different segments of the population such as seniors, working adults, etc. to see their appetite for net zero and green (construction),” said Visvabharathy, according to Crain’s.
There’s no exact date planned for the submission of the plan to Lockport officials, but it’s expected to be soon. Ben Benson, Lockport’s city administrator, told Crain’s the project is Lockport’s largest in the works by far. There is also not a timeline for completion yet.