Villas at College Hill Ribbon Cutting Held Mar. 24

ROCK ISLAND — Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH), in partnership with Augustana College and the City of Rock Island, celebrated a new construction housing effort known as Villas at College Hill on Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2015. The project includes the creation of three new construction homes in the College Circle Neighborhood, off 30th Street across from Augustana College in Rock Island.

“GROWTH continues to rebuild Rock Island one block at a time. Augustana College plays a vital role in our community and I am excited to call them a partner in the Villas at College Hill development. As a community based development organization, we look to fill the needs of a community. We continue to look for every housing resource and leverage as much as we can in order to fulfill community needs. The funding we received from the Illinois Attorney General National Foreclosure Settlement helped us achieve what we are celebrating today. Villas at College Hill project advances new construction efforts in Rock Island and demonstrates how leverage and partnerships strengthens our local housing economy,” said Renaissance Rock Island President Brian Hollenback.

The College Circle Neighborhood circles Augustana College, from 5th Avenue on the North to 14th Avenue on the South – then to 38th Street on the East and 25th Street on the West. The neighborhood is adjacent to the College Hill District, which is known for its eclectic range of sixty shops and restaurants. Existing housing located in the College Circle neighborhood includes single-family detached residences, some duplexes, apartments, and dormitories.

In 2014, GROWTH acquired the Lot 10, Lot 11, and Lot 13 in order to create the three new construction homes. The $1 million project is nearing its completion, with 17 College Hill Circle (formerly Lot 10) completed and closing on March 31st, 15 College Hill Circl (formerly Lot 11) completing at the end of March and closing on April 30th, and Lot 13 under construction set to be completed by June 2015.

Capitalizing upon the college’s successful participation in GROWTH’s Employer Assisted Housing program (otherwise known as Live-Work Rock Island), Augustana College partnered with GROWTH to provide new housing construction options close to the campus.

Augustana College remains one of the top five participating employers of the Live-Work Rock Island homebuyer program. To date, 31 Augustana College employees purchased Rock Island homes through the program, producing $3,216,174 in real estate transactions. The program continues to be a great employee attraction and retention tool for Augustana College.

“As a resident of the College Hill neighborhood myself, I’m very excited to see new construction, and especially of this quality. We at Augustana know this is an outstanding neighborhood, and it’s encouraging to see others recognize the vitality that businesses like Cool Beanz, Radicle Effect Brewerks, and Legends have brought to College Hill. Thanks to GROWTH and its leadership, I’m proud to see this vitality attract more residents into our neighborhood,” said President of Augustana College Steve Bahls.

In July 2014, GROWTH as lead entity of the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition closed on a $3.5 million National Foreclosure Settlement grant with The Hon. Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General. The funding stems from The Attorney General’s lead role in obtaining a historic $25 billion national settlement with the nation’s five largest bank mortgage servicers. GROWTH leveraged $400,000 of grant funding with other housing resources in the Villas at College Hill project.
“With the award, we are making a down payment on a better future for families in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis,” The Hon. Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General said. “The work being done by outstanding organizations like Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation help move us forward on the road to recovery.”

About the Project
The Villas at College Hill homes range in size from 1,500 to 1,866 square feet. All are two-story homes featuring open floor plans, great rooms with open porches and 2-car garages.  The homes range in price from $209,900 to $229,900.

• 17 College Hill Circle (Formerly Lot 10). $209,900: 3 bedrooms, 2.25 baths, attached 2-car garage, 1,500 square feet. Lot 10 is an Employer Assisted Home. As an additional benefit, $10,000 in direct down payment assistance will be granted for eligible employees.
• GROWTH accepted an offer to purchase prior to the completion date with a closing is scheduled March 31, 2015.

• 15 College Hill Circle (formerly Lot 11): $219,900: 4 bedrooms, 2.25 baths, attached 2-car garage, 1,866 square feet.
• Completion Date: April 2015
• GROWTH accepted an offer to purchase with a closing scheduled April 30, 2015.

• Lot 13, College Circle: $229,900: 4 bedrooms, 2.25 baths, detached 2-car garage, $1,595 square feet.
• Completion Date: June 2015

Project Team
GROWTH is serving as the developer, Crawford Company is the general contractor, and Shive-Hattery is the architect.

This project is made possible by the following:
• U.S. Bank
• Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
• Program Income: Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2

In partnership with:
• City of Rock Island
• Augustana College
• Northwest Bank & Trust

Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) is a 501(c)(3) Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO); To date, GROWTH has impacted nearly 1000 units of housing in Rock Island, including the construction of eight new infill construction homes since 2012. GROWTH is housed under Renaissance Rock Island, an umbrella name for three inter-connected organizations dedicated to the revitalization of Rock Island. In addition to GROWTH, the Development Association of Rock Island (DARI) focuses on commercial and industrial development; and The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District (The District) markets the downtown and produces unique downtown events.
About Northwestern Illinois Housing Coaltion:  Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, as lead of the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition, closed on $3.5 million in National Foreclosure Settlement Funds with the Illinois Attorney General to implement housing redevelopment strategies in Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties. The funding will support 83 new construction or rehabbed properties for sale or rent, including some historic preservation properties. Property management and social service strategies will be implemented to prioritize veterans or special needs populations.
For more information on GROWTH visit and for Renaissance Rock Island, visit

About Augustana College:
Augustana College Augustana College is a private, selective liberal arts college located on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River in Rock Island.