The village of Bellwood is looking to build even more homes just as two of the most recent homes the village constructed are close to selling for $425,000 each.
In an interview on July 14, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey said purchases are currently pending on the two homes at 130 49th Ave. and 132 49th Ave. The homes were built on a lot just off St. Charles Road that used to be a gas station.
According to Harvey’s count, Bellwood now has 25 of what Crain’s Chicago Business dubbed “village hall-built houses,” or homes that the village has been building on its own since 2016, as a way to improve its housing stock.
In Bellwood, most homes are between 900 and 1,200 square feet. The two homes on 49th Avenue are each 2,150 square feet.
Last month, the village board approved the purchase of another eight vacant residential lots in Bellwood through the Cook County Land Bank Authority, an agency that helps restore vacant land and abandoned properties.
The lots are at 241 Bohland Ave., 411 48th Ave., 119 50th Ave., 610 S. 23rd Ave., 2402 St. Charles Rd., 2408 St. Charles Rd., 3403 Monroe St. and 3407 Monroe St.
Harvey said that because the lots are small, the homes that get built will be roughly 1,900 square feet — smaller than the two new homes built on 49th Avenue, but still larger than the typical Bellwood home.
“The amenities on the inside of the future homes will be the same [as the ones on 49th Avenue],” Harvey said.
According to Redfin, the two new homes in the process of being purchased feature granite countertops, a master bedroom with a soaking tub and stainless steel appliances, among other amenities.
The mayor said the village hopes to start construction on the lots “as soon as possible,” adding that he recently learned that the price of lumber “is going down a little bit. We’re eying the price every day. We hope it decreases a bit more. We don’t want to pass on too much additional cost to the consumer.”
The housing construction is part of Bellwood’s plan to attract more homeowners to the village, Harvey said.
“We have to build,” the mayor said. “I’m trying to make Bellwood a true destination community where everybody and anybody wants to come and live. We want to keep people interested in coming to the community.”