Emerald Ridge Opens to New Residents

Rise began developing 46 new single-family homes in East Alton, Illinois in March of 2014 in partnership with Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), the Village of East Alton and Madison County. The neighborhood now goes by the name Emerald Ridge.

We are pleased to report that residents have been moving in since August, 2014. We had the opportunity to speak with the first three residents: Doris Fentress, Jean Mize and Mary Nance.

Here are a few quotes from the ladies:

Doris Fentress:  “I never lived in a brand new home.  Moving down here into a brand new home is so much better than a four-plex.”  There used to be a lot of drugs and they are not here anymore. “

Jean Mize: “I feel very safe.   I’ll say the first night I spent the night here I felt better than I have in about three years.”

Mary Nance: “I could hardly get out of my old house with my wheelchair.  Now, I have freedom, I can go anywhere I want.”

The project is a part of the Village of East Alton’s effort to revitalize the community, and is replacing obsolete housing in a community formerly known as the ”Defense Area.”  The Defense Area was built by the Federal government as temporary housing in the early 1940’s to accommodate workers at the nearby Olin ammunition plant that was running 24-hour shifts for the war effort.  After the war, these barracks-style buildings were not dismantled as originally planned.  Over the years they were re-sold multiple times the condition of most of the buildings became more and more deteriorated and social conditions in the community declined.

The long-term dedicated commitment of the Village of East Alton to transform the area is being realized by the Rise development that is surrounding the existing park and Keasler Recreation Complex with new, attractive single-family homes.  This is a new beginning and a different world for the neighborhood.

“We’re committed to revitalizing communities and neighborhoods in the Greater St. Louis area,” said Stephen Acree, president of Rise. “The redevelopment of the Defense Area in East Alton is being built on strong partnerships that will reinforce a resilient and healthy community.”

In November, 2014, 16 new Emerald Ridge homes will be completed and occupied.  We will keep you updated as the community progresses.

New Emerald Ridge residents with John Nuernberger , Rise Asset Manager.