Eco-Mod on the block

With its angular lines, large windows, three decks, and galvanized steel roof, the Eco-Mod house on 7-1/2 Street off Cherry Avenue looks like it could have come right out of the pages of Architectural Digest. But despite additional unusual design features– including a rain water collection system, a multi-zone heating and cooling system, hardwood floors throughout, and walls with an R-30 insulation value– this house can't be bought by the rich or famous when it goes on the market in the next week or so.

"It'll be somewhere in the mid-$200's," says Roger Voisinet, the listing agent who's handling the sale for Piedmont Housing Alliance. The house, designed and built by UVA architecture prof John Quale and a team of his students, has now been handed over to PHA to sell. Like other Piedmont Housing houses, Voisinet says, the Eco-mod qualifies for lending through the Virginia Housing Development Authority. That means it must be sold to a first-time homeowner whose income (for a family of three) cannot exceed $90,000.

Also unusual about the house: it has been "condo-ized," says Voisinet, creating a 550-square-foot studio dwelling in the basement that will be sold separately for a price likely in the low to mid $100,000s.

Piedmont's Peter Loach says the basement unit will be completed in approximately six weeks, while the upstairs– which features extensive IKEA cabinetry, lots of sliding doors and stainless steel– still requires a few weeks of finishing touches, such as trim work and final landscaping.

Those who might be interested should take note: Loach says more than 300 qualified buyers have been through the Piedmont Housing Alliance office this year, so competition may be steep.

1 comment

This is a project that was constructed on a foundation of lies. From the Daily Progress, Oct. 31, 2005: "They've fit the rooms together like pieces of a puzzle, assembling a future for one of Charlottesville's neediest families." Now we're learning that the house will cost in the "mid $200s", or up to $400,000 if both units are sold together (as is likely). HARDLY a sales price that "one of Charlottesville's neediest families" can even dream of affording.!news