Plowfield will be located on Lincoln's west side, near the business
district. The property is south of Woodlawn Road/Route 10, just
south of Castle Manor. The project will include townhouse-style
apartments priced for working-class individuals and families.
Several community leaders turned out for the ceremony, including
city Alderwomen Jonie Tibbs and Kathy Horn, Mayor Keith Snyder, Andi
Hake and Megan Hough of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce
along with several of the chamber ambassadors, and Brian Bergen, Vic
Martinek and Chris Huff of the Lincoln & Logan County Development
Partnership, just to name a few..
Richard Sciortino of Brinshore Development acted as emcee for the
short program that preceded the groundbreaking. Sciortino said his
role was to introduce the speakers who would soon follow.
He began with the introduction of Mayor Keith Snyder. By way of
introduction, Sciortino said his first experience with the city of
Lincoln was with Snyder, and that he had been well received by the
mayor. Snyder had shared with him that there are employers who could
expand their operations in Lincoln, but that affordable housing for
wage earners was lacking.
Sciortino had earlier said that his company reaches out to
communities the size of Lincoln, and one thing they look for is a
community that is welcoming, one that wants to see this type of
development come to their community.
Snyder began by saying it was a great day for Lincoln and that he
had a lot to be thankful for. He recalled that just four years ago
there was a groundbreaking for Castle Manor, the assisted living
facility just to the north.
Shortly after that came the groundbreaking for the new Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital, now comes the groundbreaking for
Plowfield, and soon the planning commission will be looking at plans
for a new subdivision on the other side of the street, across from
Snyder said he was grateful for the new homes available in
Lincoln. He said whether it be a complex like Plowfield, or the
blessing of a Habitat for Humanity home, Lincoln is excited for the
creation of new homes.
Snyder also commented on an email he received in 2011 as a "cold
call." Snyder said the email outlined the development company, their
goals for building affordable homes and asked if the city of Lincoln
would be interested in being a part of this. Snyder said that was a
case where a cold call paid off for everyone.
It was also mentioned that the Lincoln & Logan County Development
Partnership was involved in bringing the day to fruition. Sciortino
said the company began working with the development partnership when
Mike Maniscalco was the director, and that the partnership had been
great to work with.
[to top of second column]
Sciortino next introduced Linda Thurmond of the Illinois Housing
Development Authority. In his introduction he mentioned that the
Illinois Housing Development Authority is one of the best-run in the
country. He noted that his company has completed over 30
developments in cooperation with IHDA.
When Thurmond took the podium, she first commented on the large
turnout for the groundbreaking. She moved on, saying that IHDA is a
somewhat quiet organization in the state, but that over the last 40
years the agency has helped finance 7 to 8 percent of the housing in
Illinois. She told the group that it never gets old to come to a
groundbreaking and be a part of offering affordable, safe, clean
housing in a community.
The next speaker was Andrew Hugger of U.S. Bank out of Chicago.
Hugger was representing the bank as investor and lender for the
Sciortino in his introduction said that getting to this point in
the project was not an easy task. He expressed his appreciation to
the bank and its representative for their willingness to work
through the issues and stick with Brinshore in getting the project
off the ground.
Hugger took the podium and said that U.S. Bank was proud to be a
part of the Lincoln project. He also told the group that this is not
the first housing program U.S. Bank has financed in Lincoln.
Sciortino concluded the program by thanking members of the
Brinshore staff who had worked on the project. He also acknowledged
building and zoning officer John Lebegue, saying that Lebegue was
very valuable in his work with the zoning and proved to be a great
resource for the developers as they put together the plans for the
He also mentioned the Illinois Department of Commerce and
Economic Opportunity for energy-efficiency incentives they offered
for the project.
He said the primary contractor for the job would be Baxter
Construction. He said Baxter is really great about working with
local contractors, and they all have done a great job for the
company in the past.
He also thanked local attorney Doug Muck, who was the seller of
the property where Plowfield will is to be built.
Immediately after this, Sciortino invited a large group to join
him in pitching the first shovels of dirt on the new project.
After the groundbreaking, everyone was invited to stay and enjoy
a lunch catered by Peggy's Place and Fat Boys BBQ.
[By NILA SMITH]