SchoolStreet Teams with MainStreet

From the Lake County News-Sun –  November 15, 2011:

See the Original Article Here

Learn More About MainStreet Libertyville Here

MainStreet Libertyville showcases ‘Design Week’

MainStreet Libertyville is in the midst of “Design Week,” which highlights all of the businesses in the downtown that offer a service or a product pertaining to home décor or design.

“We decided to highlight our resources for home design and products in conjunction with the public opening of the ‘Not So Big’ Showhouse designed by acclaimed architect Sarah Susanka for the School Street Development at 138 School St. on Nov. 19,” said Pam Hume, MainStreet Libertyville’s executive director.

“I think so many people, after walking through model homes, decide their own homes need a little sprucing up,” she said. “We want people to think first of our downtown shops as a destination for their home décor projects. Not only do we offer furniture and accessories, but also design and building expertise.”

Some of the participating stores include A Perry Designs and Builds, Arden’s Fine Furniture, Buss Floral Shop, Curtis Frame/Back Alley Gallery, Eclectic Design, Great Rooms, How Impressive, Idea Design-Build, Leggy Bird Design, Motif, Parkview Gourmet, Someone’s in the Kitchen, Studio West, Sweet Peas Design and Chelle Design.

Not So Big® Showhouse Featured on “Make It Better”

The Showhouse is the focus of an article on the North Shore online newsletter Make It Better. Make sure to view the article and share it with your friends. The most-viewed stories make it to the print edition!

Read the full the full story here:

Making Less Feel Like More: Not So Big Showhouse

Not So Big® Showhouse Featured in EcoHome

Ecohome is a magazine of the American Institute of Architects and focuses on green products and technology.

Sarah Susanka Opens Not So Big Showhouse in Illinois

Walkability, healthy indoor air, and attractive design appeal to small town buyers.

ByRick Schwolsky

The SchoolStreet Development in Libertyville, Ill., includes architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big Showhouse.

The SchoolStreet Development in Libertyville, Ill., includes architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big Showhouse.

Credit: Courtesy SchoolStreet Homes

Architect Sarah Susanka’s latest project is a showhouse demonstrating many of the architect’s design solutions for maximizing lifestyle within reasonable sqare footage—an approach she has famously coined as the “Not So Big House” architectural pattern. The showhome, which opened to the public this month, is part of a 26-home infill development built by SchoolStreet Homes on a Libertyville, Ill., “redfield” site—a term that refers to a financially damaged and dormant site, joining “brownfield” and “greenfield” in the lexicon of our industry.

“With all the challenges in the housing market, it’s clear we need a new vision for the way we design our homes, our communities, and even our lives,” Susanka says. “This is the first time I’ve designed a showhome that’s located within an existing small town and in a new walkable community that’s just off the town’s main street.”

The 2,450-square-foot home was designed to meet the new Energy Star for Homes 3.0 performance levels, as well as EPA’s Indoor Air Plus requirements, and is pre-wired for subsequent installation of rooftop PV panels.
The SchoolStreet development includes a historic school that’s being transformed into 15 urban lofts that will be available starting in the second quarter of 2012. It is within blocks of downtown shops and restaurants as well as a commuter rail station 30 miles from Chicago. “Even before we opened the doors, the showhouse design and the entire SchoolStreet community have been met with great enthusiasm from the public,” says John McLinden of SchoolStreet Homes. “We’re bucking national housing trends with 21 of the 26 homes sold in less than a year and five of the 15 lofts sold within the first eight weeks of being released to the public.”

Rick Schwolsky is Editor of Chief of EcoHome.

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SchoolStreet Model Addresses ‘Redfield’ Redevelopment

Mayor Embraces SchoolStreet Homes’ Solution for “Redfield” Site


Urban infill model addresses modern-day phenomena of foreclosed “redfield” sites.

Libertyville, Ill. (PRWEB) October 03, 2011

Stop by the bustling SchoolStreet Homes development in Libertyville, Ill., and feel the earth move under your feet. No, it’s not just the construction underway on eight of SchoolStreet’s 26 homes. It’s the vibrations of a housing revolution rippling through the neighborhood, invigorating an entire community and inspiring a movement towards a new model for housing success. In an economy where “redfield” sites are an increasing issue for cities, SchoolStreet’s urban infill model is sparking a much-needed paradigm shift. The newly coined “redfield” term refers to development property sites that have been foreclosed, short-sold or repossessed by banks.

“Many people are familiar with ‘brownfields’(1) and ‘greenfields,’(2) but throughout the recession we’ve seen an emerging trend of ‘redfields’ popping up across the nation,” explained John McLinden, developer, SchoolStreet Homes. “These financially damaged, dormant properties create challenges for cities because they require creative planning, financing and dedication to make them stable. We’ve proven with SchoolStreet that it’s possible to take lemons and make lemonade; if you take the right approach.”

The excitement has been further amplified by the presence of Sarah Susanka, FAIA, architect and best-selling author of “The Not So Big House” book series, who is partnering with SchoolStreet to build her first-ever showhouse for a developer. The combination of SchoolStreet’s architect-driven approach and Susanka’s heralded Not So Big design philosophy is drawing national attention – and homebuyers are coming in droves.

Mayor’s Perspective on Housing Halo Effect
Homebuyers aren’t the only ones taking notice. “John and his team have created a wonderful neighborhood on a site that could have become an eyesore for our town,” said Mayor Terry Weppler, Village of Libertyville. “Despite the national downturn in the housing market, homes in the neighborhood have sold more quickly than in many developments that were constructed while the economy was still booming. SchoolStreet and the excitement surrounding the Not So Big Showhouse have contributed to a vibrant downtown district that is thriving when other downtowns are suffering.”

A New Approach for the New Market
SchoolStreet’s successful formula offers homebuyers a more tailored product that can be adjusted and customized to meet individual needs. By utilizing core home plans with a pre-selected palette of materials and finishes, SchoolStreet is bringing high-quality, architecturally designed homes to the marketplace at value-driven prices.

“As recently as three to five years ago, developers were experiencing success simply by planning, financing and building homes the same way they have been for the past twenty years. We’ve learned during the market collapse that this model no longer works,” McLinden continued. “In order to be successful moving forward in the new market reality, we need a new approach to residential construction that can transform stagnant redfield properties into dynamic, desirable neighborhoods.”

In just less than a year, SchoolStreet has transformed a former redfield into an asset for Libertyville. Bucking national housing trends, McLinden and his team have sold 21 of 26 houses in SchoolStreet. Five of the 15 lofts in the adjacent historic school building also sold within the first eight weeks of being released to the public. Six homes in the neighborhood are currently occupied, with eight under construction and two more scheduled to begin construction in the coming months.

Building Houses, Building Communities
A key factor in SchoolStreet’s appeal is the Not So Big Showhouse, designed by celebrated architect Sarah Susanka. Through the years, Susanka has been approached by many developers interested in including one of her house designs in their neighborhood. It wasn’t until she visited Libertyville and saw SchoolStreet that she truly felt a development had captured the elements of her “build better, not bigger” approach to living.

“When I arrived in Libertyville, I immediately realized that John and his team were on to something,” said Susanka. “What they’ve done is focus on what homebuyers are really looking for: high-quality home designs that can be tailored to meet their needs at a reasonable price point, all located in a flourishing, walkable community. This model is an excellent fit for a new housing reality where people are planning for the long term and can fully appreciate the community that surrounds them.”

The Showhouse features all the hallmarks of Not So Big: quality and character, comfort and beauty, energy efficiency and sustainability. It is currently under construction with tile work, cabinetry, trim and exterior siding in process.

“For more than a decade, I have been interacting with readers who really want to experience for themselves what ‘Not So Big’ feels like, and this Showhouse is it,” said Susanka. “Never before has one of my showhouses so completely captured every element of ‘Not So Big’ design. It’s thrilling to see all the details coming together.”

The Not So Big Showhouse will open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 19 and remain open for weekend tours for the next six months. A guided video tour of the Showhouse under construction is available on the home page of

The Showhouse will be released for sale on Nov. 19. In addition, three other versions of Susanka’s design for SchoolStreet are available to interested buyers, each featuring a unique exterior street elevation. Floor plans and perspective drawings are available online at

About the Not So Big® Showhouse
Designed by acclaimed architect Sarah Susanka and located in the vibrant, Front Porch Revival community of SchoolStreet, in Libertyville, Ill., the Not So Big Showhouse is approximately 2,450 square-feet in size, highly energy efficient and filled with carefully crafted spaces and details that reflect all the major elements and key principles of Not So Big. Slated to open to the public on Nov. 19, the Showhouse features outstanding brands and services that exemplify the same Not So Big sensibility including Room & Board®, Marvin Windows and Doors, Priority Energy, Resource Furniture and Creston.

About SchoolStreet Homes
With their American Craftsman and Bungalow design character, SchoolStreet’s Front Porch Revival homes blend seamlessly with the historic turn-of-the-century homes in the neighborhood. A key factor in “cracking the code for housing success” is SchoolStreet’s process for customizing each of the homes through an architect-guided design process while keeping in strict adherence to its cost-control model. With a team of leading service and product suppliers providing a wide range of selections for the purchaser, SchoolStreet features 26 homes along with a historic school that will be transformed into 15 urban lofts. The development is located one block from Libertyville’s vibrant downtown, blocks from a commuter rail train station and approximately 30 miles from downtown Chicago. Homes start at $525,000 and lofts start at $175,000.

About Sarah Susanka, FAIA,
Susanka is the best-selling author of nine books that collectively weave together home and lifestyle, revealing that a Not So Big attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well. Her books have sold well over 1.2 million copies and have established Susanka as a sought-after resource for her insights into how we inhabit our homes, our planet and even our day-to-day lives. Susanka is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. “Builder Magazine” recognizes Susanka as one of the 30 most notable innovators in the housing industry over the past 30 years. She was born in Kent, England, and lives in North Carolina.

(1) A “brownfield” is an industrial or commercial site that is idle or underused because of real or perceived environmental pollution. Source:

(2) A “greenfield” is an undeveloped or agricultural tract of land that is a potential site for industrial or urban development. Source:

Read the orginal Article on PRWeb:






SchoolStreet Featured on Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch!

Watch the fantastic story featuring StreetScape’s John McLinden, Sarah Susanka, and our happy residents:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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Sarah Susanka to Speak Tomorrow in Mount Prospect

Author and architect of School Street’s Not So Big® Showhouse, Sarah Susanka, is in town to speak in Mount Prospect. Sarah will be speaking about sustainable lifestyles and communities tomorrow, September 21.

More information and details at:

Sarah Susanka to Speak with Bill Moller on WGN Radio

Be sure to tune in to WGN radio from 9-11:30am tomorrow morning. At about 11am, Bill Moller will be talking with architect Sarah Susanka about her Not So Big® Showhouse and School Street.

Make sure to pass the word, and we would love you to share your comments of the broadcast.

You can listen on AM 720, or stream from

Not So Big® Showhouse Featured in Daily Herald

The suburban Chicago newspaper, the Daily herald, featured Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big® Showhouse on Saturday. The home is part of StreetScape Development’s SchoolStreet project: