Inhabitat: “Oberlin’s LEED Development Revitalizes Community”

Ten years ago, writes Andrew Michler for Inhabitat, three college students had a vision to reclaim a stagnant downtown area in Oberlin, Ohio—in a couple of months that vision will become reality. Sustainable Community Associates has developed a $15 million LEED Neighborhood Development Gold (pending) project with perseverance and good will for their alma mater’s hometown. Now the downtown is getting hooked on green building as the community discovers the positive impact that sustainable development can have.

The reclaimed brownfield development consists of three mixed-use buildings that form a courtyard and commercial block. The project is people-friendly with retail spaces that connect the street to the commons, and underground parking that creates density and open space. Low-income housing, light-filled lofts, live/work spaces, condos and retail are a part of the mix, but where this project stands out is in its straight-forward intention of making a stronger community. As Naomi Sabel, one of the three developers, states “I hope this project becomes the proverbial rock that is dropped in the water and creates a ripple effect… a Green Arts District is one example of the concentric circles moving outward.”

Read Michler's full article in Inhabitat.


This article was originally published on April 13, 2010 on Inhabitat. For more information on the East College Street Project, visit