Westgate is currently under development at the Glen community in Glenview, Ill.
Westgate is currently under development at the Glen community in Glenview, Ill.

With the United States Army planning to reduce its force to fewer than 500,000 soldiers before the end of the year, military bases are being shut down across the country. Many of these sites provide opportunities for builders nationwide.

For instance, the Glen, a 1,200-acre community on the site of the former Glenview Naval Air Station near Chicago, has become a case study in how careful planning and construction can convert a base closure into an economic engine rather than an economic blow.

Chicago-area builder Edward R. James Homes built one of the first residential communities at the Glen, Southgate on the Glen, and is now building the very last residential community with Westgate on the Glen, a 171-unit community that features a pedestrian-friendly land plan in close proximity to shops, restaurants, a Metra train station, and two golf courses. Each of the single-family and row homes available at Westgate feature first-floor masters, allowing empty-nesters to enjoy single-floor living while still having space to accommodate visiting grandchildren. Pricing ranges from the upper-$400,000s for the mews townhomes, to the $800,000s for the cluster single-family homes.

Here, BUILDER talks with Jerry James, president of Edward R. James Homes, about the logistics of planning such a large-scale infill development on a former military base.