Mohawk North Homes occupies one of the oldest parts of Chicago, but there's nothing antiquated about this urban infill project. The four-story structures incorporate insulated concrete forms, and are "a social engineering success, integrating across economic and social lines," says Jeff Welsh, of Monterrey Contractors.

The firm won a bid to redevelop five vacant lots for the city of Chicago. The city's goal was to create a small-scale prototype for larger-scale redevelopment of troubled public housing. The resulting 15 condos were targeted to diverse buyers. The seven market-rate units sold for $220,000 to $400,000. The three affordable units went for $140,000 each with a $50,000 subsidy from the city. For these units, the city included a recapture agreement in the mortgage as an incentive to buyers to stay in the house for at least 10 years. For every year they stay, $5,000 of the $50,000 is forgiven. The last five units were sold to the Chicago public housing authority at $110,000 each.

All units sold in a month. "What makes this project so special is that it sold by word of mouth through community churches; no other outside marketing was done," says C.K. Cole, of Castle Marketing, ad agency for the project.

Project Credits Project: Mohawk North Homes, Chicago; Sales started: February 2000; Sales through January 2001: 15; Units released through January 2001: 15; Units planned: 15; Price: $110,000 to $400,000; Unit size: 1,250 to 2,500 square feet; Builder: Monterrey Contractors, Chicago; Architect: Smith & Smith Associates, Chicago; Ad agency: Castle Marketing, Chicago

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.