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For the last two weeks, I’ve been receiving press releases from the American Community Properties Trust about its uber energy-efficient, humongous planned development that will completely revitalize St. Charles Maryland—-located “only 22 miles from the White House,” as one announcement stated.
What were they talking about exactly? “An international model of how to design and build an economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable community…When complete, the community will include nearly 25,000 homes and nine million square feet of industrial, commercial and retail space.”
Well, I can’t say I took the very un-green approach of temporarily acquiring a car and driving down to St. Charles myself. But there was a press conference about the development this morning, and the Washington Post has also just published a piece about the plan, which includes this delightful little morsel:
“What we’re trying to do is reinvent the balance of the community,” said Steve Griessel, chief executive of the American Community Properties Trust. “When the green thing first started, people said, ‘We’re going to put green icing on the cake.’ We want to build the thing from the ground up as a green cake.”
Oh I was so close to writing a headline something along the lines of “Building Things from the Ground Up as a Green Cake.”
Eye-catching! But I abstained.
Anyway, the project does look like a massive undertaking, which will apparently double St. Charles’ current size, and ultimately create 20,000 green jobs:
Griessel outlined a plan that will include:
- Dedicating the balance of 4,000 acres of fully entitled land zoned for 11,000 new homes and over 5 million square feet of commercial, schools and community centers to be a smart green and growing community.
- Undertaking a massive retrofitting program for the existing businesses and nearly 40,000 residents to enhance energy and water efficiency.
- Designing and building desirable, quality homes, apartments and commercial buildings that cost less and perform better
- Making St. Charles an international living laboratory for new technologies, products and services and share the results of programs with the world
- Working with universities and colleges to create a green campus, research and development park, and incubator
- Building the largest combination of clean energy infrastructure in the United States, including a 640 megawatt natural gas powered power plant, a 75-acre solar farm generating 10 megawatts, geothermal well fields for heating and cooling buildings, and a biomass gasification technology plant potentially incorporating methane from the Charles County landfill to produce additional renewable electricity
Image by Fabio Ikezaki, Flickr Creative Commons