Karen Zarsky in Austin, who began as a facilitator for Re:Vision Dallas and wound up submitting an entry that did not place among the finalists, looks 200 miles up the road and thinks the project can become a reality, but only if Greenan and Brown can negotiate City Hall, which has offered support but little else to this point. She points to the need for private-public partnerships and the dangers involved when negotiating daydreams with code inspectors.

"I hope this effort is not done in vain, but there are some very lofty objectives here, and there's a large amount of due diligence necessary," she says. "I sure hope it works, because it's imperative to put precedent-setting work on the ground, and Dallas is a great place to do it for all kinds of reasons."

Greenan says he wants to break ground by no later than January 2011, which seems like forever from now—yet another reason the nonbelievers hiss and giggle upon the mention of the project.

Brandon Thibodeaux
John Greenan, and Brent Brown, creators of affordable housing, believe a parking lot behind
City Hall can sprout a cutting-edge, green, sustainable
building.
Brandon Thibodeaux
John Greenan, and Brent Brown, creators of affordable housing, believe a parking lot behind City Hall can sprout a cutting-edge, green, sustainable building.

"But this just might be the right time to do it, because of the economic situation with our country and the political dialogue" concerning sustainable developments, Brown says. "It's the perfect storm. Folks think it's pie-in-the-sky, sure, but there is a lot of energy. We are getting things finalized. This is the next project. It's right there, ready to happen."

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