If you think the economic downturn is bad for you, try being a developer of sprawly McMansion exurbs. Those dudes have it rough!

Don’t miss this hilarious story from Kaid Benfield, director of NRDC’s smart growth program.

So developer Gladstone Homes builds this development outside Chicago, in Plainfield, Ill., called Chatham Square, filled with McMansions 3,200 square feet and over, priced at over a half-mil a piece. You can choose from the Jadestone, the Neostone, the Wildstone, the Penstone, or many other slight variants of the same huge, generic house with a two-car garage!

Only nobody wants them. So Gladstone is, I kid you not, offering purchasers of high-end Chatham products the following discounts:

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  • $75,000 worth of free upgrades
  • A gasoline card worth $2,000
  • Developer-paid utility bills for five years
  • A 2009 Toyota Prius


Apparently this plan is not sitting well with Gladstone residents who paid full price. Better than living in a half-empty exurb, I say.

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