Jeffrey Tubbs of JDT International and Rich Astrella of Star Real Estate, the folks who brought you the Flats @ Girard Pointe, are getting started on a new project in Graduate Hospital. Once built, the Flatz@2015 Fitzwater St. will contain two bi-level units with eco-friendly details and high-end design standards. With a green roof, dual-flush toilets, tankless water heaters and bamboo floors, this might seem like a fairly run-of-the-mill new construction project with some green touches we’ve come to expect. Digging a little deeper, we found this project to be extremely unique for reasons totally unrelated to the building itself, which should see its foundation poured in the coming weeks.

A rendering of the Flatz@2015. When built, the bay will probably not be yellow.

Floor plan for Unit A and Unit B

What really sets this project apart from other similar development is a commitment to giving back to the community in the form of the Urban Roots Youth Workshop. With a goal to expose high school students to the urban development profession, this program will host ten sessions over the course of the summer, using the Flatz@2015 as a hands-on example. Students will learn about city planning, architecture, engineering, construction, marketing, sales, fine art & landscaping, and community development. Having little faith in the goodness of mankind, we asked Tubbs whether this program was the product of some arcane requirement from the the City or something to that effect, but he assured us that Urban Roots is simply his effort to do some good in the community where he’s doing business. Good guy, that Jeffrey Tubbs.

These snazzy looking units start at $375,000, but the value that Urban Roots will provide for 15 lucky kids this summer can’t be expressed in dollars and cents. If you know of any kids that might be interested in this program, email for more information.