The figures cap a solid 2016 for home construction: Developers started work on the most new houses and apartments since 2007, the year the Great Recession began. 

Spread out along a hillside near the Beverly Hills Hotel, Susan Gottlieb's baseball-field-size home garden — dubbed the Gottlieb Native Garden — boasts more than 100 species of native plants and brims with wildlife activity.

It all began when Quad-City home builder Jim Schumacher realized that a cute little gambrel-roof barn in the onion fields of Pleasant Valley w…

Alma Gaul