Crystal View townhomes get underway in north Urbana

A full-fledged marketing campaign to advertise the Crystal View Townhomes complex now under construction in Urbana will begin as soon there is “a clear, concise plan to be able to house individuals,” said David Edbrooke, property manager for Ludwig Co., which will manage the new housing complex that will provide affordable housing for low-income individuals in the community.

The townhomes are being built on the site of the former Lakeside Terrace public housing project, located on Broadway Avenue and just south of Kerr Avenue. Construction on the townhomes is still in the preliminary stages, as the groundbreaking was in late May.

Thus far, everything is on schedule, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the Homestead Corporation, which – along with main developer Brinshore Development, LLC – is assisting in the development of the complex. Although the full project isn’t scheduled to be done until spring 2010, Smith was hopeful that a few units would be ready to live in within two months.

“We may not make that deadline, but we’re hoping to try and get at least the first set of units ready to rent by August,” Smith said.

The 70-unit development will be comprised of 17 buildings, and Smith said construction crews are “moving along pretty well,” as two buildings are already “framed up and enclosed.”

With that in mind, Edbrooke said the marketing campaign could begin in July. For now, though, Ludwig & Co. has just had interested parties fill out “pre-interest cards” to get some of the individuals’ information.

“They need to get a little further into the construction process so we get definitive dates as to when homes are becoming available,” Edbrooke said.

When it does come time to fill out formal applications, Edbrooke said it will be “first-come, first-serve.” He added the estimated 40 to 45 individuals who have already shown preliminary interest will have a chance to rent the new homes – assuming, of course, they qualify within the income parameters.

The townhomes will be rented out based on an individual’s or a family’s income level in relation to the median income in the area. A press release stated, “The new development will include 35 units affordable to low-income households, 28 units affordable to very low-income households and 7 market-rate rentals.”

When it does come time to seriously market the townhomes, Edbrooke didn’t think there’d be much of a problem getting applicants, saying the new homes would be “filled very quickly.”

Smith agreed, in large part because he believes the Crystal Lake townhomes will be a great place for people to live.

“It’s a great location, it’s right next to Crystal Lake Park, it’s a really beautiful neighborhood,” Smith said. “Also, they’re larger three- and four-bedroom units that are affordable (for big families).”