City plans to redevelop old building

By Eric Heisig

The Champaign City Council elected to move forward on a project Tuesday night that will eventually lead to the redevelopment of an abandoned building.

The council approved their staff to move forward in negotiations on a development agreement with the City and the owner of the building, located at the northwest corner of Neil and William streets. The building is planned to have a restaurant, apartments and a grocery store on the site.

“I think it is a very attractive program,” said Gina Jackson, Dist. 1 Council Member.

Tom Bruno, Council Member At-Large, said that redeveloping the building will make the area more aesthetically pleasing, making it look better in the eyes of visitors.

Janet Bubin, property owner, said she is thrilled to be working with the City of Champaign, and plans to create a nice and unique area.

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The total cost of the project is estimated at $4.5 million. The City, according to the estimates, would be funding the project with $245,000, following the Infill Redevelopment Incentive Program. The program is designed to foster development in buildings and areas where it is needed.

Vic McIntosh, Dist. 3 Council Member, said that he is worried about giving away more money for the project because the estimates brought forward early on do not often match the final cost of the projects.

Currently, with the building being abandoned, the City is not making any money off of it, especially in sales tax revenue.

Champaign City Council holds its meetings on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.