Champaign to consider new apartment buildings

By Rafael Guerrero

A proposed development of multi-family residential buildings not far from Parkland College is up for a vote at Tuesday’s Champaign City Council meeting.

The ordinance in question calls for the approval of a proposed 111 unit residential development on West Bradley Avenue, just east of Parkland. Six buildings would be constructed, five of them residential.

Conditions that need to be met include, but are not limited to, the owner of the property to accommodate a Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus shelter and its Stopwatch services along Bradley Avenue.

These apartments are intended to be mostly for Parkland College students. Champaign Mayor Don Gerard said the new development is perfect timing with expansion plans for the community college. Earlier this summer, a multimillion dollar expansion was granted to Parkland. This summer, work continued on a new technology center, student services center and fitness center. An additional number of residential buildings, Gerard said, would help accommodate an expected increase in student enrollment.

“It would be great to accommodate more students as the school expands,” Gerard said.

If approved, a related resolution, which would grant developers 6.4 acres of 7.68 needed to accommodate the residential building development, is expected to pass. The remaining acres are owned by the Champaign Park District and they will be leased to a private contractor once the proposal is approved. These bills would also call for the construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting Dodds Park to Parkland.

If approved, construction is expected to begin fall of 2011 and the development will be completed next summer.