Future of Firehaus and Clybourne remains unclear


Elisabeth Neely

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen along with other Champaign City Council members discuss and vote on proposed bills, including the one to take down The Clybourne and Firehaus bars and replacing it with a high-rise building.

By Cori Lippert, Staff Writer

The Champaign City Council voted in favor of the plan that could potentially lead to the closing of two bars on campus, Firehaus and The Clybourne.

Bruce Knight, planning and developing director for Champaign, said the action passed at the City Council meeting on Tuesday was to expand the existing alley between Firehaus and The Clybourne on Sixth Street. The current alley is ten feet wide and is not large enough to fit garbage trucks or emergency vehicles.

“At this point in time, we haven’t started reviewing a development yet, so I can’t really talk about the larger plans that might come for the area,” Knight said.

City Council member Greg Stock voted in favor of the action. He said the plan that was passed at the meeting was for improvements on the alley, but there is talk about a high rise going into the location. Stock is anxious to see what will come of the development once it is finished.

“We’re typically not going to stand in the way of somebody that wants to bring businesses and bring economic development to our community, so usually we’re going to go for that,” he said.

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    Stock said if the owner is willing to participate in the deal, then it is not the council’s place to say anything about it.

    “I don’t think it’s our place to say, ‘Well, you can’t sell your business because we know that some people like it,’ so, you know, we’re kind of stuck on that one,” Stock said. “If the business owner is willing to sell to someone, that is between the business owner and the buyer.”

    The developer of the project was present at the meeting but was unable to comment on the project.

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