The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Legacy202 ushers in new look for Greek life

Jack Larson
Legacy 202, a luxury apartment complex on the corner of Second and Daniel streets, stands tall on an overcast day. The complex also includes the new house of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

After completing construction this year, Legacy202 is the latest building to join the selection of campus luxury apartments — but with a twist. One corner of the building is not occupied by apartments, but by a brand-new fraternity home. 

“I think 2014 is when this thing first got thrown around,” said Brian Moran, a member of the Beta Theta Pi alumni group tasked with development of their chapter’s new home. “And what compelled (us) to think of this was that our original home was built in 1912.”

In 2014, the original Beta Theta Pi house was over 100 years old. For Moran, the historical aspect of the home resonated positively. 

“When you look at the pictures going back through all the decades, seeing all these men year after year photographed in front of this building just reinforces the history and what it has meant to so many people,” Moran said. 

While this history was important to Moran, there was a looming challenge associated with maintaining a home designed to accommodate horse and buggy: $3 to $4 million in repairs and remodeling. 

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“To bring these really old homes back to levels that people are accustomed to today is a significant investment,” Moran said, which left him and his fellow alumni with the question, “Who’s gonna put up that money?”

Instances of a generous donor funding fraternity home repairs have happened, but it runs the risk of the house needing those repairs all over again in several years without any return on the investment. Beta Theta Pi alumni wanted to do it differently. 

Instead of funding repairs, the old house was torn down. In its place, a new concept for Greek housing — Legacy202 — was constructed with investment from alumni. 

In the corner of the development stands the chapter’s new home, while the rest of the building is leased out to tenants. 

The estimated total cost of Legacy202 is $26 million, which far exceeds the estimated price of repairs for the old house. However, because units are being leased to tenants, alumni investors will be seeing financial return. 

Though it may be a while before the investors see a profit, some members of Beta Theta Pi will receive a more immediate return from the new development. 

Eli Crouch, current president of Beta Theta Pi, joined the fraternity soon after the old house had been torn down in 2020. 

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Crouch said in anticipation of the home’s opening.

For the past couple of years, Beta Theta Pi has had to use University facilities for meetings and hasn’t had a place of their own, but that is all about to change.

“The whole idea behind that is that while we want to maintain a nice lodge space — and we do like to have guys to live close to the house,” Crouch said. “But we also want to maintain, like I said, that good order and neat and tidiness.” 

Per policy, the house will be a dry house and brothers will not live there.

According to Moran, the Beta Theta Pi house “won’t have the essence of a frat house in a traditional sense.”

Instead, it serves as a physical space for meetings, studying and “creates a culture where people are connected to an organization where there’s more meaning in actual friendship,” Moran explained.

Most Legacy202 units have been leased for the semester. Of the building’s 99 units, there are only 12 spots remaining.

Described on the Legacy202 website as “luxury student housing,” the units boast numerous amenities. With rent ranging from $995 to over $2,000, the apartments also come at a luxury cost. Fortunately for Crouch and his brothers, the luxury extends to the new fraternity space. 

“I mean, it’s probably the nicest eating area that you’ll ever see,” Crouch said.  

While the luxury is nice, for Crouch — who hasn’t ever lived in a chapter house — it’s just “nice to have a space to call home.” 


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About the Contributors
Michael Bales
Michael Bales, Senior Copy Editor
Jack Larson
Jack Larson, Audience Director
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