Council discusses redevelopment plans

By Rachel Bass

Champaign City Council members discussed redevelopment plans Tuesday night for the vacated lot at the corner of Sixth and Green streets. The site of the former Wendy’s restaurant and Kinko’s holds great opportunity for Campustown, Deputy City Manager for Development Craig Rost said.

Current proposals for the lot include a 10-story retail, office and student residential building with 400 to 600 bedrooms, according to a council report. A 400- to 500- parking space deck would also be constructed north of the Boneyard Creek Parkway to accommodate the proposed increase of people.

Desman Associates, the professional parking firm chosen by the city for the site, developed a parking model that will fill the demand, City Manager Steve Carter said. Desman’s model will provide parking for residents, Illini Media permit customers and office and retail employees. Short-term spaces will also be available.

Depending on the final size of the parking deck, the total cost of the construction could range anywhere from $312,000 to $416,000, Rost said.

If constructed, the parking deck would fill the vacancy left by Wendy’s and Kinko’s while unifying the new development with the rest of Green Street, according to the report. The new development could also result in an increased customer base and might bring new businesses to Campustown. Businesses and visitors will also benefit from the additional parking space, the report said.

Environmentalist and community member Dave Monk addressed his concern about the aesthetic pleasure of the parking deck to council members. Although a box structure would be the most effective for parking, the building should have an interesting quality, Monk said.

“You need to be able to walk down Sixth Street and have a twinkle in your eye,” Monk said.

Deck construction is slated to begin November 2005 and end in August of 2006.