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Champaign to consider putting up $2.5 million for developer's plan

Local Government

By Khristopher Flack | Jan 12, 2016

The Champaign City Council will hold a study session Tuesday to review a development agreement.

The Champaign City Council will hold a study session at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at the Champaign City Building to review a development agreement for the city's Midtown area that would have the city front the bulk of the bill on a 1.77 acre development.

The proposal, for property owned by Dan Hamelberg, asks the city to pay up to $2.5 million to build two five-story mixed-use buildings and a public plaza on the east side of First Street on behalf of the developer. The argument for the proposal, which carries a market value of $23 million, is that the development would generate more revenue for the city in property taxes, sales tax and food and beverage tax, eventually covering its own costs and turning a profit.

The plan includes 108 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 35,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space and 108 parking spaces. City officials hope the design of the development would attract a young professional crowd.

Though there haven't been public comment sessions held specifically for this project, city officials said the development is in line with the city's downtown and comprehensive plans in which public input was received.

If approved by the City Council, the project would begin demolition of the existing buildings on the site and begin construction in spring and summer. The buildings would be ready to occupy by fall of 2017.

After being reviewed at Tuesday's study session, the item is expected to be placed on the agenda for the next City Council meeting.

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