12 years' worth of projects planned for East University TIF

Last night, the city council supported the 12-year continuance of the 24-year-old East University Avenue tax increment financing district.

I wanted to give you a little more information about what's planned for it, complete with renderings (which appear in this 18-megabyte city document) of what city officials envision.

The city of Champaign operates three tax increment financing districts. The East University Avenue TIF is highlighted in red.

 

Here is a map of all the city's TIF districts. The old East University Avenue TIF is outlined in red, and the properties that are completely shaded in red are what will remain after the TIF is reduced by about half its size. You'll see most of what is being carved out is on the easternmost portion of East University, along with a First Street property on the north end and one along the railroad on the south end.

 

 

 

City officials hope a reconstructed Locust Street will "capture the existing ethnic flare of the neighborhood."

 

This image is what city officials hope to make of Locust Street after a reconstruction. According to the TIF plan, "There exists the opportunity along First Street and Locust Street to transform this area into a vibrant commercial node. The node would be centered around the flat iron building at the intersection of Locust and First streets. Redesigning this area to capture the existing ethnic flare of the neighborhood would create a powerful commercial center, that would feed off the Boneyard project and help break up the distance that currently exists between Campustown and Downtown."

 

 

City officials will offer redevelopment incentives to First Street businesses abutting the Boneyard Creek.

The next image is what city officials want the west side of the ongoing Boneyard Creek Second Street reach project to look like. The city will offer redevelopment incentives to businesses along First Street and encourage those property owners to orient their businesses in such a way to incorporate the Boneyard Creek and its surrounding park as an amenity. City planner T.J. Blakeman told me that it would be a shame if that park was not fully incorporated into the surrounding business district.

 

 

 

City planners hope to create a Water Street plaza much like the Taylor Street plaza, where Cowboy Monkey is located.

The final image is what city officials hope to make of Water Street between Chestnut Street and University Avenue. Water Street would be completely shut down to allow for a pedestrian plaza. According to the TIF plan, "This plaza would simply recreate the brick street surface and create the feel of a vintage street." Basically, city officials hope to do the same with Water Street as what they did with Taylor Street, where Cowboy Monkey is now located.

 

 

 

 

There is some more detail in the TIF plan, so read on if these three examples interest you.

Questions or comments? Please feel encouraged to post them below, e-mail me or send me a message on Twitter.

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