All Business Content

All Business Content

Fithian a possible Honda plant site

FITHIAN – More than 1,000 acres of mostly farmland near Fithian may be under consideration by Honda as a site for its newest North American assembly plant.

Earlier this month, the automaker announced that it was looking for a Midwest site for its sixth plant.

Urbana council votes in favor of preliminary smoking ban

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, and do it fast if you're in a restaurant, even in a restaurant's bar, in Urbana or Champaign.

The two cities will have some coordinating to do where plain old bars are concerned, but it looks like smokers will have to take it outside there as well by early 2007.

Goal is immersive 3-D video conferencing for the masses

University of Illinois graduate student Wanmin Wu puts her arm around a colleague at the University of California at Berkeley and the two of them mug for the cameras.

They appear together, side by side in 3-D, which is a pretty good trick considering.

$16 million question: Champaign or Iowa City?

CHAMPAIGN – William Boulanger decided Champaign-Urbana was the ideal place to start his chemical supply company.

In 2002, the research chemist did so with the establishment of Obiter Research. Today, the company employs 11 people at EnterpriseWorks and the Technology Commercialization Building, both on the University of Illinois campus.

Smoke hasn't cleared for hookah bars

CHAMPAIGN – Garenne Bigby opened his Champaign hookah bar, Nargile, about 2 years ago. After a slow start, the business at 207 W. Clark St. is doing well.

But hookah's days could be numbered in Champaign-Urbana if a smoking ban in most public places goes into effect. That possibility has Champaign City Council member Ken Pirok suggesting that bars that offer hookah should be exempt from the smoking ban.

It's your business: Village at the Crossing to get Chinese restaurant

A new Chinese restaurant is under construction at Village at the Crossing, the shopping and office complex at the corner of Windsor and Duncan roads in Champaign.

It will be called Old Shanghai Restaurant and Grill and will open around Aug. 1, says Kit Lee, the owner along with her husband, Wei Guo Huang.

Two-story house with link to Lincoln lives on in new storage business

SAVOY – Had Abe Lincoln ever needed some extra space to keep his stovepipe hats, he might have felt right at home using one of the rental storage units being built along the railroad tracks in Savoy.

After all, standing right in the middle of the storage complex property, at the southeast corner of Curtis Road and U.S. 45, is an old house Abe is said to have visited when he passed through this area as a circuit-riding lawyer.

Two new hopefuls want to examine MTD's priorities

CHAMPAIGN – Two new candidates for the MTD board say they're interested in examining the district's priorities.

After county members complained there weren't enough choices for the mass transit district board, Democrats enlisted retired Professor Ronald Peters, and Republicans have longtime school superintendent Jerry Zachary.

Illinois American Water plans upgrades

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois American Water Co. announced today it will build a new water treatment plant in west Champaign, part of $40 million in capital improvements planned over the next five years.

The move comes as the cities of Champaign and Urbana continue to investigate a possible purchase of, or negotiations with, the water company following customer complaints about boil orders and low water pressure.

Historic downtown Champaign building purchased

CHAMPAIGN – A downtown landmark building has been sold, and one of the new owners said an extensive renovation is in the works.

A partnership made up of Jeffrey Mellander, George Grubb and Bob Ballsrud closed on purchasing the building at 219-223 N. Neil St. – at the southwest corner of Neil and Church streets – a few weeks ago, purchasing it from the Fu family.