SAVOY – Champaign County's fastest-growing community is about to get even larger. And its big neighbor to the north is getting bigger, too.
A Minnesota-based developer, Select Development Co., plans to start a 240-acre subdivision called Liberty on the Lake on the northwest side of Savoy starting in the spring.
The development is proposed to be built on the east side of Mattis Avenue between Old Church Road and Curtis Road.
The subdivision, which will include 160 acres in Savoy and 80 acres in Champaign, will become the first subdivision to be shared by the two communities, according to Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton.
The boundary between Champaign and Savoy was set by an agreement more than 10 years ago.
Consulting engineer Shawn Luesse of HDC Engineering, who is designing the project, said the subdivision will bring 400 new single-family houses to Savoy.
Helton said the homes would range in price between $200,000 and $500,000.
"At this point, it would be comparable to Prairie Fields with slightly larger lots," Luesse said. "I would anticipate maybe slightly more expensive lots (than Prairie Fields), but we are in the initial stages here."
The Champaign portion will include 108 multifamily units, 104 single-family homes, 25 duplexes and 7 acres of commercial property.
Preliminary plans presented to the Savoy Planning Commission call for homes to be built around a 20-acre lake and several smaller basins. The development also includes plans for a minipark.
"What we anticipate there is some park play equipment, possibly a gazebo and a place to stop and enjoy the lake," Luesse said. "We anticipate putting a fountain in the lake just outside the gazebo."
Luesse said a trail would be built that would wind through the Savoy portion of the subdivision.
Along with the Prairie Fields subdivision in southeast Savoy, Helton said Liberty on the Lake will ensure that Savoy will continue the rapid growth it has experienced over the last three decades.
In 2004, Savoy passed Mahomet to become Champaign's fourth largest community, with 5,606 people.
"Just with what we know now, we are assured of getting another 1,000 new lots," Helton said. "That will mean an additional 2,500 persons added to our population over the next 10 years."
Helton made that prediction because the average family size in the community is 2.5 people.
The development of Liberty on the Lake is important for Savoy because it gives the village a foothold to expand further to the west on land north of Willard Airport.
"It gives us hope for additional future growth to the west," Helton said.
Helton said three more steps must be completed before the proposal becomes a reality.
– Select Development Company must submit site plans, development documents and other legal papers to the village.
– The Savoy Planning Commission needs to make a recommendation on the proposal.
– The village board must vote on the final plan.
"Unless we run into some unexpected problems, I would anticipate these steps will be completed within the next 90 days," Helton said.