Golf course part of Champaign subdivision plans

Golf course part of Champaign subdivision plans

CHAMPAIGN – Longtime residents who miss the old Par 3 golf course in Champaign are likely going to enjoy The Legends subdivision in southwest Champaign.

The proposed development, a mix of apartments, duplexes and condominiums and some commercial lots, will be centered around a nine-hole "executive" golf course and driving range that will be open to the public.

The development will be north of Curtis Road and west of Staley Road on what is now farmland owned by former Champaign County Board member Francis "Bud" Barker.

A group of six developers, headed by Darren Rogers of Bloomington, is proposing the development and is under contract to purchase the property. The other developers include Vic Armstrong, Don Franke, Harold Hoeferle, Ron Rebholz and Jeff Hunt.

Rogers said he expects the golf course, which will include a clubhouse and restaurant overlooking a lake, to be open by June 2008.

"There used to be a Par 3 golf course there," said Rogers, who once lived in Champaign-Urbana. "I went to it all the time. The town is really a little starved for golf courses that are public, especially an executive Par 3 course."

The proposed course will be nine holes, about six of which will be par 3s, with the other three par 4s. There will also be a driving range, a golf academy that will offer lessons and a restaurant.

The golf course and driving range will make up about 55 acres of the 118-acre development.

The old Par 3 golf course Rogers is referring to was a 27-hole layout along South Neil Street that closed in 1996 to make way for an office park and retail development.

The Legends will include 120 duplex units, in 60 buildings, that will be built around the golf course, selling in the $210,000 to $225,000 range. There will also be about 200 "high-end" apartments as well as an undetermined number of condominiums on 10 acres and eight commercial lots, Rogers said.

"A lot of the infrastructure should be done by Sept. 1, 2007," said Rogers. "Then we'll start on models and the clubhouse."

The Legends will be west of the Interstate 57/Curtis Road interchange now under construction.

The development will include frontage property on Curtis and Staley roads. Barker will keep about 40 acres at the northwest corner of Staley and Curtis for possible commercial development.

A 10-foot-wide concrete bicycle path would be built along the west edge of The Legends development in the Marathon Oil pipeline easement.

The Champaign Plan Commission on Wednesday voted to support an annexation agreement and preliminary plat for The Legends, as well as an amendment to the city's comprehensive plan to include the development in the city's designated growth area. The proposal will go to the Champaign City Council for final approval at its Dec. 19 meeting.

The annexation agreement requires the developers to contribute $157,000 toward the improvement of Curtis Road where it fronts the development. The city has begun requiring road contributions for developments proposed outside of the city's designated growth area.

The Legends is the second residential development proposed in the Curtis Road area. Prairie Creek subdivision, which has been proposed by state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, has already received zoning approval and would be directly south of The Legends on the south side of Curtis Road.

Prairie Creek would have 466 units of housing, including 210 single-family homes, 178 duplex units and 80 fourplex units.

Brady agreed to pay for the extension of sanitary sewer service to the Curtis Road area to serve his development and the area, with some help from the city. Subsequent developments that use the sewer would then repay Brady for his investment.

The sewer work was supposed to have been finished by Nov. 30, but now isn't expected to be completed until June, said Rob Kowalski, Champaign's assistant planning director. Any further delay could hinder progress on The Legends, he said.

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