Southwest Champaign subdivision back on course

Southwest Champaign subdivision back on course

CHAMPAIGN — It's been a long time coming, but the Legends subdivision in southwest Champaign is starting to fill in.

Its developers say that amid the end of the housing crisis, the emergence of the Carle at the Fields development and a strategic shift from duplexes to single-family homes, the development is in a great spot.

"It's a great area and will develop quickly," said Steve Meid, one of the owners of Signature Homes, which owns the lots in the subdivision. "We've done 17 home sales in the course of about a year and a half. ... It's very rare that we have one finished before it's sold."

First proposed in 2006, the subdivision near Curtis and Staley roads centers around a nine-hole "executive" golf course and driving range. It includes two streets named after golf legends: Nicklaus Drive and Palmer Drive.

"On Nicklaus, we've already used all the lots that back up to the golf course," Meid said. "We just started turning the corner on Palmer. Two are sold on that street, and we'll be continuing on down that street. There's probably still another 22 home sites available right now."

Last month, the Champaign City Council approved replat of land that will allow for seven single-family homes, a change from the duplexes that were originally planned there.

"It was the wrong product, and it hit at a time when it was tough to do anything," said Meid, referring to the housing crisis in the late 2000s.

"We felt building detached single-family homes on the golf course at a price point between $230,000 and $270,000 would do better. These homes have proved to be popular with most models featuring a first-floor master bedroom," said Bill Peifer, co-founder of Signature Homes.

The subdivision is across the street from where Carle at the Fields will be once it opens in 2018. That development will include a 300,000-square-foot office building for 1,400 employees, along with other medical and commercial buildings.

"The activity that Carle will bring to the area makes our development more attractive to homeowners," Peifer said.

The Legends subdivision will include some commercial lots of its own.

The golf course has plans for an upscale clubhouse with a "resort-style pool, fitness area, golf simulators and common area which homeowners of Legends can also be a member of," Peifer said.

And the developers have plans for two of the six commercial lots in the subdivision.

"One is already sold to a local bank," Meid said.

"We are also currently building a day care center for a client, called Little Legends, and this site was selected because of its proximity to Carle and Health Alliance," Peifer said.

They also hope to build out a retail lot along Staley Road that could include a "casual neighborhood restaurant," Peifer said. These retail spaces would be directed at southwest Champaign residents, Carle employees and traffic from the interstate.

"We are in the early planning and layout stages" of that retail lot, Peifer said.

They expect Legends to continue growing.

"Champaign is doing better than other central Illinois towns, and we are fortunate to be here," Peifer said.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (2):Economy, Housing