URBANA – The Urbana City Council has given its tentative approval to a redevelopment plan for Lakeside Terrace apartments.
But that plan still appears to be in a state of flux, at least as far as the size of the development that would replace Lakeside Terrace.
Council members, meeting as the committee of the whole, voted unanimously this week to forward the redevelopment plan, with some minor changes, to the June 7 city council meeting for a final vote.
The plan calls for the eventual demolition of the 99-unit Lakeside Terrace apartments, built 52 years ago. The complex is in 22 barracks-style buildings on 9 acres directly east of Crystal Lake Park.
The plan by the city and Housing Authority of Champaign County calls for replacement of Lakeside Terrace, possibly as soon as next year, with up to 100 tax-credit apartments to be developed by Brinshore Development of Northbrook, the developer selected by the housing authority. Of those apartments, 24 would be reserved for the extremely poor who make 30 percent or less of the area median income.
Council members seemed surprised to learn that the housing authority board had expressed qualms about the number of units to be located on the Lakeside Terrace site, and had recently hired ADG Group, a local architectural and design firm, to develop alternative site plans, including plans for 60 units, 80 units and two different alternatives for 100 units.
A smaller development would mean fewer units reserved for the extremely poor, a key concern of the Urbana council.
"I think this council is looking for a guarantee of 24 (apartments) to serve as replacement units" for Lakeside Terrace, said Alderwoman Danielle Chynoweth, D-Ward 4.
Of the 100 units to be created, 90 percent would be affordable at some level, with the 24 for the extremely poor; 16 for those making 50 percent or less of the area median income; 50 for those making 60 percent of the area median income or below; and 10 units rented out at market rates.
A family of four with an annual income of $18,100 makes 30 percent of the area median income.
Urbana Mayor Tod Satterthwaite said he thought the housing board might take some convincing that a 100-apartment project would not result in problems.
"One hundred, I think, is very realistic," he said. "The real determining factor is how it's managed. If you have a good manager, you'll have a good project. If you have a bad manager, you'll have a bad project. We've seen that all over town."
Satterthwaite said he plans to attend the next meeting of the housing authority board, which meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the housing authority administration building at 205 W. Park Ave., C, to express his viewpoint.
The city council's goal in the redevelopment plan is to establish 80 units of housing reserved for the extremely poor. Besides the potential 24 units to be included at the old Lakeside site, the redevelopment plan also calls for:
– The housing authority will apply for federal funding for 14 new replacement public housing units to be located anywhere in Champaign County.
– Forty-two units of off-site scattered replacement housing, which could be located anywhere in Champaign County, to be developed by two local, not-for-profit community housing development organizations.
Under these plans, Homestead Corp. of Urbana would purchase, lease and manage 33 single-family homes over a three-year period, including 11 two-bedroom homes, 17 three-bedroom homes and five four-bedroom homes.
The Urban League of Champaign County would also set aside a total of nine apartments from two complexes, located in Urbana and Champaign, for replacement housing for Lakeside Terrace.
The housing authority would convert tenant-based Section 8 vouchers to project-based vouchers, where federally subsized rent is tied to a specific project, to help the Urban League and Homestead Corp. finance the projects.
The redevelopment plan calls for the city to contribute $915,000 toward the projects, including $300,000 for the Brinshore project, $478,000 for Homestead Corp. scattered site homes and $137,000 to the Urban League for the scattered site apartments.
You can reach Mike Monson at (217) 351-5370 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.