16-story building planned for Fourth and Green

16-story building planned for Fourth and Green

CHAMPAIGN — A 16-story apartment building has been proposed for the northwest corner of Fourth and Green streets in Campustown — where an IHOP restaurant and convenience store now stand.

The project, proposed by developer HERE Champaign LLC, would include ground-floor retail space, parking on the second through fourth floors, a fitness room and outdoor patio on the fifth floor and 143 apartments on the sixth through 16th floors.

But the stand-out feature would be the automated parking system proposed for the building.

Cars would enter the garage from Fourth Street, then be moved by elevators to "parking vaults" on the second, third and fourth floors where drivers would not be allowed.

There would be no parking ramps, less space between cars because the car doors don't open, and less ceiling height because people don't need to walk on those floors, developers say.

HERE, based in Chicago, said the automated parking system — which would accommodate at least 254 vehicles — is "associated with progressive leading cities of the world" and provides car owners with a "differentiated and desirable valet-like user experience."

The giant glass and metal-panel building would be the approximate height of the 24-story apartment building on the south side of Green Street, even though the HERE building has fewer stories.

That's because HERE's residential floors would have greater ceiling heights. According to HERE, the apartments would feature an 18-foot-high great room "creating an urban loft feel with abundant natural light."

The building would offer two- and four-bedroom units, having a total of 528 beds. Each unit would be equipped with a kitchen, washer and dryer.


Lorrie Pearson of the city’s Planning Department said the city will consider the HERE building — given its height — as 27 stories, counting each of the mezzanine levels in the apartments as separate floors. HERE said the building is expected to be built to LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Gold standards specified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

A public hearing for the planned development is scheduled for 4 p.m. May 1 in the Champaign City Council chambers.

The timetable calls for consideration by the plan commission May 15 and the city council June 4. Developers said they want to break ground in October of this year and get an occupancy permit in May 2015.

The preliminary concept calls for a ground-floor cafe looking onto the Fourth and Green intersection, with retail space to the west, facing Green Street.

The rooftop patio on the fifth floor would be on the northwest side of the building, with the L-shaped residential tower overlooking it from the south and east.

This project is the latest in a series of multi-story apartment building projects announced for Campustown:

— A five-story, 52-unit apartment building is going up at Second and Green streets — the former site of Garcia's Pizza-in-a-Pan and the White Horse Inn.

— Bankier Apartments recently announced plans for a 14-story apartment building on the southwest corner of Sixth and Green streets — where Gameday Spirit, Hair Benders and Beri Frozen Yogurt & Roll Model now operate.

— Also on tap in Campustown is JSM Development's hotel and apartment project on the site of Lot J situated near the northwest corner of Sixth and Green streets. That project would consist of two 12-story towers, including a 108-room Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel designed for long-term stays.


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Sid Saltfork wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

A corridor of high rise buildings from First and Green to Wright and Green eventually.  Urbana will never allow the ambience of tree lined Green Street to become such a monstrosity. 

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm
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Come on Sid, you know very well that developers aren't interested in Urbana.


I hope this space-aged parking system means there won't be any egress from the alley adjacent the skyscrapers. (Entering Green Street from from underground garages is already  blood sport as it is.)

A Very Busy Mom wrote on April 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

It is my opinion that we do not need this additional housing or any of the projects mentioned in this article.

Enrollment is not going up at the University of Illinois and neither is the population of either Champaign or Urbana - so why do we need these additional buildings.

Champaign-Urbana is losing its charm.

welive wrote on April 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

This is great for the area,Whatever happened to the planned high rise on the southwest corner of fourth and green? and when is this going to start? They should tear down the spot where Sushi Ave and Geoventis is wow thats whole strip is a dump.

Danno wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I just did a quick search for HERE Champaign LLC. Nothing. Would someone at the N-G please dig a bit to find out who the principals are for this org.? Or, does a reader have to do all the 'legwork?'

ilpatriot wrote on April 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm


Good luck finding out who the principal(s) are.

Seems to be a Delaware LLC.


Danno wrote on April 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

ilpatriot; thanks for the links, one's a new one on me. Concerning that Delaware based LLC; so is CRONUS Chemical apparently based there, i.e. the Tuscola agricultural chemical planned plant/project. Hmm...

pattsi wrote on April 12, 2013 at 7:04 am

There is no explanation as to the driver of all the super tall, for Champaign, buildings all along one street. Why ruin a street that once had character? Why cause an impossible traffic situation? Why the pressure on one street and one narrow area? What is being proven? Development anywhere within the boundaries and mile and one-half bring property tax monies into Champaign. None of the buildings going up in the community are architecturally inspiring or significant. We have no recently built building that will make Architecture Record or win a Pritzker. Don;t we have a School of Architecture in the College of FAA at UIUC that produce Walter Burley Griffin and Lorado Taft?

tater12 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Having a School of Architecture really has nothing to do with buildings that are being constructed in this area.  Students don't design buildings that are actually built...because they're students.  "Architecturally inspiring" is a very relative term that is going to be different to every single person you talk to.  What makes a building "significant" is not marked by making it into a magazine...

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm
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I know a lot of folks find all these tall new buildings on campus tacky, but I love 'em.  The more the better.  The students love them, and they are really transforming campus in a great way.  Before these high rises popped up, our campus looked more like a larger version of Eastern's campus than it did most other Big 10 campuses.  Most of the buildings that have been torn down for these towers were old and deteriorating eyesores...but I guess that's "character" to some people.

There are still plenty of other areas in town to enjoy if you really don't like the tall buildings.  And besides, if you really want to live in a town where there are no skyscrapers and almost all the buildings are several decades old and run down, then you can always move to Danville or Decatur.  The rest of us will enjoy the newfound urban atmosphere on campus.


SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I'm thinking giant obelisk.

nifty wrote on April 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm

It is always interesting that change brings out so many negative comments.  Housing on campus has been changing continously since the U of I gave up its roll as loco parentis decades ago.  It is not "new" for increased population it is replacement.  A good deal of those 12, 24 and 36 pack square box apartment buildings hudling on the edges of campus are visual blights and desire to come down. Things on campus have been changing since all that was there was a marshy stream that often flooded the surrounding prairie.  Things change.  Get over it.  

The city of Champaign has been trying to discourage cars on campus for a long time now with the narrowing of 6th, the landscaping on Green, the reduced speed limits and the enforcement of pedestrian crossings.  It is a planning concept called "shared streets" which encourages the blending of slow moving vehicles with bikes and pedestrians.  Tall buildings encourage pedestrians by concentrating large numbers in a small area and thus by shear numbers discourage vehicles.

As for what they are replacing - old beat up mostly one story commerical buildings from back when a hodge podge of strip commercial was the norm.  They were a blight.  


alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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Honestly, I think a lot of the negative sentiment is from nostalgic older folks who just want to see campus stay the way it was when they were college-age.

tater12 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Exactly.  The fact that a few of these buildings are proposing LEED certification as well shows even more that this campus/area is trying to move forward...modernize...change.  This is the future, and we're not the only campus that is doing this.  It fits.  

STM wrote on April 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

I doubt we'll get much digging into HERE Champaign LLC.  Don Dodson does little more than repeat press releases.  He should be in the advertising department.

I can't say I care much about this new development or not.  I'm just glad I don't own any campustown rental property.

that1ladywhosaidthat1thing1... wrote on April 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

What about the people who have been working at IHOP for 30+ years? Thank you, Champaign for once again demonstrating your undying love of the ever failing dollar instead of the dedicated labor which made this section of campus what it is today. Please continue to add stuff no one needs, we love that.

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

At least, it concentrates more students into an established area.  Pack'em in there, and put a fence around it.  Rt. 57 south to Rt. 74 east to the Lincoln Ave. exit south to Green Street, and turn right.  It makes for less contact with the redneck, townie riffraff.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

But where will the poor people go???

My common sense is tingling. wrote on April 13, 2013 at 9:04 am
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Parkland. Or in debt.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on April 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

This is DIFFERENT that the way IT USED to be and I DON"T LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!11!

Back in my day, we all lived in dumpy strip mall style apartment buildings built of matchsticks and balsa wood. AND WE LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want everything to freeze and stay the way I remember it from when I was 4. Or 18. No, 15 and 3/4. Yeah, that's it. Everything was PERFECT when I was 15 and 3/4 and it's all been DOWNHILL FROM THERE!!@!@

Don't you change another ding dang thing or else I'll write cranky comments complaining about all these new fangled Manhattan style towers to the sky all you people are building all over the dang place.

I mean it. I'll do it. You'll see -- just you wait....

mrseeu2 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

This is wonderful news.  Thanks to the HERE Corporation for selecting Champaign for this development.  This city is growing and before long will be populated with the most high rise buildings outside of Chicago.  Champaign is destined to be an urban metro area and we're headed in that direction.  For the people who want small town living just move over to Urbana and leave Champaign to us that want progress.  I can't wait until we get our first 30+ story building and you know it's coming.  City Council hurry up and approve this so that construction can begin.  Students love this and more will come to the University because of it. High rise apartments and students mean more money for the city.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I have to admit, it's kind of ugly though.

This would be cool:


squeaky wrote on April 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I respect the largely nostalgic sentimentality of those who oppose the high rises, but these are welcome developments for a growing and progressive city.  Champaign and Urbana to a lesser extent are both growing.  Champaign added roughly 18,000 citizens between 2000 and 2010 and Urbana added roughly 5,000 in the same period.  Champaign by itself is now more populous than Decatur and Champaign-Urbana's population exceeds that of Springfield.  UIUC enrollment has also steadily increased over the last few years.  The high rises provide the most efficient use of highly desirable space.  As another poster stated, these developments will be conducive to pedestrians, bicycles and slow moving traffic.  The city should embrace these developments and not let largely nostalgic opposition influence the matter.  That developers are proposing these high rises speaks volumes about the economic health, vitality and potential of Champaign (and Urbana, albeit indirectly).

itazurakko wrote on April 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm

If they can fill the retail downstairs portion of these buildings and make the buildings themselves of some quality built to last, I have no problem with it.  I'm all for more urban and less cars.  I'll admit I was skeptical when the big street improvement of 2002 went down but honestly? Green street through campustown is far more inviting now, and the trees are just getting big enough to really feel nice and overhead green in the summer. It was a good move.


But since when are parking vaults new and cool? Maybe for Champaign, I guess... big cities elsewhere had them forever already.

My common sense is tingling. wrote on April 13, 2013 at 9:04 am
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I've seen a good deal of comments on this article to the tune of "You're older people drowning in nostalgia" and "You fear change" or even "It's for the best; they NEED the housing".

I think that's a giant load of BS.

I've talked to a lot of current students, former students, and people that are older and remember a Green Street with more character: the vast majority of them agree that this "skyscapering" of Green Street is ugly and unnecessary.

Just last night, I was at Murphy's (one of the few buildings on Green that has went more or less unchanged since my parents were my age) with a friend who's graduating this year, and we were discussing the buildings going up.

As a kid from a Chicago suburb, this is what he told me: The whole reason I went to the U of I was to get away from the skyscrapers and entitlement. 

While I'm all for tearing down buildings that have sat unused for years, I don't understand the sudden need for 3 large housing projects on Green, plus a hotel. Why not make Green an area to enjoy? More park areas, or...? Anything but a mini-Chicago replica.

And who the hell is living in these things? Rich brats that got into the U of I because of their parents? I read about what one of the buildings going up offers: jacuzzi style bathtubs, hardwood floors, and marble countertops.

I'm a recent college graduate, with a full time job, and I don't live anywhere close to that good. I understood when I went to school that times could be tough and I might be eating Ramen. I never expected or demanded a skyscraper with such ridiculous perks. 

And an elevator for your car? Are you !@#$% kidding me? Really glad I'm out of school, because I think it's sad someone, somewhere thinks Green NEEDS this. Bring back unique dining experiences, or shops that college kids might find useful. 

Or if UIUC really needs apartments, make sensible ones, like maybe "green housing". 



mark taylor's ghost wrote on April 13, 2013 at 11:04 am

This comment is certified as being not the least bit "cranky."

AreaMan wrote on April 15, 2013 at 11:04 am
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"Unique dining experiences," like IHOP.