Updated: Community Elements sells building, plans move
CHAMPAIGN — Community Elements is moving to a new building next week, its CEO Sheila Ferguson said Friday morning.
The local not-for-profit mental and behavioral health agency sold its building at 202 W. Park St., C to Hickory Point Bank & Trust and bought a building at 801 N. Walnut St., C for its new facility, Ferguson said.
The bank is planning an extensive renovation of the Park Street building and plans to open another facility there next spring, said Steve Tock, the bank’s community president.
The Park Street building houses 55 Community Elements staff members and the agency’s psychiatric services, case management, psycho-social rehab, crisis services and walk-in appointments, and it serves about 4,500 clients, Ferguson said.
All Community Elements’ staff and services from the West Park Street building will shift to the Walnut Street building, with the move set to take place Sept. 26-27, she said.
The agency’s new building — a former Illinois Department of Public Aid office — will be ready to open Sept. 30, and services will continue for clients through the move, Ferguson said.
“Crisis is 24/7, so we don’t really have a choice,” she added. “We ask people to be patient.”
Driving the move for Community Elements was the need for more parking, while remaining in a downtown location that is convenient for clients, Ferguson said.
“We needed more parking for our consumers, and we were essentially listening to them,” she said. “They were requesting that we remain in the downtown area in an accessible location.”
The new building is single story, with ample parking and is served by several bus lines, she said.
Ferguson said Community Elements paid $670,000 for the Walnut Street building.
“We were able to sell the old building and purchase the new one and renovate it and have some cost savings, which, given the environment that mental health is in, this is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Ferguson said.
The new building is smaller than what Community Elements had on Park Street, but more efficiently designed, she said.
Hickory Point Bank & Trust bought the 26,000-square-foot Park Street building to accommodate its growth, bank executives say.
It will become a second location to the facility at 701 Devonshire Drive, C, and will have two drive-through lanes and a third lane for an ATM, Tock said.
Bank marketing director Susan Abbott said business has grown so much the staff has doubled and the Devonshire Drive building is running out of room.
“We’re outgrowing our space here on Devonshire, and we’re so excited about the growth of downtown Champaign,” she said.
The bank will occupy the basement and first floor of the Park Street building and will be looking for a tenant for the 7,000-square-foot second floor, Abbott said.
Parking at the Park Street building won’t be an issue for the bank, she and Tock said. The building comes with 60 parking spaces, and if necessary, parking can be arranged for employees off-site, Abbott said.
Tock said renovation of the building will be extensive inside and out, and will include touches to the exterior to fit in with downtown architecture such as red brick and cornices.
“It will be unrecognizable to what it is today,” he said.
Remodeling will start within 30 days, with a move-in planned for next May, Tock said.