Leaders make cities' cases for area Realtors
Staff writer DON DODSON was at the Champaign County Association of Realtors meeting Tuesday as the mayors of Champaign, Urbana and St. Joseph and the Mahomet village president all made presentations. Here's three big points each of these leaders made:
DON GERARD, CHAMPAIGN
1. Large international student population has given Champaign a "fantastically diverse" culinary landscape.
2. Work is underway on plans for small-business incubator in the city.
3. Champaign enjoyed $150 million in construction during first half of 2014, expects $100 million more in second half.
LAUREL PRUSSING, URBANA
1. Enterprise zone along High Cross Road to include residential, in hopes Menards will "pull trigger" on development.
2. Campus Circle student-apartment project on University Avenue will boost city tax rolls.
3. Intergovernmental cooperation credited for Olympian Drive extension in Urbana.
B.J. HACKLER, ST. JOSEPH
1. Proposing tax-increment-financing district that would take in 196 acres in southeast St. Joe, paving way for 400 new homes.
2. Schools and their sports programs attract many young families to the village; "a lot move in just for sports."
3. Average age of residents is 34, so village has emphasized development of parks.
PATRICK BROWN, MAHOMET
1. Village's latest population estimate is 7,700, but if unincorporated areas were counted, it would jump to 13,000.
2. Increased availability of single-family lots this fall and next spring should result in renewed housing boom.
3. "Mahomet and St. Joseph wouldn't thrive without Champaign-Urbana thriving."