Champaign's Bristol Place project 'down to crunch time'

Champaign's Bristol Place project 'down to crunch time'

CHAMPAIGN — The Bristol Place redevelopment project is coming together as it nears the June 23 deadline to apply for state funds.

The project will convert the decaying Bristol Place neighborhood into a rental community financed by tax credits, according to Champaign Neighborhood Programs Manager Kerri Spear.

According to the latest draft map of the renovation, phase one is slated to have 26 two-bed single-family units, 31 three-bed single-family units, six four-bed single-family units, 15 two-bed townhouses and 15 three-bed townhouses. The second phase is planned to have 90 senior apartment units. The city's assistant planning and development director, Rob Kowalski, said those numbers could still change slightly.

Spear said all the properties will be rental for their first 15 years, due to the Internal Revenue Service's tax-credit compliance period, and then residents of the single-family homes will be able to buy once that period is over. Those in the townhouses will continue renting.

If the project is accepted for state funding this year, Spear said construction should be finished by fall 2019. Then the area would be tax assessed.

The city has been acquiring and demolishing the Bristol properties before the project can begin, and it's almost done with acquisitions. Spear said the city will head to circuit court next week for an eminent-domain case with a private owner of three Bristol properties.

"Out of 92 properties, we had to go to court for three — that's what I like to focus on," Spear said.

The Champaign City Council will have a study session meeting about the project on June 6, and the public will be able to comment on it there.

"We're really down to crunch time," Spear said.

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