El Charro being replaced by 7-story apartment building

El Charro being replaced by 7-story apartment building

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CHAMPAIGN — Developer Chris Saunders bought the site of a former Mexican restaurant and grocery store in Campustown and plans to turn it into a seven-story apartment building.

El Charro was torn down this week, said Saunders, owner of Green Street Realty. The store at 55 E. Green St. closed earlier this year after about 20 years in business.

"It will be a nice building, with all glass in the front of it, first-floor retail and six floors of apartments," Saunders said.

It will have 78 bedrooms, with a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, according to Saunders.

"It will be more of a higher-end, luxury apartment building, but we'll try to price them reasonably affordably," he said.

While there have been concerns about too many apartments in Campustown, Saunders said "we're 100 percent leased in all our other new buildings."

But, he added, "We're definitely seeing a more competitive environment, with students negotiating on rents."

Saunders bought the property this month for $835,000 and hopes to have it ready for the 2019-20 school year.

"That's one of the very few one-story buildings sitting there along Green Street," Saunders said. "This will definitely be a better use of the land from a long-term perspective."

Ryan Murphy, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty, represented the seller.

"I think it's really going to add to the vibrancy of Green Street," Murphy said.

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