CHAMPAIGN — Residents could start moving into the newly renovated Inman Place senior living center this week, if a city inspection today (Tuesday, Sept. 18) results in a conditional occupancy permit.
Monsignor Albert Hallin is ready.
He's planning to take a fifth-floor apartment overlooking the intersection of University Avenue and Walnut Street. To the west is a view of Holy Cross Catholic Church, where he was pastor for 10 years.
"Certainly the urban ambience was a seller," Hallin said, calling the 98-year-old Inman "a jewel."
"It appears to me this place sells itself," he said. "Come here, and you'd say, 'I want to be here.'"
When an occupancy permit is issued, it will be only for the first phase of the project, which includes the first-floor lobby, dining room and Crystal Room, as well as 25 residential units on the building's west side.
Still being worked on are 35 units on the east side, as well as the basement, which will include a beauty salon, fitness center, activities center, laundry facilities and storage space for residents.
Denise Fulton, personnel and marketing director for Inman Place, said the second phase is slated to be completed in 90 days.
She said the public is welcome to come by to see the senior living center, which is different from the Inman of years gone by.
Built in 1914, the six-story building at 17 E. University Ave., C, served as the Inman Hotel from 1915 to 1974. It was home to the National Academy of the Arts during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and became a senior living center in 1991.
The two-year renovation project, which Fulton said cost more than $5 million, retained many historic features of the building.
The newly furnished dining room, equipped with a buffet and drink station, will accommodate 44 at tables, with seating for another 44 in the adjacent Crystal Room.
Across the hall, a library with a working fireplace has been created just off the TV room. Soon, a grand piano is expected to be moved into the central lobby, Fulton said.
Seven people are expected to move in this week if the occupancy permit is granted, Fulton said. Six are returnees who moved out during renovation, and the seventh — Hallin — is a new resident.
Of the 25 apartments in the first phase, 15 are studio units while 10 are one-bedroom units.
Fulton said six of the 35 apartments in the second phase will be two-bedroom units.
At first, no two-bedroom apartments were planned, but Fulton said some residents expressed interest in an office or hobby room and some couples said they'd like separate bedrooms.
Adding the two-bedroom units meant reducing the total number of apartments from 64 to 60.
Rents will range from $2,300 to $3,100 a month, covering three meals a day, all utilities including telephone, cable and Internet, weekly housekeeping and laundry service, and van transit.
For those who rent or pre-lease an apartment before year's end, the Inman is offering a discount of $500 per month for a full year, Fulton said.
VNA Healthtrends will have an office in the building, offering in-home health services to residents for anywhere from $275 to $1,000 a month.
Consequently, someone with a one-bedroom unit could have assisted-living services for a total of $3,900 a month, Fulton said.
People can also hire their own home health provider if they choose.
A grand opening for the Inman is expected once the second phase is completed, Fulton said. At that point, the center hopes to open its dining room to the general public for lunch.
Hiring for the Inman is ramping up. As of Monday, Fulton said she was in the midst of hiring housekeeping staff, a resident manager, an activities director and an van driver for evenings/weekends.
More information about Inman Place is available from its manager, Carolyn Cooper, at 352-7017, and on its website, http://www.inmanplace.com .