CHAMPAIGN – Construction should begin within a few days on a luxury residential subdivision, Trails at Abbey Fields, west of Champaign.
Hallbeck Homes is developing the 100-acre subdivision, on farmland located north of Kirby Avenue between Staley and Rising roads. The Champaign City Council last week approved an annexation agreement and area general plan for the subdivision.
Rick Hallbeck, vice president of Hallbeck Homes, said the subdivision will include 118 single-family lots, including 15 lots of 1 acre or larger that will make up a development within a development, to be called Wyndemere Point at Abbey Fields.
Those larger lots for Wyndemere Point will sell for $250,000 to $300,000. Regular lots in Trails at Abbey Fields will sell in the $60,000 to $100,000 range, Hallbeck said.
"All of a sudden there's a demand for big lots," Hallbeck said. "I'm just filling the demand of what builders and people want to have."
Champaign city planner T.J. Blakeman said Hallbeck Homes decided to try selling larger lots after residents at other nearby Hallbeck developments bought multiple lots on which to develop a single home.
"They feel there's a market for it here," Blakeman said.
Hallbeck Homes will install infrastructure this year at Trails at Abbey Fields and then begin selling lots to home builders and individuals, possibly by this fall, Hallbeck said.
"We, as Hallbeck Homes, keep a handful of lots for us to build on," Hallbeck said. "The remainder we sell to other builders and individuals. Builders are my best clients."
Hallbeck said he expects homes in Trails at Abbey Fields to sell for between $500,000 and $1.5 million.
"It's going to be a very nice upscale subdivision with good-sized lots," he said.
Trails at Abbey Fields will be developed in two phases. The first will be the residential subdivision. The second phase, on the northern 20 acres, will be developed as condominiums or multifamily, Hallbeck said.
The multifamily property is within the boundaries of the Mahomet-Seymour school district, while the single-family development is part of the Champaign school district. Hallbeck said he's never developed a residential subdivision split between two school districts and is unsure how the multifamily portion's marketability might be affected.
"This is the first time in the 30 years we've been developing that I've run into a piece of ground in two school districts," he said.
Mahomet-Seymour buses already serve the area, Blakeman noted.
Hallbeck Homes also developed the Trails at Brittany subdivision and Trails at Chestnut Grove. Two or three lots remain to be sold at Trails at Brittany, Hallbeck said, while Trails at Chestnut Grove is entering its third phase, with 20 condominium lots remaining to be sold.
Additionally, Hallbeck Homes has obtained options to buy 160 acres at the southwest corner of Mattis Avenue and Curtis Road, where a subdivision called Applewood Valley is being planned, Hallbeck said.
Infrastructure for that subdivision, located east of Interstate 57, will be developed next year, with lots ready for homebuilding in 2008, he said.