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CHAMPAIGN — For perhaps the first time, the busy intersection of Springfield and Mattis avenues will have businesses on all four corners.

The northeast corner used to be a church, but has sat empty since 2017. Now, construction crews have been busy building a new 12,000-square-foot strip mall with Starbucks as its lead anchor.

“We are turning the building over to them in September,” said Ramshaw Real Estate’s Lauren Ramshaw. “They have an anticipated open date (of) ‘late fall.’”

And across the street on the northwest corner, the Chase bank is going to be torn down and a new CVS is going to be built there, said Champaign Planning and Development Director Bruce Knight.

“Our understanding is that after the Chase opens is that the building at the corner will come down and a new CVS will go in at that location,” he said. “It’s good to see new investment, and we continue to hope something more significant will happen with the shopping center itself. In the meantime, these are good signs of progress.”

There’s already a CVS at Country Fair Shopping Center, so it would apparently be moving to a more visible location.

CVS did not return a request for comment, and the shopping center’s owner, Cleveland-based GMS Management of Illinois Inc., could not be reached for comment.

“I think the council has, over time, expressed concerns about the Country Fair Shopping Center area, and kind of a state of decline that has existed there, so it’s always good to see new investment,” Knight said.

Chase is also moving, just a few feet north to a smaller and more modern building, spokesman Brian Hanover said.

“Work began in late May and is expected to be completed in early December. The new branch will have a smaller footprint (just over 4,000 square feet) with a more modern feel, and offer the same great financial services and personal attention that customers expect from Chase,” Hanover said. “All employees will remain and the customer transition will be seamless.”

A Walgreens sits on the southeast corner, where it’s been since it opened in 1998.

And the southwest corner used to be the longtime home of Village Inn Pizza.

When it opened there in 1965, there were cornfields to its west.

Village Inn moved to South High Cross Road in Urbana in 2011 (and closed there in 2013), and the southwest corner is now occupied by Jimmy John’s, Biggby Coffee, Country Squire Cleaners and Just Be Salon.

Just a little to the west, the Original Pancake House has been serving customers since 1976. Franchise owner Eric Faulkner said he’s glad to see the construction.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “The more development in the area, the better.”


Ben Zigterman is a reporter covering business at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@bzigterman).