Bristol Place update

Newly built homes in the redeveloped Bristol Place are shown Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, on Nathaniel Burch Drive in Champaign.

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CHAMPAIGN — Demand for the houses being built in the Bristol Place redevelopment project in north Champaign has far outstripped the supply.

But for successful applicants, move-in day will be later this fall.

There were more than 900 applicants for 90 single-family homes in this affordable-housing development when the waiting list opened and closed in a single day earlier this month, according to Champaign County Housing Authority CEO David Northern.

Not all 90 homes were up for grabs. One is reserved for an on-site manager, who will pay rent, Northern said. Another 42 are set aside for families who were relocated from the older homes that were torn down to make way for this redevelopment.

Those families have the first right to rent the new homes. Thirty-two of them applied, and the other 10 will remain on the list until all homes are leased, Northern said.

“It’s problematic, because there are just a small number of units available,” he said.

After years of work and planning, this development along North Market Street just north of Bradley Avenue is on track for the first residents to move in this October, Northern said.

“It’s moving along really well, and I’m excited about the progress,” he said.

The $25 million Bristol Place redevelopment is a three-way partnership between the city, the housing authority and a private developer, with the last of the older homes cleared away last year.

Being built in their place are 64 single-family homes, 26 townhomes and a community building.

Some 80 percent of the housing units are already built, Northern said.

The homes are a mix of four-bedroom, three-bedroom and two-bedroom units, and some have two bathrooms.

This redevelopment is also coming with a built-in incentive to help renters become eventual owners, because tenants will have options to buy their homes after 15 years. For those who remain compliant with leasing terms, a $2,000 per year credit from the developer will be available — up to $30,000 for 15 years — to help with the purchase cost, according to Northern.

The housing authority will make a separate incentive of $2,000 a year available (up to eight years) for tenants who comply with lease terms and meet certain criteria but choose to move rather than stay and buy their homes. The money could be used to help buy a home elsewhere, Northern said, but recipients will be able to use it as they like.

“Our long-term goal is to have home ownership,” he said.

The second phase of this project — apartment units for seniors — hasn’t yet been approved, Northern said.

Work is also progressing on the housing authority’s Haven at Market Place project under development along Interstate Drive between Neil Street and Prospect Avenue.

On the way are 98 apartment units for adults age 55 and older, 74 of them in a three-story building and 24 in two single-story buildings for people 55 and older with special needs.

The goal is to have at least some residents moving in this coming winter, Northern said.

The first right to units at the Haven development will go to dozens of people relocated from Skelton Place, 302 S. Second St., C, which was sold by the housing authority to Green Street Realty, he said.