Urbana could grow by more than 500 households over a period of a few years if a new residential project comes to fruition as conceived on the northeast corner of the city.
The development would be located behind the Walmart Supercenter.
After a recent study was conducted by the CEP (Champaign Economic Partnership) regarding the availability of housing in Urbana, it was determined the city could benefit from additional residential units.
In the spring of 2021, Columbus-based Highland Real Estate expressed interest in constructing a housing development called Dugan Place on the land behind Walmart.
According to Community Development Manager Doug Crabill, the development would require roughly 93 acres.
“They have put together a preliminary development plan,” said Crabill. “Highland has not yet purchased the property. Right now, it is farmland.”
Crabill said there are four potential sub-areas: A-D, within a PUD (planned unit development.)
Crabill said sub-area A would be comprised of 91 patio homes, sub-area B would be 116 single-family homes, sub-area C would be 114 town homes and lastly, sub-area D would be up to 192 multi-family/apartment units.
“For the apartments, they are looking for a market rate apartment complex with nice amenities,” said Crabill.
Crabill talked about the need for new housing in Urbana and the potential economic benefits.
“The housing study done through the CEP was completed in December of 2020,” he said. “The study indicated that there is a demand and a need for more housing. Historically, most of the housing development within the last few decades in Champaign County has been outside of the municipalities. It has been fairly limited. We had a meeting last fall with local businesses to talk about housing. One of the things they shared was that when they have an employee interested in working here in Urbana, a lot of times they can’t find the housing they are looking for. They end up in adjacent counties and communities, yet have an interest in living here. It is interesting timing that we were trying to get additional housing and now a developer has come forward with an interest to develop in our community.”
Crabill said this project is in the very early stages of planning. The land will need to be purchased, the Planning Commission will need to approve the preliminary plan and then it must be approved by the Urbana City Council.
He said there will be additional milestones to reach following council’s approval.
“The (City of Urbana) Planning Commission will not be asked to act on this preliminary plan this month,” said Crabill. Instead, the planning commission will have a chance to review it and provide feedback, comments and input to the applicant.”
This month’s Planning Commission meeting will be held on Monday, February 28 at 6 p.m. to discuss project details. The meeting will be held in Urbana Municipal Building Training Room, 2nd Floor, 205 S. Main St.
Reach Anna at (937) 508-2303