From WILL - News Headlines -

Architect Wants Six-Story Development in Downtown Urbana

Urbana's City Council gets its first chance Monday night to hear about a proposed six-story mixed use development designed to be a 'stimulus' for downtown.

Champaign architect Gary Olsen said his Metro Centre on South Vine Street would use a retro style of development, and compliment buildings like the Champaign County Courthouse. The development would include condominiums, commercial retail, restaurants, as well as parking space. A second building to its east would consist of townhouses.

Olsen said he is open to ideas for businesses the public wants to see in Urbana.

"We're encouraging anyone in the Champaign County area who has a wonderful boutique they love in Chicago, or a sports place that they have found in Indianapolis they would like to replicate here," he said. "We're not just looking for restaurants, we're looking for a lot of commercial retail use of the first-floor level."

Olsen responded to a request for proposal from the city, after it purchased property on the square block across from the federal courthouse downtown. Urbana holds a lease on the Goodyear Tire shop on South Vine, and will negotiate to relocate that business.

There is no action expected at Monday's initial presentation, but Olsen hopes construction can completed by 2014, which would coincide with Lincoln Square Village's 50th anniversary.

The Urbana City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the city building.