By: Jenna Lawson, WHIO
View video of the announcement on WHIO's website
There were many points in the last five years that community partners thought ‘Legacy Place’ might never happen.
It took time to capture nearly $13 million in funding sources, including historic tax credits – not to mention delays due to the pandemic. But on Thursday, partners announced the funds were released and they are able to move forward with the project. It’s possible construction could start within the next week.
‘Legacy Place’ transforms the Douglas Inn in downtown Urbana and two former elementary schools (North & South) into affordable senior housing. 51 units will be created for those 55 and older, with six of them being devoted to people with disabilities.
“It’s just a real renaissance for Urbana,” Mayor Bill Bean told News Center 7′s Jenna Lawson.
Duane Miller, with development company Flaherty & Collins and also president of F & C Legacy Place, said the project accomplishes two goals: turning three vacant properties into useful properties and filling the need for affordable senior housing in Urbana.
“I love to jump into the skin of a community that’s looking for help and looking for opportunities to spur on their own development,” he said.
The Douglas has been vacant since 2004 and has long been a large eyesore on the southwest corner of Monument Square. The building has somewhat deteriorated and was the target of multiple arson fires in 2019.
The former owner of the property, John Doss, has done work to stabilize the structure. The elementary schools, despite being about 100 years old, are in solid shape, partners said.
The timeline for the project will move quickly. Developers estimate about six months to complete both elementary schools and a little over a year to finish the Douglas. Partners are hopeful that the project will have a positive domino effect on other aspects of Urbana living including neighboring businesses and housing.
“We may see some of those seniors who may move in here and now their single family homes are available for a new families to move in,” said director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, Marcia Bailey.
Bailey added that this solution also preserves the history of all three buildings for the community to enjoy for decades to come. “Having these buildings standing as they are and being repurposed is a huge win for our community,” she said.
Other partners in the project include the City of Urbana, Urbana City Schools and Resident Supports and Services, Inc., which provides housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.
The new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Urbana officially welcomed its first guests on Friday, June 12th!
Reservations are now available online at https://www.staycobblestone.com/oh/urbana/
Click below for sector specific operating requirements for businesses to open as part of Responsible RestartOhio. There are sector requirements for:
Downtown spot opening this month to feature health food
Former ‘city farm’ to be mined for sand and gravel
By Christopher Selmek, Urbana Daily Citizen
The three-story, 54-room Cobblestone Hotel under construction at 170 state Route 55, Urbana, is on budget and on schedule to be completed by mid-May 2020, according to Urbana Hotel LLC managing member Terry Howell. The framing crew lost 12 days of work due to weather, allowed under the construction schedule. Roofers were expected to begin placing tile on Monday.
“The schedule had allowances for weather, and they’ve used up all those allowances to date,” Howell said Friday, Dec. 27. “I would personally like to have seen it a week ahead of schedule, but we’ve had rain come at inopportune times. On Monday the shingle people will come in and they’ll start putting the sofﬁt on and the shingles on.”
Howell said that the framing crew was contracted from Florida by BriMark Builders, that the crew is the number one framing crew for BriMark and that this is the 15th hotel they have built.
“Any construction project usually has a little impediment here or a miscommunication there. That’s kind of normal, but there’s not been very much of that,” he said. “There’s always some of that on any project, but there hadn’t been very much of that on this one. It’s going very smoothly.”
Plumbers and HVAC contractors are at work inside the structure. The concrete pool is built and just needs a liner. Howell said there are as many as 10-15 people working on site during any given day depending on what they are trying to accomplish that day.
“There’s a schedule where you have different trades that have to come together to ﬁt,” Howell said. “The rooms are all laid out and numbered already on the inside. They’re laid out in a rough frame, and there’s an electrical map on each room so electricians know where to run wires and so on. It has been sequenced appropriately and is right on schedule and on budget. Everything is going fairly smooth.”
Howell added that the people working on the entrance will install awning, and then signage will go on the cupola. The “mountain of mud” currently surrounding the building will be transformed into a parking lot big enough to park buses beside the building within the coming months.
“I would have no problem staying here,” he said. “I live just three miles from here so I doubt if I ever will spend the night here, but all the rooms have character. We’ve got like six different styles of rooms … and they have varying amenities that they offer, so they’re not all the same. We are really excited.”
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304
Donors funded most of the cost of the $800,000+ improvement, which McCall Sharp Architecture designed and Link Construction built.
The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting and open house to see the new hospital gift shop, registration area for outpatients and waiting area for hospital visitors.
These latest improvements at the hospital follow 2017’s $3 million renovation and service expansion project, which included:
By Jenna Lawson, Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
The last bit of needed funding has been secured to push forward the ‘Legacy Place’ senior housing project in Urbana.
Sourcing all of the funding has been a tedious multi-year task undertaken by several different parties — but soon residents will start to see the fruits of labor.
“This is going to be a reality,” said Champaign Economic Development Director Marcia Bailey. “It’s not just sketches on a piece of paper. It’s going to be a reality.”
In August, the developers of the project — Flaherty & Collins Properties — applied for a grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati with the help of community partners.