From AP - News Headlines -

Champaign Council Gives OK to Planning Work on First Development at Curtis Road Interchange

Construction of the first development at the I-57 Curtis Road Interchange could begin this fall.

"Wellness at Prairie Village" is to feature a community wellness center, a 50-unit senior living facility, as well as shops office space and residential development. But the only firm commitment at the site is a new Christie Clinic facility. Developer Todd Raufeisen says they're talking to other potential tenants who will want to build next to Christie Clinic.

"Christie is the one that's providing the momentum to get the project started", says Raufeisen. "A lot of the users that we talk to like to be next to hospitals and clinics such as Christie. But as with any development, you got to start with somebody. And Christie's our anchor at the end of the day. They're taking 20 out of the 60s acres for the sake of round numbers. And that's what we'll start around."

Champaign City Council members gave the go-ahead Tuesday night for city staff to continue working with Raufeisen on planning for for Wellness at Prairie Village .

Several council members expressed concerns that the development might contain excessive parking --- they want the site to be more aesthetically pleasing that the retail developments in the North Prospect area.

However, Councilman Tom Bruno added that he was just grateful to see a developer interested in the Curtis Road site.

"But I don't want those concerns about parking at this early stage of discussion about the planning stages of this take the luster off the delight I feel that all of you players are thinking about developing at this location in our community at this time in our economic history", said Bruno.

Raufeisen says Christie Clinic wants to start construction this fall --- he says it could take 5 to 7 years to completely develop the rest of the 60 acre site. Wellness at Prairie Village would take up about one-eighth of the land at the Curtis Road Interchange.