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Orchard Downs Redevelopment (past issue)

Orchard Downs Redevelopment is no longer under discussion by the University of Illinois but is available here as archival information.

Background: The University of Illinois owns a 160-acre tract of land in south Urbana. Currently, this parcel holds student family housing and related programs and services. The University plans to redevelop the site to feature a multigenerational community including University alums, retirees, and student families. In Spring 2007, two Development Teams submitted proposals to the University of Illinois. These are currently under review. For more information on the UI Orchard Downs Redevelopment visit

SUNA’s Statement at 10/25/06 Orchard Downs Public Forum

The Southeast Urbana Neighborhood Association (SUNA) was organized to address residents’ interest and concerns about activity in areas bordering the neighborhood on the east (Philo Road Business Corridor) and on the west (Orchard Downs Redevelopment.)

SUNA’s mission statement read, in part: “SUNA supports the redevelopment of Orchard Downs in a manner that is sensitive to natural areas and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Our members have expressed strong support for the following:

  • The project must provide an economic benefit to the City of Urbana and Urbana School District 116.
  • Redevelopment plans must embrace the open space and trees that define the property now.
  • The project must preserve the greenway along Race Street, which includes the multi-use path, trees, and berms west of the path.
  • Our members value the international community living in University of Illinois family housing and the rich cultural diversity these families bring to our community and to our schools.
  • Retail and commercial components must be small-scale and compatible with the neighborhood.
  • All construction should be of the highest quality and meet objective criteria for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

SUNA also values the process of including the community in the planning stages. You have asked us for our input. We take this request seriously and expect that developer candidates will take our responses seriously. You are building the future in our front yards and we want to help you make it the best it can possibly be.