The Bristol Park area includes three small neighborhoods; Bristol Place, Garwood Addition, and Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. The Bristol Park neighborhood lies at the northeast corner of Bradley Avenue and Neil Street. It is enclosed on its eastern edge by the Canadian National railroad tracks that run northeast/southwest and from the north by Interstate 74.
The completed Neighborhood Plan will include four parts: an existing conditions analysis; vision, goals, objectives; land use plan and implementation recommendations. The existing conditions analysis was completed in 2009. Currently, the visions, goals, objectives are drafted and ready for review by City Council. The purpose of the plan is to provide guidance to the City and a future neighborhood group with specific actions on how to improve the neighborhood.
It is designed to be a holistic plan that addresses physical issues, such as vacant lots and deteriorating housing stock as well as social issues, such as the need for more activities for children in the neighborhood. In addition, the plan is also intended to be used by the City and the neighborhood group when applying for grants and other funding.
Beardsley Park Plan
Initiated in 1995 and amended in 2000, this plan targets three sub-areas in the Beardsley Park Neighborhood for redevelopment. Community Development Block Grant and Urban Renewal funding has been allocated for the improvement of infrastructure (roadways, curbs and gutters, streetlights, and sidewalks) in two sub-areas.
Further redevelopment efforts will include a public services campus and neighborhood commercial developments. Single-family affordable housing development is also included in the plan as a priority for this neighborhood.
In 2007, the City of Champaign, Champaign Park District, Unit 4 School District, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, and the United Way created a partnership to begin addressing youth issues identified by neighborhood residents and police officers in the Garden Hills neighborhood.
The CommUnity Matters model is now expanding to other areas to address issues identified by neighborhood residents and associations, frequently involving youth, in the City’s targeted neighborhoods.
This initiative is a partnership with substantial funding from the Community Development Block Grant and Urban Renewal funds at the City of Champaign, as well as significant in-kind staffing and resource contributions from the partner agencies.
Douglass Square Redevelopment
The Douglass Square redevelopment is located on the north side of Bradley Avenue at the 5th Street intersection (former Burch Village public housing complex). This site is located across the street from the Taylor Thomas Subdivision and near the Oakwood Trace Apartments.
The Douglass Square redevelopment, similar to the Taylor Thomas and Oakwood Trace developments, was undertaken by both the City of Champaign and the Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC). The Burch Village structures were obsolete and had issues with crime and other social disturbances and required more than just refurbishing and/or remodeling.
The HACC received HOPE VI demolition funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the removal of the existing structures and the relocation of the residents.
Financing for the construction of the new development included Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the State of Illinois, HOME funds from the City of Champaign and the State of Illinois, and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank-of Chicago. The new development includes 50 units of mixed-income as well as a community space and onsite laundry.
Taylor Thomas Subdivision
The Taylor Thomas Subdivision includes 13 completed single-family homes with two more to be constructed.
Twelve of the 15 homes are subsidized by the City through HOME and Community Development Block Grants to create affordable housing compliant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The site was formerly the location of the Mansard Square Apartments, which were demolished in 1999-2000 to make room for the future development of single-family homes.
The subdivision was named after Taylor Thomas, a local educator who served the community in a variety of ways. He was the first director of the Douglass Center, the first honorary commissioner of the Champaign Park District, and one of the first African-Americans to teach in the Urbana School District.