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New Mixed-Use Development Downtown Champaign

Champaign, IL – WEBWIRE

CHAMPAIGN - The landscape of and skyline of Champaign-Urbana has been changing for several years as new real estate development has brought numerous new properties to the area to meet the demand from students and area businesses. While building on or adjacent to the U of I campus has been a key focus for many developers, Element Building (the developer and general contractor) has recognized the need for a re-development opportunity in Downtown Champaign. Once the site of an obsolete dry-cleaning and laundry facility (more recently a vacant lot and bank ATM), the lots at 518 & 520 North Neil Street were purchased by 520 Neil Street, LLC and will be the site of a new 5-story mixed-use development. The location, southeast corner of Columbia Avenue and Neil Street, is in the Northern section of Downtown Champaign and will be considered by many the “Gateway Property” to Downtown, as it flows in perfect alignment with the City of Champaign’s Neil Street Corridor Improvement Plan and Fringe TIF District.

The building will feature ground floor retail, one & two-bedroom luxury apartments on the 2ndthrough 4thfloors, with the 5thfloor being split between high-end office space and more one & two-bedroom apartments. One unique feature will be the roof-top terrace and recreation area that allows tenants to enjoy amazing views and have open air recreation within an urban setting.

Serra Ventures, one of the Midwest’s premier early stage venture capital firms will be the anchor tenant filling over 4,000 square feet of the top-floor office space. In late 2019, Serra Ventures will relocate its headquarters from the University of Illinois Research Park, where it began operations nearly a decade ago. Tim Hoerr, CEO of Serra, commented, “We are deeply appreciative of the relationship we’ve had with the University of Illinois Research Park. And though we now have locations in Chicago and San Diego, we remain intimately involved in the Champaign-Urbana technology ecosystem and will continue investing in start-ups originating from this world class University. This new location will quite literally enable a new level of effectiveness and service to our portfolio companies and investors. We are incredibly excited about this project and what it will offer to the local community.” 

The team at Serra contemplates providing state-of-the-art co-working space to startup companies that desire a close coaching relationship with its team of seasoned entrepreneurs. Several conference rooms and presentation areas will be available along with showers and lockers available for those that choose alternative transportation and fitness programs throughout the day. 

Serra Ventures manages over $70M in portfolio assets and has ownership stakes in over 60 companies. The current venture fund focuses on companies with disruptive product offerings in information technology, devices/instrumentation and agricultural technology. The profile of their ideal startup is one that has just finished an accelerator program or has been through a round of seed funding to establish and prove a strong product-market fit. 

The 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail space has not been leased as of April 2018 and is available through Guth & Associates. The apartment pre-leasing will be available starting fall of 2018 and move-in expected fall of 2019.

For more information, contact:

George Gramm,, 858.334.9690
Tim Hoerr,, 217.840.9695

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 Downtown Champaign
 Element Building
 New Development
 Venture Capital

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