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University District
Coordinates: 40°06′36″N 88°14′35″W / 40.110°N 88.243°W / 40.110; -88.243Coordinates: 40°06′36″N 88°14′35″W / 40.110°N 88.243°W / 40.110; -88.243
CountryUnited States
CountyChampaign County
Named forUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Campus
City Council District1, 2
 • City Council MemberWill Kyles,
Michael La Due
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Postal code
Area code(s)217

Campustown is an area within the 1st and 2nd City Council Districts in Champaign, Illinois. Centered on Green Street, the district contains about eight city blocks occupied by various small businesses, restaurants, and apartment buildings. Campustown is located west of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus.

Notable landmarks include the Alma Mater, The Tower at Third, the 309 Green high-rise, Legend's Bar & Grill, Red Lion, and Murphy's Pub.[2]

Master streetscape plan

In 1995, then University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) Provost Michael Aiken constructed a planning committee, referred to as the Campustown 2000 Task Force,[3] in an effort to revitalize the deteriorating infrastructure in the campustown district. As the committee's chairperson, Aiken hoped to transform the district into a safer, more inviting area for university students and visitors. The committee was composed of representatives from the cities of Champaign, its twin city Urbana, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, the C-U Economic Partnership, land and business owners within campustown, and UIUC.[4]

Since the creation of the district, campustown's main thoroughfare, East Green Street, carried four lanes of vehicular traffic, despite serving a mostly pedestrian-based commercial district for the university. Campustown's deteriorating infrastructure was highlighted when a student was killed by vehicular traffic and during the 2002 NFL season when the Chicago Bears played their home games at Memorial Stadium during the renovation of Soldier Field.[1]

The Campustown 2000 Task Force was instrumental in moving the development of Green Street and the rest of Campustown. This group initiated two efforts, the Campus Area Transformation Study (CATS) and the Campustown Action Plan, that outlined important changes that needed to be made in order to create a safer and more welcoming environment for students and others visiting the location. Coupled with the Campustown Existing Conditions Report, created by the City of Champaign Planning Department between 1996 and 1998, the Champaign City Council was able to approve plans for a seven million dollar project, which was completed in 2003.[3] Green Street was reconstructed from Wright to Fourth Streets and various safety features were added such as new street-lights, railings, large planters, and proper signage. Campustown's speed limit was also reduced to 25 mph (40 km/h) and Green Street was reduced to three lanes of traffic, with the middle lane enabling turn and business deliveries, due to a lack of alleyways. To facilitate the construction of a new Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus stop, Wright Street was converted to a pedestrian mall allowing bus access only between Chalmers and John Streets. Since the creation of the Transit Plaza, it has become the largest bus stop in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area.[1][5][6]

The resulting streetscape of Campustown has been very well-received, and is so far considered a resounding success. It achieved a number of the goals set forth in the Campustown Action Plan, most notable Goal II, "Develop an Overall Look for the Campustown Area," and Goal III, "Maintain and Improve Campustown Infrastructure." In order to build on the successes of the Campustown Action Plan, and also further its goals, the City of Champaign developed the University District Streetscape Master Plan in Fall of 2003. This plan not only focuses on the Green Street area, but highlights changes to be made throughout the entire University District. The planned improvements differ by each street, and are broken down into three categories: the Commercial Area, the Transition Area, and the Neighborhood Area. The full plan discusses proposed changes to the infrastructure of each area type, and goes over estimated costs as well as projects that should be prioritized over others[3]

Urban core development

Over the past 10 years, since the completion of the Campustown 2000 project, the Campustown skyline and streetscape has drastically transformed. While the Tower at Third high-rise, which stands 205 ft (62 m), was completed in 1972, another high-rise had not been built in Campustown until after the completion of Campustown 2000.[7] In 2008, two high-rise residential towers opened for residents, 309 Green and Burnham 310. The 2008 Economic Recession nixed plans for another high-rise at 311 Green, which would have been a "sister building" to 309 Green, though the same developers have submitted plans for an 8-story apartment building at Fourth and Green.[8]

Since the start of 2013, construction projects have restarted in campustown. Bankier Apartments has contracted Broeren-Russo Company of Champaign to build their 14-story residential high-rise at 519 East Green. The tower was completed just before the summer of 2014.[9] Under construction are the 22-story 308-312 East Green Street and 20 million USD 526 East Green Street mixed residential and commercial buildings.

Tallest buildings

Below is a listing of the tallest buildings in Champaign's Campustown district, by height.[10]

Rank Name Height
ft (m) 
Floors Year Street address Image
1 309 Green 268 (82) 24 2009 309 East Green St.
2 HERE Champaign 267 (81) 27 2015 308 East Green St.
3 Burnham 310 224 (68) 18 2008 310 East Springfield Ave.
4 The Tower at Third 205 (62) 21 1972 302 East John St.
5 Skyline Tower 169 (52) 14 2014 519 East Green St.
6 Illini Tower 166 (51) 17 1967 409 East Chalmers St.
7 Bromley Hall 151 (46) 14 1967 910 South Third St.
8 Sherman Hall 127 (39) 13 1966 909 South Fifth St.
9 Park Place Tower 108 (33) 9 2003 202 East Green St.
10 Green Street Towers 96 (29) 8 2001 616 East Green St.



  1. ^ a b c Ryan, Michelle. "Campustown Streetscape, Champaign, Illinois". Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Fitzpatrick, Tony (May 11, 2012). "The Draft And The Deep-dish Delight". Illinois Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "University District Master Streetscape Plan". City of Champaign. 2004-10-22. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  4. ^ "'Campustown 2000' subcommittee identifies safety issues and makes recommendations". Inside Illinois, For Faculty and Staff. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Bureau. September 19, 1996. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "Champaign City Council approves Campustown redevelopment project and new traffic circulation plan". Inside Illinois, For Faculty and Staff. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Bureau. October 4, 2001. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "Starbucks to open at Illini Union Bookstore in March". The Daily Illini. January 27, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Emporis Tower at Third Page". Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Dodson, Don. "Apartment project trimmed back". The News-Gazette.
  9. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (PDF) (Report). Finance Department City of Champaign. 30 June 2014. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  10. ^