NORMAL — For the first time in years, new apartments are coming to a part of Normal that's not adjacent to a college campus.
The Park at Constitution Trail Centre, an 85-unit, 13-building apartment complex, is planned for a 4.76-acre area east of the AMC Classic Normal 14 movie theater — formerly the Starplex — starting with a five-building section that could start construction soon after getting Normal Planning Commission approval, which happened Thursday.
"We're pretty excited about this. This is considered in-fill development — it's surrounded entirely by developed properties and identified in (town plans as high priority for development). All the services are there," Town Planner Mercy Davison told the commission. "You couldn't pick a more appropriate place if you were going to build several multi-family units."
Price tag, rental rate and target demographic were not discussed Thursday; Davison said those fall outside the commission's criteria for approval.
Developer Terry Blake, who previously declined comment until the commission approved the proposal, left the meeting without speaking to reporters.
Davison said she doesn't know specifics of the project, but similar developments to the first phase, which will include 25 four-bedroom units, are sometimes built in a year's time.
She declined to speculate on the project's cost, which will become public when building permits are filed prior to construction.
The project is expected to also include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including a three-story building, and as many as 294 beds once completed.
"Part of the reason why the developers call this 'The Park' is it really is going to be a park-like setting with the landscaping," said Ross Gould, an architect who's worked on the project.
The Normal City Council will consider the proposal when it meets May 21.
The development is the latest at Constitution Trail Centre, which has boomed over the last two years after a rocky start following The Great Recession.