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New plan again puts student apartments at Cinemas site

New plan again puts student apartments at Cinemas site

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NORMAL -- Another Twin City developer has proposed a plan for student apartments on the University Cinemas' site on North Main Street.

Illinois Construction LLC wants to build three four-story buildings with a mix of commercial and apartments on the first floor and three top floors of apartments catering to Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan university students.

The zoning code allows for such mixed-use buildings on business-zoned property as long as the developer gets a special-use permit. The request will go to the Zoning Board of Appeals at 5 p.m. March 18.

The proposal comes nearly three months after the City Council rejected a plan by developers 1010 S. Main LLC to bring a 220-bedroom, six-building townhouse development to the parcel.

Council members voiced concern that the development would bring student apartments south of Vernon Avenue and might disrupt nearby single-family neighbors.

The first developers originally proposed a four-story, 350-bedroom apartment complex but modified the plan after neighbors vehemently opposed it and submitted a petition with 178 signatures.

The newest developers would bring a mixture of four bedroom/four bathroom townhouses and flats, and two bedroom/two bathroom flats.

There would be 12,150 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, with the largest amount of space at the corner of Cullom and Main streets. There could be five or more retail spaces available.

The site would include 220 parking spaces, 25 of which would serve the retail spaces.

A fence would separate the development from neighbors to the east. An alley behind neighboring houses would remain intact.

There would be a large outdoor courtyard between the building that faces Main Street and another just to the east. The security plan would mirror that of The Oaks on Hovey Avenue, another project by Illinois Construction LLC.

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