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HEYWORTH - Work could begin as early as this spring on a proposed $75 million residential and commercial development in Heyworth.

Prairie Meadows will be a 100-acre, mixed-use project at the intersection of U.S. 51 and U.S. 136 on the village's southwest side.

The project is expected to contain both residential and commercial sites, including single-family, condominium, villa and multifamily home sites.

"A lot of people we're in touch with have shown interest," said Mark Shader of Kansas City-based Bridge Real Estate, LLC. "We have a number of different projects that will benefit the residents of Heyworth."

Shader, who is managing the project with Oscar Wood of Real Estate Development Corp., said it's too early to make any announcements about what types of businesses may locate there.

The Heyworth school district already has purchased 8 acres in the development adjacent to the junior-senior high school at a cost of $442,000. The village of Heyworth contributed $90,000 toward the purchase under an inter-governmental agreement between the school district and the village.

The district will use the land to build a new football field and all-weather track at the school.

Shader said the developers are working on an updated plat design to take into account the school district's purchase.

"We'll likely refine the plan as we get in and understand the market needs," said Shader.

Wood has been trying to develop the area as the Green Trails subdivision since 1997. Bridge Real Estate is a new player in the project, however, and Normal-based Bank of Illinois is financing the project.

Wood told Heyworth Mayor Steve Crum that he remains involved in the project.

"This thing is happening, and it's going to happen big," Wood wrote in an e-mail to Crum.

Shader said he expects that both commercial and residential lots will be available for purchase this spring.

Homes in the development will range from $160,000 to more than $250,000, while condos and villas will start between $120,000 and $130,000.

Crum said he is optimistic about the project moving forward.

"This development is going to be a wonderful addition to our community," he said. "The community as a whole is overwhelmingly supportive of this project."


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