Smile Politely

Ask Politely #26

Champaign City Council is at work trying to create more affordable housing around the downtown area, specifically north of Washington Street for those who work at and patronize the businesses in the area. Currently the rental properties in the immediate downtown are few and far between and will cost you plenty, but the council is looking to create cheaper digs for cooks, servers, bank tellers, baristas, retail associates, other downtown workers and those who spend time downtown/ What could be better than ditching the gas guzzler to conveniently coast to work on two wheels, or better yet, walk.

Those residing near the bustling entertainment district would certainly have beer, delectable cuisine, espresso, and cupcakes at their fingertips, but there are a few issues with making your home base directly next door to Neil Street: the influx of weekend revelers to the area could, frankly, just be annoying, and the nearest grocery stores are Meijer on North Prospect and Schnucks on Mattis Avenue. (That is until County Market opens its doors on Springfield Avenue — whenever that might be.)

But, there are perks aplenty. The downtown area includes a few banks, a boot repair store, a gas station, the post office, a movie theater and probably the biggest bonus — direct access to the Mass Transit District bus hub and Amtrak station. Living near the area would solve that pesky parking meter problem too.

So, do you want to live near downtown Champaign?

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