CHAMPAIGN — How about this for a landmark?
Dr. David Fletcher said he’s sold about 3.5 acres at his Safeworks Illinois/217 Medical Campus along North Market Street to Illinois American Water to be used for a new water tower.
“So, soon, I will be able to use the new Champaign water tower as a landmark for patients to come to the 217 Medical Campus office building,” he said.
Fletcher said he sold the property, which is technically on Petry Court, to the water company for $650,000.
Illinois American Water plans to replace an existing nearby water tower Fletcher says he can see from his office window within five years, according to utility spokeswoman Anna Kubas.
“Earlier this month, we purchased a parcel in preparation for future infrastructure investments in the water distribution system in Champaign,” she said.
“Over the past 10 years, we have invested over $160 million in Champaign’s infrastructure and have plans to continue upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure to support the safe and reliable water service we provide residents,” Kubas said. “Within the next five years, we intend on replacing the Market Street tank with a new elevated tank on the new parcel.”
The current water tank remains in service and is intact, Kubas said.
“Future replacement of the tank is needed to meet the continuing needs of the community and support water service reliability,” she said.
The property bought by the water company is next to the site of a planned stayAPT Suites hotel.
A building permit was approved for the three-story extended-stay hotel in January but hasn’t yet been issued, according to Randy Smithy, spokesman for the city’s building safety division.
Fletcher said the hotel chain is waiting for the cost of building and interest rates to go down to start construction.
The utility approached him earlier this year about selling the property next to the hotel site, he said.
Fletcher said he had others interested in the property, but he thought an infrastructure investment on the part of the water company would be good for the community.
“We just feel it’s a really positive thing for the community,” he said.