The City of Champaign is proud to announce the clubhouse in the new Bristol Place Residences has been named in honor of the late John Lee Johnson. Johnson was a lifelong resident of the Champaign-Urbana community, a staunch community advocate for better neighborhoods, and a member of the Champaign City Council from 1973 – 1981. Exterior work on the Clubhouse, including signage, is complete and work on the interior continues with the goal to have the facility open in June.
Friends and family of John Lee Johnson led the Clubhouse naming efforts to commemorate his community activism to address inequality and injustice throughout Champaign-Urbana. His sister, Anna Johnson stated, “My brother was always fighting for better living conditions for families throughout our community. The new John Lee Johnson Clubhouse is a fitting memorial to his community advocacy efforts and will be an inspiration for families living in the neighborhood.” City Council Member Clarissa Nickerson Fourman added, “His work benefitted me as a life-long resident of this community, and now as a leader, I plan to continue his spirit of advocacy for our families in North Champaign.”
The John Lee Johnson Clubhouse, located at the intersection of Tower and Clock St. in Champaign, is centrally located within the Bristol Place neighborhood and was designed for the use of neighborhood residents and their guests. Bristol Place residents will be able to utilize the Clubhouse free of charge for personal development, family gatherings, and social events. Additional uses of the clubhouse include neighborhood meetings and management-hosted community engagement events open to the wider community. The 3000 square foot John Lee Johnson Clubhouse features: a large community room with a kitchen, fireplace, and outdoor patio; fitness center; computer center with seven workstations; and property management offices.
The Bristol Place neighborhood is the result of a unique public-private partnership between the City of Champaign, the Housing Authority of Champaign County, and the project developer – AHDVS, LLC. Regarding Mr. Johnson’s legacy, Housing Authority CEO David Northern, Sr. shares, “John Lee Johnson’s love for community and his commitment to the expansion of affordable housing to the most at-risk populations makes him a personal hero for myself and so many others who work at our agency. HACC intends to continue to carry on the mission he so passionately spearheaded which is that of community and housing in Champaign County.”
The new development includes 64 single-family homes, 26 townhome units and the John Lee Johnson Clubhouse. Jim Roberts, CEO of AHDVS, LLC, observes, “The completion of the John Lee Johnson Clubhouse signifies the completion of the first phase of the new Bristol Place neighborhood. Throughout the development and construction process we have overcome many obstacles and built community consensus around issues including street names, building design and the naming of the clubhouse. We are very pleased with the first phase of construction and envision the John Lee Johnson Clubhouse as an anchor in the Bristol Place neighborhood, promoting community connections and personal development for families living in this neighborhood of choice.”
Former Bristol Place residents who were displaced by the project and met the development’s tenant selection criteria for lease approval were offered the first opportunity to return to the new neighborhood. The development was financed by the City of Champaign, Housing Authority of Champaign County, AHDVS, LLC, Illinois Housing Development Authority, National Equity Fund, US Bancorp Community Development Corporation, Cinnaire Lending and Bank of America.
Media Contact: John Ruffin | 217-403-7070