Explore Our City
Our community is comprised by a number of thriving commercial centers, making it the perfect place to start and grow your business. Below you will find a brief overview of those districts along with an overview of their strengths.
Downtown Champaign is the heart of a lively entertainment scene with over 35 locally owned restaurants and pubs, a full service hotel, parks, outdoor cafes and much more. With a blend of old and new, the district has quickly emerged as a favorite destination shoppers and diners.
- Over 1,700 outdoor cafe seats
- Completion of the Hyatt Place hotel
- Headquarters for Champaign’s leading businesses including Busey Bank, Christie Clinic, DS Volition, and The News-Gazette
- Seat of City Government is located in the iconic City Building at Neil Street and University Avenue
- Five historic theaters still standing including the newly restored Virginia Theatre
- Home to the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum
- A strong public art program fills the streets with rotating public art
- Downtown is home to the best special events including the Roger Ebert Film Festival, Pygmalion Music Festival, Blues, Brews and BBQ, Parade of Lights and many more.
Midtown is a charming, up and coming commercial district located between Downtown and Campustown. As town and gown begin to merge, this district is primed to grow into a strong connection, filled with residential, retail and services directed at both students and young professionals. The district is primarily located along University Avenue and First Street and nestled between the Canadian National railroad tracks and the impressive Boneyard Creek Second Street reach and greenway.
Highlights of the District include:
- Walking and biking trails along the Boneyard Creek
- Steps from Illinois Terminal, the main transit hub in Champaign
- Local niche shops such as Dallas and Company, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Go Retro and Cracked Glass
- Home of the Champaign County Historical Museum
- Historic North First Street
- Strong connections to all major medical campuses (Christie, Carle, and Presence)
Campustown is the commercial center for student life at the University of Illinois. This eight block long commercial district stretches from the Illini Union to Neil Street and includes restaurants, pubs, retailers and service providers. With over 23,000 students living within one half mile of its core, Campustown becomes a city inside a city. Major streetscape projects in 2002 and 2016 improved the walk-ability of the district and flood control projects in the late 90’s tamed the Boneyard Creek. Today, the Boneyard Greenway follows the Creek along a trails network linking Campustown, Midtown and Downtown Champaign. With over $500 million in development activity throughout Campustown since 2002, this is certainly the place to be.
- Upgraded streetscape in 2002 and 2016
- Front door to the University of Illinois
- Boneyard Trail extends from Campustown to Downtown
- over 25,000 students live within 1/2 mile of Fourth and Green Street
- Large collection of major franchises including Urban Outfitters, Panera, Cafe Bene, McDonalds, Noodles and Company, Starbucks, and Panda Express
- Recently completed Marriott Town Place
North Prospect & Market Place Shopping District
With nearly 250 retailers centered in this single square mile, this district is the strongest retail center in East Central Illinois. The district is balanced on both ends by the Prospect Avenue corridor on the west and Market Place Shopping Center on the east. The district also features concentrations of auto dealers, hotels, and auto related services.
- New Ford City and Illini Nissan Dealership
- Opening of Dicks and Field and Stream as new anchor tenant at Marketplace Mall
- New Carmike 16 Theater, featuring the “Big D” theater experience
- Largest concentration of hotel rooms in Champaign-Urbana
- Market Place Mall features over 1,000,000 square feet of retail shopping
University of Illinois Research Park
The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services.
Located on campus, the Research Park is now home to more than 100 companies and growing, employing more than 1,600 people in high-technology careers. At any given time, more than 500 student interns are working in these companies and gaining valuable work experience while making real contributions to internal corporate R&D and product development programs. Multinational and/or publicly traded corporations in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, Ameren, Capital One, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Dow AgroSciences, Grainger, Littelfuse, Riverbed, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to over 50 startup companies that are commercializing technology. EnterpriseWorks, the Research Park’s 43,000-square-foot business incubator for early-stage tech firms, is operated by the University of Illinois to help launch successful startup companies.
As home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and technology leaders and start-ups alike, the place and time for developing breakthrough science is in Champaign, IL:
- Superb education, quality health care and affordable housing
- World-class arts and entertainment, and vast sporting and recreational opportunities
- Affordable living
- Easy commuting
Forbes magazine ranked Champaign-Urbana 20th among 168 small cities in its Best Places for Business study. Champaign-Urbana fared 11th best in educational attainment measured by the share of population over age 25 with a bachelors degree and the number of doctorates per 100,000 residents.
Mattis Avenue Commercial Corridor
The Mattis Avenue Commercial Corridor is a strong manufacturing corridor located on the city’s west side. This corridor benefits from strong regional access along Mattis Avenue. The corridor is anchored on the north by Parkland College and KraftHeinz and extends south to the Mattis and Springfield shopping district.
- Quick access to Interstate 72, 57 and 74.
- KraftHeinz maintains the largest food manufacturing facility in North American with 50 acres under roof
- Parkland College, our local community college, is home to over 18,000 students annually
- Strong collections with surrounding neighborhoods creates a local workforce within proximity to employment centers
- Illinois Route 10 and Route 150 provide good access to Champaign-Urbana and the greater region.
South Neil Street
The South Neil Street Corridor is a growing commercial corridor located along Neil Street/Illinois Route 45. The district stretches south from Downtown to the southern boundary of Champaign. The area has great proximity to strong population centers and major regional attractions including:
- University of Illinois
- Memorial Stadium
- State Farm Center
- University of Illinois Research Park
- Fox Research Park
- Illinois Fire Service Institute
A number of major corporate headquarters and offices are located within walking distance of the corridor including Wolfram, Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop, and Amdocs.
The district features a strong mixture of local and national brand names. The recent completion of the Carriage Center Shopping Center has created a southern anchor complete with new dining options, a full service grocery store, and a hardware store which serve the entire south Champaign population.
The Windsor Road Corridor is a major arterial that runs through south Champaign and connects Neil Street with Duncan Road. Anchoring this corridor are the Windsor Galleria at Galen Drive and Village at the Crossing at Duncan Road. These neighborhood commercial centers provide a wide array of business services, personal services and commercial activity for the surrounding neighborhoods.
- Convenient access to Interstate 57 at Curtis Road
- Strong residential neighborhoods
- Highest median family incomes in Champaign
- Bike and pedestrian access and amenities
Curtis Road Interchange
The Curtis Road Interchange in the city’s newest connection to Interstate 57. The interchange opened in 2008 and provides an opportunity to further provide commercial services to the residents in southwest Champaign. In advance of any commercial activity, a study was undertaken to determine the appropriate uses, scale, and street configuration which would best serve the area. That study, created before the recession of 2009 is currently being updated.
- Convenient access to Interstate 57 and Curtis Road
- Close proximity to the highest household incomes in the City of Champaign
- Convenient access to University of Illinois and Willard Airport
- Undeveloped land offers endless possibilities for new development
The intersection of Interstate 57 and 74 provide an outstanding opportunity for companies to relocate and grow. The area has quick and easy access to Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis and more at the Olympian Drive interchange. The Interstate Research Park in the eastern quadrant is home to Silgan White Cap, Hobbico, US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Vesuvius USA, and Advanced Filtration. To the northwest, the Clearview Subdivision is prime land ready for commercial development. The Illinois Route 150 corridor is home to more research, development and logistics firms such as Rockwell Automation, MUTI, and Patterson Technology Center.
Apollo Industrial Park
The Apollo Industrial Park is one of the strongest logistics, warehouse, industrial and supply center in the city. The park area features easy access to I-57, I-72 and I-74. The park is home to major employers such as FedEx Ground, W. Newell & Co., Hobbico, Gill Athletics, Greybar, and Serv-U Equipment Supply.
- Convenient access to Olympian Drive and Interstate 57
- Convenient access to Interstate 74 via Neil Street
- Proximity to major rail line from Chicago