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Trail East Project Cut To 4 Stories In Uptown

190215_trail_east_7.jpg
Farnsworth Group
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This earlier rendition of the Trail East mixed-use building in Uptown would be one story less under new plans. Town documents indicate the footprint of the building would be slightly different as well.

The long-delayed Trail East in Uptown Normal is downsizing.

Town planner Mercy Davison said Friday developers want to build a four-story structure instead of a five-story building.

"As time has marched on they have had one of the commercial tenants decide to remain in their current location elsewhere. That has necessitated making the building smaller," said Davison.

An amended agreement going before the Normal Town Council next week shows 19 residential units on the third and fourth floors. Originally, the third floor was commercial. Now, only a portion of that floor will be for business.

The reduction also cuts the $30 million cost of the building to $28.6 million. And that reduces the amount of Tax Increment Financing money the developer will get from the town from $8.4 million to $6 million.

The developer also will need less parking: 200 spaces instead of 300.

Another change is that a controversial mural in the way of construction won't be moved after all. The mural once drew a lawsuit when some of the artists who created it objected to demolition. The town had planned to relocate the brick wall on which the mural is painted, but that won't be necessary.

"The building that it is attached to would of course be removed. And then the mural would be designed into the interior space of one of the tenants on the first floor. So it would be visible inside the building," said Davison.

Construction could begin in October. The new completion date for the pandemic-delayed Trail East project could be as late as October 2023.

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