Jump to content
Guest Guest

Urbana-Champaign, IL

Recommended Posts

I'm thoroughly considering UIUC - first acceptance, first city I get to research more. By the sounds of it, I may enjoy the Urbana side more . . distractions can definitely ruin my concentration for long periods of time - and if it's quieter . . .

I'm mainly concerned about the weather. Layer, layer, layer, or do I need to toss out my southern wardrobe to acclimate myself better (of course, by buying more clothes--!)? I'm originally from NJ, but I've been in the South for a decade now . . .

I'd be interested in renting a house over an apartment, but generally . . what do you pay for heating monthly during the Winter there? I *do* have a space heater, just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mainly concerned about the weather. Layer, layer, layer, or do I need to toss out my southern wardrobe to acclimate myself better (of course, by buying more clothes--!)? I'm originally from NJ, but I've been in the South for a decade now . . .

I'd be interested in renting a house over an apartment, but generally . . what do you pay for heating monthly during the Winter there? I *do* have a space heater, just in case.

Well, this winter is considered to be extra cold, during the coldest days so far (sub-zero) I was wearing with a t-shirt, thin sweater and a rather warm down jacket. I only stayed outside for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time, though.

I live in a smallish 1br apartment with everything electric: stove, heating, water heater. My largest bill was ~$90.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mainly concerned about the weather. Layer, layer, layer, or do I need to toss out my southern wardrobe to acclimate myself better (of course, by buying more clothes--!)? I'm originally from NJ, but I've been in the South for a decade now . . .

Well, that depends on what your Southern wardrobe is made of. I did undergrad at U-C, and I've been in Illinois my whole life, and when it comes to weather, Illinois means business. We're talking stretches of sub-zero and below-zero wind chill, a good amount of snow, etc, so a good jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, etc are essentials. Especially if you plan on using public transport; the Champaign-Urbana mass transit is excellent, and has been ranked #1 in the past, but still means trudging over snow-drifts to stops, and waiting in the blistering cold sometimes.

Hope that helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse me sir, "sub zero?" "Snow drift?" . . . . Sounds like it'll be an experience! I can buck up I hope, if I do choose this school.

Southern wardrobe? Daisy dukes, tank tops, flippy floppies . . .

Around $90 doesn't sound so bad. I was expecting to hear something in the mid 100s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to law school in Chambana between 2002-05. I lived in Urbana at a complex called Town and Country (http://www.tandcapartments.com/). The population is primarily grad and professional students, so management is used to working with us. The grounds and apartments are also very well maintained, management office is on-site, and any maintenance requests get taken care of promptly. It usually took me less than 10 min. to drive to campus. Or, if I took the shuttle that is right at the property, it would take me about 15 min. or so to get to campus.

I'm hoping to attend UIUC starting this summer, and was really excited about Town and Country when I went to their website. When I went to Google Maps, however, I noticed that the complex if flanked by the following: Port-o-Let Rentals, Champaign Mental Health, and a wastewater treatment center. Did you have any issues with odors? Escaped mental patients? Haha. I'd like to live in a one bedroom with my dog and that seems like an awesome place, minus the surroundings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in my late 20s and starting a postdoctoral position at UIUC this fall. I'm relocating from Boston, so this is going to be a big change. I was wondering if downtown Champaign is a reasonable place to live if I am coming from a city (i.e., need some sort of hustle and bustle) but do not want to be surrounded by undergraduates. I noticed that rents are a bit higher right downtown, which makes me think that professionals live there. Is this correct? I found a place I really like online that is a block or two from the Virginia Theatre.

Are there any other places that those of you living in Urbana-Champaign would suggest if I don't have a car (but have a bike) and would like to be walkable to things to do, but still not be living below or next to a frat party?

Thanks!

Edited by mg532

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, living west of First St in Champaign and more than a couple blocks east of Lincoln St in Urbana will keep you far enough from the frat/undergrad population. Rent is higher in downtown Champaign simply because it's in the 4x4 block area that has bars and restaurants frequented by they non-undergrad crowd (and the level of hustle and bustle really doesn't compare to that of a big city). I know both grad students and professionals who live there. My opinion, however, that the rent difference between living downtown in a "fancy" condo/loft above a bar/restaurant and living 2-5 blocks west of downtown in a slightly quieter more residential area (but still easily walkable to downtown) is not worth it. But, that's my preference. And some people really like living in/near downtown Urbana. If at all possible, you should visit so you can see what the towns and downtown areas are actually like. Also, the tenant union (http://www.tenantunion.uiuc.edu/) is a great resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, living west of First St in Champaign and more than a couple blocks east of Lincoln St in Urbana will keep you far enough from the frat/undergrad population. Rent is higher in downtown Champaign simply because it's in the 4x4 block area that has bars and restaurants frequented by they non-undergrad crowd (and the level of hustle and bustle really doesn't compare to that of a big city). I know both grad students and professionals who live there. My opinion, however, that the rent difference between living downtown in a "fancy" condo/loft above a bar/restaurant and living 2-5 blocks west of downtown in a slightly quieter more residential area (but still easily walkable to downtown) is not worth it. But, that's my preference. And some people really like living in/near downtown Urbana. If at all possible, you should visit so you can see what the towns and downtown areas are actually like. Also, the tenant union (http://www.tenantunion.uiuc.edu/) is a great resource.

Thanks so much for the information. I am planning on visiting in early May to find a place and sign a lease, but I want to do a fairly directed search and be clear to realtors what I'm looking for. I'll try looking a bit west of Downtown Champaign as well. Now I just hope that I don't miss the city too much - I guess Chicago is only an Amtrak ride away. :) Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the information. I am planning on visiting in early May to find a place and sign a lease, but I want to do a fairly directed search and be clear to realtors what I'm looking for. I'll try looking a bit west of Downtown Champaign as well. Now I just hope that I don't miss the city too much - I guess Chicago is only an Amtrak ride away. :) Thanks again!

I concur with the advice you've been given. The area I suspect you would most like to live is near-ish Downtown Champaign, possibly around West Side Park (tons of grad student types live just south of it). I live in Urbana, but when I go downtown, I actually park in those residential areas because it's free and walkable to the bars/restaurants.

As a city-dweller prior to moving here (seven years in San Diego), I've found the best method of coping is to stay within the confines of the town as much as possible (ie, I live in complete denial of the miles ...and miles... of cornfields). Some people do go to Chicago almost every weekend, though. One thing that's a constant source of amusement to me is that relative distance is measured differently: "far away" = 20 minute drive. Also, "traffic" = 4 cars at a stoplight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone have information on Busey Court Apartments? I am considering living there. If not there, any other suggestions? I am looking for something fairly close to campus in a quieter area (Urbana?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, sorry to put a little ad in here, I just thought I'd mention it since most of you seem to be talking apartments. I'm currently a senior at UIUC (and I grew up in Champaign-Urbana). My family owns an apartment off campus that we're looking to rent, less than a 10 minute walk to the engineering campus, or a 5 minute bus ride(two different bus lines). Its a 3 bedroom condo/townhouse with 2 bathrooms. Its on the corner of Busey and Springfield in Urbana (if you feel like looking it up on google maps).

Here is a link to the craigslist ad: http://chambana.craigslist.org/apa/2311442806.html

If you might be interested in the apartment, or if you have any questions about UIUC and the surrounding area in general, send me a PM!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur with the advice you've been given. The area I suspect you would most like to live is near-ish Downtown Champaign, possibly around West Side Park (tons of grad student types live just south of it). I live in Urbana, but when I go downtown, I actually park in those residential areas because it's free and walkable to the bars/restaurants.

As a city-dweller prior to moving here (seven years in San Diego), I've found the best method of coping is to stay within the confines of the town as much as possible (ie, I live in complete denial of the miles ...and miles... of cornfields). Some people do go to Chicago almost every weekend, though. One thing that's a constant source of amusement to me is that relative distance is measured differently: "far away" = 20 minute drive. Also, "traffic" = 4 cars at a stoplight.

Someone recommended that I look up JSM apartments. Do you have any experience with them? Also coincidentally, I'll be in the brain and cognition division also. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, $275???? That's crazy!

If anybody's lived there with dogs, I'd love to hear of some good dog-friendly neighborhoods!

Yeah, thing is though, most cheap (while still liveable) stuff for the next academic year gets signed the October prior; Champaign and Urbana actually passed laws preventing tenants from signing year-long leases previous to October 1st in 2008.

I'm returning for the LIS program, and looking with my friend for a two-bedroom, and it's proving nearly impossible to find anything under 850 all in that doesn't feel like a total health and safety hazard, where I'd actually be uncomfortable living there. (EG. We saw a Green St. Realty place that was cheap, but included, among other fire hazards, electrical wires covered in insulation and wrapped around a pole, and another electrical wire running through a pile of dead leaves in the basement that had gotten in through a permanently open window.)

So I'd recommend trying to get down there ASAP! One place we had really liked got taken less than an hour after we saw it. Competition's getting really tough.

If you do have the cash, I had good experiences with Hunsinger in undergrad (when my parents were footing the bill). I've heard good things about JSM and Weiner as well. CPM, Barr, and Gabe's Place have horrible reputations - I've heard Gabe's Place called a slum lord more than once.

Also, if you're about the environment and all that, be aware that Champaign has restrictions on recycling. Urbana is also where the Farmer's Market and Common Ground food co-op are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a reasonable 1 or 2 bedroom apartment under $850 a month that is dog friendly (I'm not sure how unreasonable my expectations may be). Additionally, I won't have a car, so I'd like to be near a bus line and grocery store. I was looking at Town and Country and some of Weiner Companies' places. Does anyone know about the area around Town and Country- how bad is it? Or, for the area between the University and Urbana, south of University Ave. (in particular- 305 Elm St. or 402 Springfield Ave. by Weiner Co.)? How is that area- noisy and full of undergrads? I'm trying to figure out where I might be able to find a decent place- fairly quiet but accessible. Are there any other places in the area that might be quiet, accessible, reasonable, and dog friendly? I'm planning on getting a one year lease and then figuring things out after moving there. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a reasonable 1 or 2 bedroom apartment under $850 a month that is dog friendly (I'm not sure how unreasonable my expectations may be). Additionally, I won't have a car, so I'd like to be near a bus line and grocery store. I was looking at Town and Country and some of Weiner Companies' places. Does anyone know about the area around Town and Country- how bad is it? Or, for the area between the University and Urbana, south of University Ave. (in particular- 305 Elm St. or 402 Springfield Ave. by Weiner Co.)? How is that area- noisy and full of undergrads? I'm trying to figure out where I might be able to find a decent place- fairly quiet but accessible. Are there any other places in the area that might be quiet, accessible, reasonable, and dog friendly? I'm planning on getting a one year lease and then figuring things out after moving there. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Both those areas will be relatively undergrad-free. Anything east of vine will definitely be out of undergrad range. Those places you listed are nice especially since there are a good number of grocery stores and decent restaurants in the area, plus easy access to bus routes that'll take you right to campus. I think you'd be fine at either 305 Elm or 402 Springfield.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input on the previous places I listed. I was just looking at places in Champaign. How is Hessel on the Park apartments- just south of Hessel park on Valley Road. Is that primarily undergrads or is it more grad students and community members?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input on the previous places I listed. I was just looking at places in Champaign. How is Hessel on the Park apartments- just south of Hessel park on Valley Road. Is that primarily undergrads or is it more grad students and community members?

I don't know too much about the apartments themselves, but i know the area should be pretty quiet, if thats what you're looking for. If you want to be around a place with a bit more to do, I suggest living around Westside park in champaign. Downtown champaign has a pretty lively nightlife

Edit: I also noticed that you're going to be in chemistry? What I can tell you is that the hessel park apartments are pretty far away from campus. Unless you have a car, I'd imagine it'd be a real pain to get to and from class/lab. I suggest living in urbana as its a lot closer to campus, and the buildings where you'll likely be.

Edited by lucien2111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I'm looking for a 2 bedroom apartment near the engineering buildings, I also won't have a car so relatively close to bus line and markets would be a plus. Any suggestions? There seem to be so many apartment complexes! I'd like one that is quiet and has little to no undergrads, and mostly grad students that are married and/or with families

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for a reasonable 1 or 2 bedroom apartment under $850 a month that is dog friendly (I'm not sure how unreasonable my expectations may be). Additionally, I won't have a car, so I'd like to be near a bus line and grocery store. I was looking at Town and Country and some of Weiner Companies' places. Does anyone know about the area around Town and Country- how bad is it? Or, for the area between the University and Urbana, south of University Ave. (in particular- 305 Elm St. or 402 Springfield Ave. by Weiner Co.)? How is that area- noisy and full of undergrads? I'm trying to figure out where I might be able to find a decent place- fairly quiet but accessible. Are there any other places in the area that might be quiet, accessible, reasonable, and dog friendly? I'm planning on getting a one year lease and then figuring things out after moving there. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

I live at Town and Country. The area is not bad at all. Most of the people who live here are younger professional types and upper-level undergrads/grads. It's a bit out of the way if you don't have a car (the bus doesn't run out here on weekends), but other than that, I'd recommend it pretty highly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I'm looking for a 2 bedroom apartment near the engineering buildings, I also won't have a car so relatively close to bus line and markets would be a plus. Any suggestions? There seem to be so many apartment complexes! I'd like one that is quiet and has little to no undergrads, and mostly grad students that are married and/or with families

The tenant union should be able to help you out with that. They seem to have a pretty good handle on which complexes are undergrad heavy and which aren't. You can send them an e-mail listing what you are looking for in an apartment, and they will e-mail you back with a list of rental companies and complexes that fit your requirements and are owned by reliable landlords (ie, no or very few complaints). They really are a fantastic resource, since they keep complaint records for every landlord in town and also will help you out if you end up having a problem with your landlord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live at Town and Country. The area is not bad at all. Most of the people who live here are younger professional types and upper-level undergrads/grads. It's a bit out of the way if you don't have a car (the bus doesn't run out here on weekends), but other than that, I'd recommend it pretty highly

I'm visiting T&C for a tour soon. How do you like it? I've read mixed reviews on apartmentratings.com. Do you drive to campus everyday, and, if so, where do you park once you get there? I've heard parking is a nightmare. Also, they say they're pet-friendly...do you know if they have any breed restrictions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to be attending UIUC as a graduate student starting this Fall 2011 and living in one of the Town and Country apartments with my dog. It's a really nice, quiet place that has a lot of graduate students and professionals. The apartments are very spacious, and they welcome both large and small dogs. There is also a bus stop right in front of the apartments, and everyone gets their own parking spot for free. Lots of guest parking too! Very nice place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm visiting T&C for a tour soon. How do you like it? I've read mixed reviews on apartmentratings.com. Do you drive to campus everyday, and, if so, where do you park once you get there? I've heard parking is a nightmare. Also, they say they're pet-friendly...do you know if they have any breed restrictions?

We have cats, so I've never personally made an inquiry about breed restrictions, but I've seen people walking great danes and American bulldogs, so I'd assume size isn't a problem.

I usually drive to campus every day, and since my major has its main building on the periphery of campus it was feasible for me to get a parking pass for a lot nearby. This costs me about the same amount as parking did when I lived nearer campus (~400 dollars), so I did not mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking at T&C as well. My building is in the middle of the quad (Davenport Hall). Would it be feasible to take the bus everyday? And are there any student lots on the interior of the campus? I was looking on the parking map and it was kinda confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking at T&C as well. My building is in the middle of the quad (Davenport Hall). Would it be feasible to take the bus everyday? And are there any student lots on the interior of the campus? I was looking on the parking map and it was kinda confusing.

There is very little student parking on the interior of campus, and you would pay a lot for it ($480 for 9 months), or feed a meter all day. Parking in the shuttle lot is only $127 a year, but is far from the center of campus (you would need to take a bus from E14 to Davenport). Most buses run every half hour, and usually well into the evening, but I don't know which lines go out to T&C, so I'd check out CUMTD to make sure it's feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.