Gather Moving Forward


Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin was very happy to share the news in a statement to Urbana City staff.

"The sale of the property at University and Lincoln (SE corner) was completed this afternoon, so the “Gather” project is moving ahead. This is a $30 million mixed use project, with extended stay hotel rooms plus multifamily housing and small retail. This project, combined with the extensive work on University Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, and Green St. next year, will transform the campus gateway to our community. Special thanks to the Business and Development leadership team," Marlin said.

A Texas-based developer completed its purchase of the property needed to build what Urbana officials are calling the gateway to the University of Illinois. With construction slated to begin this winter at the southeast corner of Lincoln and University avenues, the Gather project is expected to include 202 apartments, 30 extended-stay rooms and 17,500 square feet of lobby, retail and outdoor public areas.

“Our company is very pleased to have completed the acquisition of this significant property in Urbana,” said Graeme Rael, a principal officer of Rael Development Corp. “We are confident that the development will be a source of pride for both the city and our firm.”

Rael is a University of Michigan grad who has a number of similar housing projects in other college towns. The project will be bounded on the north by University and the railroad, on the east by Busey Avenue and on the west by Lincoln. The Wakeland family owned all of the properties north of Clark Street, which will bisect the project and part of the block south of it. The corner has been up for sale since at least January 2017, when it had a listing price for $6.5 million.

The property’s broker, Alex Ruggieri, declined to divulge the sale price, but called it a “stellar development.”

“The Gather project is a game changer for Urbana,” he said.


Update 1/21/2020: For periodic project updates, please visit



Thank you to the News-Gazette for portions of this article.

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Last modified:Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 15:58
- Author: BridgetB