City may approve incentive for company

By Gary Brode |

Published 04/23 2014 10:31AM

Updated 04/23 2014 10:34AM

CHAMPAIGN -- A major video game developer won't have to find a new address, thanks to an incentive which will give the company $200,000. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine finds out why the city council is in favor of giving the company this money.

It was decided at Tuesday night's study session, but still has to go back for a formal vote. DS Volition has hundreds of employees. Losing a company of that size could have a hugely negative impact on downtown. Inside One Main Plaza, you'll find DS Volition.

"The downtown area was pretty depressed when the building was built."

The company jumped from 65 employees to more than 200.

"We're a destination for many people nowadays. That's how we sell ourselves."

One of the biggest draws for new employees is downtown.

"We got people with kids who come here because they want to live in a nice environment, have a 20 minute, 10 minute commute and be able to buy a home. A lot of people live downtown."

The company wants $200,000 to expand.

"We'll create a brand new server room."

Space to improve the way they make video games. Tuesday night, city leaders informally voted to move forward with the project.

"The case for why this was important to downtown was a strong one and, as the mayor indicated, I think council worked really hard to be able to understand that, and to understand the impact and to know they were making a good decision."

If DS Volition didn't get the money from the city, it would move, losing valuable foot traffic. The money will come from a downtown tax increment finance district, which has about $1.8 million in it currently.

"We'll try to move pretty fast on this one."

The reason they're moving fast? DS Volition's lease is up in May. With the agreement, owners will sign a ten-year lease. They hope to hire about 100 more people after the renovations.

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