Trades District parking garage lookin southeast from Rogers Street. (Nov. 5, 2022)
4th Street parking garage looking west from Walnut Street (Nov. 5, 2022).
The ground floor commercial space in the city of Bloomington’s two new public parking garages—on 4th Street and in the Trades District—could finally see some tenants, more than a year after construction was completed.
Hoosier Networks will also be able to lease some temporary space in College Square, which is the former location of the Bunger & Robertson law firm, which the RDC purchased with an eye towards developing the parcel as part of an expanded convention center. It’s the spot where Bloomington’s downtown fire station has landed temporarily after the June 2021 flooding damaged the fire station at 4th and Lincoln streets.
Taking the Trades District garage space will be the University of California – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. That’s after the RDC in mid-April had approved terms of a lease with the software company Exclaimer for the Trades District garage space. The Trades District garage ground floor space for lease is still an empty box—it doesn’t look like it ever got built out for Exclaimer.
An item related to a Winslow Road resurfacing project—which was postponed by Bloomington’s redevelopment commission from its meeting two weeks ago—still did not get a vote by the RDC on Monday.
The resolution that appeared Monday’s meeting agenda did not need a vote, according to assistant city attorney Larry Allen, because the construction contracts were not yet ready to be approved. And the contract approvals were not yet ready because the grant from INDOT’s Community Crossings matching grant program has not yet been awarded.
But public works director Adam Wason was able to respond to questions from RDC members about the project. The item had been postponed from two weeks ago, because Wason was not able to attend that meeting.
On Monday, Allen also sketched out the legal department’s position on why TIF (tax increment finance) funds are allowed to be spent on a project like Winslow Road resurfacing. The project entails milling down the surface of the road by a couple of inches, laying new asphalt and re-striping the pavement.
The image is from the April 2022 Pictometry module of the Monroe County online property lookup system.
A gravel path across the top of Griffy dam, including staircase access and safety fencing, with an estimated cost of $375,000, now has approval in concept as a Bloomington redevelopment commission project.
The unanimous vote by the five-member Bloomington RDC came at the group’s regular meeting on Monday. No expenditure of funds was approved with Monday’s vote.
It’s currently possible for hikers to get across the dam by going through a fence, Bloomington parks operations manager Tim Street told the RDC. But the new path will “formalize” the crossing and in places improve the aesthetics of chain link with cedar split rail fence.
Winslow Road, which cuts east-west across the southern part of Bloomington, has received a nod from the city’s redevelopment commission for a resurfacing project that is supposed to be completed sometime in 2023.
The preliminary engineering work for the project is hoped to start this fall and last through the spring, with construction to begin in 2023.
The RDC’s initial approval, which came at its regular Tuesday meeting, established the work as an RDC project, with a kind of placeholder cost of $500,000. But the action by the five-member RDC did not approve the expenditure of any funds.
The view of the CFC Properties side of the former Showers furniture building, from the southwest.
The view is from the west of the Showers building. The pink outline shows the portion of the building that Bloomington has made an accepted offer to purchase from CFC Properties. The image is from the Pictometry module of Monroe County’s property lookup system.
The city has made a $9.25-million offer to CFC Properties to buy the west part of the former Showers furniture factory building, which is home to city hall. While city hall has a Morton Street address, the other side of the building has the address 320 W. 8th Street.
CFC has accepted the offer, and after various due diligence activities are completed, the closing is expected no later than early next year. The process requires an approval from Bloomington’s city council.
Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) is hoping that a $12,000 contract with Ann-Kriss, Inc.—to paint and seal some brick and concrete surfaces in an old industrial building—will wrap up an issue with lingering odor that has beleaguered part of the roughly $5.5 million adaptive reuse project.
According to Bloomington’s director of economic and sustainable development, Alex Crowley, the issue with the unpleasant smell is limited to the confined space inside some of the interior offices. It has apparently not been a problem throughout the relatively open layout of the former dimension mill of the Showers Company furniture factory.
The building, which is located north of city hall in the Trades District, launched as a coworking space in 2018. The RDC leases the building to the Dimension Mill, Inc., which is a nonprofit formed to operate it. Under the terms of the lease, DMI is paying the RDC $75,000 this year. Next year that amount goes up to $100,000.
The commercial space to be leased fronts South Rogers Street. The Trades District is the area north of the city hall and county government building on Morton Street, bounded on the north by 11th Street.
On Monday, Bloomington director of economic and sustainable development Alex Crowley described the deal to RDC members as essentially a four-year lease with the option to exit the agreement at the end of year three—as long as Exclaimer covers half the rent that they would have paid through year four.
Looking south from Madison Street at 2nd Street across the parcel where Madison Street is planned to be extended.
Looking west from Morton Street down the alley city council was asked to vacate.
Looking south from 2nd Street down the alley that city council was asked to vacate.
Highlighted in yellow are the alleys the city council was asked to vacate.
Schematic drawing by local architect Marc Cornett showing alleys in red where he thinks they should be added.
A request from Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) to vacate parts of two alleys in one of the blocks near the former site of the IU Health hospital was denied by Bloomington’s city council at its Wednesday meeting.
The vote was split 4–5, but not along familiar lines.
Voting to give up the right-of-way were: Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Sue Sgambelluri, Jim Sims, and Ron Smith. Voting against the vacation of the alleys were: Matt Flaherty, Dave Rollo, Kate Rosenbarger, Susan Sandberg, and Steve Volan.