Sale of Showers admin building to investor in Kiln Collective OK’d by Bloomington RDC

The boarded up historic Showers administration building in the Trades District, north of city hall, will be getting at least a partial rehab by its new owner, Eurton Properties.

The conveyance agreement, which calls for Eurton to pay $400,000 for the property, was approved by Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) at its regular Monday evening meeting.

The admin building stands at the corner of Morton and 10th Streets. Continue reading “Sale of Showers admin building to investor in Kiln Collective OK’d by Bloomington RDC”

Bloomington to pay $500,000 less for western part of city hall building

In mid-July, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) gave initial approval to a $9.25 million deal to purchase CFC’s portion of the Showers building—which houses city hall in the eastern part of the building, in addition to CFC offices in the western part.

But that price has now dropped by a half million dollars.

At its regular meeting on Monday, the RDC approved an amendment to the purchase agreement that knocks the price down to $8.75 million. The address of the building is 320 W. 8th St.

Bloomington was able to negotiate a price reduction, according to a memo provided in the RDC’s meeting information packet, “[b]ased on renovation cost estimates produced by the consultants assisting with due diligence.”

During the due diligence phase for the purchase agreement, the city has brought in architects and public safety construction experts, to estimate the cost to convert the space to a police and fire administrative headquarters.

The plan would consolidate in the same building as city hall two additional facilities: the police headquarters on 3rd Street; and the fire administrative headquarters at 4th and Lincoln streets. Continue reading “Bloomington to pay $500,000 less for western part of city hall building”

Bloomington looks finally to put commercial tenants in ground floors of city parking garages

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.

Terms for lease agreements in both parking garages appear on the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting of Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC).

Slotting into the 4th Street space will be Hoosier Networks. That’s the company formed by Paris-based Meridiam to do business in Indiana, as part of deal with the city of Bloomington to build a fiber-to-the-home network in the city.

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.

Continue reading “Bloomington looks finally to put commercial tenants in ground floors of city parking garages”

Griffy dam trail crossing gets OK from Bloomington RDC: “It’s not within the TIF—it’s serving the TIF.”

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.

The Griffy dam trail crossing is on the list of projects approved by the Bloomington city council and the board of park commissioners in May this year, as part of a $10-million bond package. Half that amount was was made up of parks bonds.

When Bloomington’s city council gave its approval for issuance of the parks bonds, it put the dam crossing last on in its priority ranking.

The low priority ranking by the city council is key to the RDC’s agreement now to make the dam crossing one of its projects to be paid for out of tax increment finance (TIF) revenue. Continue reading “Griffy dam trail crossing gets OK from Bloomington RDC: “It’s not within the TIF—it’s serving the TIF.””

Showers building purchase update: Bloomington RDC OKs $68K in due diligence contracts

The city of Bloomington’s hoped-for purchase of the western portion of the Showers building, where city hall is located, took an incremental step forward on Monday.

In connection with due diligence work in advance of the $9.25-million purchase from CFC Properties,  Bloomington’s RDC has approved three contracts totaling $67,800. The unanimous approvals came at the RDC’s regular meeting on Monday.

Approved at Monday’s meeting were: a contract with BCA Environmental for environmental analysis ($2,800); a contract with Tabor/Bruce Architecture & Design for investigation of the building’s mechanical systems ($15,000); and a contract with Springpoint Architects for a public safety evaluation ($50,000). Continue reading “Showers building purchase update: Bloomington RDC OKs $68K in due diligence contracts”

Property acquisition notebook: Appraisals of former Showers building, also done 3 years ago

Last Friday, the city of Bloomington issued a news release announcing a potential real estate purchase.

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.

The pending real estate purchase offers a window into some of the statutory requirements that apply to such deals. Continue reading “Property acquisition notebook: Appraisals of former Showers building, also done 3 years ago”

Column: Blurry images instead of digital text should not be good enough for Bloomington government

The government of every city in America tries to talk a good game about transparency and accessibility.

Bloomington, Indiana is no different.

But Bloomington fails at basic accessibility just as often as many other cities with way fewer resources.

Today’s example comes from the information packet that has been posted to support the Bloomington redevelopment commission’s Monday (March 7, 2022) meeting. Continue reading “Column: Blurry images instead of digital text should not be good enough for Bloomington government”

Bloomington estimates $900K from feds for community grants, RDC OKs recommendations

At its Monday meeting, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) signed off on recommendations for spending $1.1 million of federal community development block grant (CDBG) money for 2022.

The recommendations came from a citizens advisory committee. The money will go to more than a dozen different non-profits—for social services and for physical improvements.

The recommendations also include money for two city departments: $140,000 to the engineering department for sidewalk improvements on Adams Street; and $110,000 to utilities for bio-retention ponds.

CDBG grants are awarded every year. After receiving $1,017,968 last year, the city is estimating that this year’s allocation will be $900,000.

But the recommendations considered by the RDC on Monday totaled $1.1 million. That’s because $200,000 of funding that was unused in previous years is being tapped this year, according to John Zody, who’s director of Bloomington’s housing and neighborhood development (HAND) department. Continue reading “Bloomington estimates $900K from feds for community grants, RDC OKs recommendations”

Hopewell: Name of new neighborhood to be built on former hospital site announced

When some Bloomington residents came together to engage the public process connected to the city’s rezoning effort a couple of years ago, they called themselves the Hopewell Group.

They took the moniker from the hospital that was opened about 120 years ago by the Local Council of Women at First and Rogers Streets. The brick building, which was called Hopewell House, along with four and a half acres of land, was purchased from Isaac Hopewell. The headline of the Nov. 29, 1905 edition of the Bloomington World read “Open Hospital.”

Also bearing the Hopewell name will be a new neighborhood to be built on the site of the hospital that eventually replaced Hopewell House. The city of Bloomington announced the choice of name in a news release issued Friday.

The name “Hopewell Subdivision” appears on the plat that Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) has submitted to the city’s plan commission for review at its Monday, Feb. 7 meeting. Continue reading “Hopewell: Name of new neighborhood to be built on former hospital site announced”

Bloomington’s Trades District technology center takes small step forward

At its Monday meeting, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) gave a green light to the next incremental step in the construction of a technology center north of Bloomington’s city hall building, in the Trades District.

The Trades District is a certified technology park.

What the RDC approved was a revision to the project review form for a roughly $5.5-million technology center.

The center is expected to break ground in mid-2022 and be open in early- to mid-2024, according to Bloomington director of economic and sustainable development Alex Crowley.

The timing depends in part on some back-and-forth the city is having with the federal Economic Development administration (EDA), in connection with a $3.5 million grant awarded by the EDA for the center, Crowley wrote in a late-December email to The B Square.

Wednesday’s project form revision spells out $500,000 as the amount planned for the design services for the project. The firm that has done the initial conceptual and preliminary designs is Axis Architecture + Interiors. Continue reading “Bloomington’s Trades District technology center takes small step forward”