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Bloomington breaks ground on Trades District tech center



Bloomington, Indiana – On October 5, the City of Bloomington began construction of the Trades District Technology Center.

According to the City of Bloomington website, the Certified Technology Park is a 65-acre area featuring high-tech firms, of which the 12-acre Bloomington Trades District is a part. Northwest of The Square in Bloomington’s downtown sits the district.

The tech industry in Bloomington will have offices at the Trades District tech center. The U.S. Economic Development Administration has granted $3.5 million toward the project, and the City of Bloomington has contributed $9.3 million.

Instead of taking place in the lot where construction had begun, the event was moved inside The Mill, a nonprofit coworking and entrepreneurial hub, due to inclement weather. Deputy Mayor Larry Allen and President Sue Sgambelluri of the Bloomington Common Council were among the speakers from the Bloomington municipal government present at the occasion. Speakers at the occasion included representatives from Dimension Mill, Inc., which oversees the Trades District’s development and marketing.

According to Dimension Mill, Inc. senior vice president John Fernandez, the tech center will be prepared for businesses to move into in January 2025. If Dimension Mill, Inc. approves the hotel project, the tech center will be located on the same lot as a boutique hotel, according to Fernandez. In August 2023, Alluin Development suggested building the boutique hotel.

“We are trying to give identity to this destination,” Fernandez said. “It is much more than just a building; we’re trying to make a community in this area.”

The floor designs that were shown at an XYZ meeting on September 27 indicate that the tech center building will feature two levels for businesses to work and a third level for storage. The estimated 22,000-square-foot structure will cost the city $12,768,948, or about $580 per square foot.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said in an Economic Development Administration press release. “This EDA investment in Bloomington will create a commercialization services hub for second-stage and start-up technology companies to connect with regional entrepreneurial resources, bring new products to market and create good-paying jobs.”

In the private sector, which is the area of the economy owned and managed by private individuals and organizations with the intention of turning a profit, 866 new jobs are anticipated as a result of the project. As per the news release from the City of Bloomington, the project is anticipated to yield $218 million in economic activity for the community during a ten-year timeframe.

“Our thriving tech sector needs room to grow, and this new facility fits beautifully, complementing the adjacent Mill, and helping us attract and retain top talent,” Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said in the press release. “We are grateful to the EDA for their support of this important project.”