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Bloomington Redevelopment Commission to sell land in Bloomington Trades District



Bloomington, Indiana – Later this month, the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission will start considering plans for four tracks of land in the Trades District.

According to the City of Bloomington’s website, the Certified Technology Park, a 65-acre region with a number of high-tech enterprises, includes the 12-acre Bloomington Trades District. The Showers Brothers Furniture Company once called the Trades District, which is northwest of the square, home.

The Trades District in Bloomington was established in 2013 with the goal of luring private investments like stocks, bonds, and cash to the city. This was carried out from 2004 to 2016 while Mark Kruzan served as mayor.

Between Madison Street and Rogers Street, as well as between 10th and 11th Street, are the parcels of land that are up for sale. An area of land with distinct borders established by a deed is referred to as a tract. According to Indiana Public Media, the tracts’ prices range from $560,000 to more than $2.5 million.

A contract with Dimension Mill, Inc., a non-profit coworking and entrepreneurship center, to run and promote the Trades District’s Tech Center was approved by the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission in January. The former mayor of Bloomington, John Fernandez, was named senior vice president for innovation and strategic partnerships at Dimension Mill, Inc. by the city in February. He will oversee the growth and marketing of the Trades District. From 1995 through 2003, Fernandez served as Bloomington’s mayor.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act granted the city $3.5 million in 2021 to construct the Technology Center in Bloomington’s Trades District. According to Dimension Mill, Inc., construction is anticipated to start this fall and be finished by the beginning of 2025.

The southwest corner of Maker Way and Madison Street would be where the Technology Center would be situated. It would feature offices and conference rooms and aid in the Trades District becoming a desirable location for enterprises with an emphasis on technology.

Members of the City Council criticized the lack of transparency in the Tech Center’s funding in April. For the project, the city opted to use Community Revitalization Enhancement District cash as opposed to Tax Increment Financing District funding. Because the CRED funds were initially intended for one of the two CRED districts in Bloomington, Councilmember Stephen Volan expressed worry about using them for the Tech Center during the meeting.

According to the City of Bloomington website, CRED districts enable Bloomington to enhance sales and income tax revenues through corporate investments in the region and then use the monies for economic development in the district.

The Bloomington City Council decided in April to allocate $3 million from the district’s funds for community revitalization and enhancement to pay for the technology center’s construction. According to a news release from Dimension Mill, Inc., the project will also get $3.5 million from the US Economic Development Administration and nearly $2 million from the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission. According to the press release, the project would likely cost $8.5 million in total.

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