Hum, Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin

Memory Lane:

Remember when Normal promised to pay Bloomington Landmark Development around $1,825,000 to bring Portillos to town?

The documentation said Sales taxes will easily cover the cost in about 7 years:

That was in December of 2016.

Just over a year later Normal wrote a huge check to Bloomington Landmark Development to pay off the contract – $1,726,739.90.  Did Portillos generate that much money for the Town?  Probably not, so why did they pay it off?  They claim it was to save the 8% interest.


Just three months earlier Normal was offering to buy out employees if they would leave:

The reason given in the documentation was “General Fund revenue sources are performing below expectations.”

Does it seem strange to you that 3 months later they were so flush with cash they paid off developer?

It did to me, so let’s go farther!

Who is Bloomington Landmark Development?

Look them up on the Secretary of State’s website:

It shows this information for the President:


350 W HUBBARD ST #640


Let’s add another wrinkle!

Remember that new building on Uptown Circle to fill the huge hole?  Remember Normal agreed to lease an entire floor of the building or it wouldn’t get built?  Remember the claims that restaurants were dying to move it?

Not really!

Normal moved some of their offices in on the second floor – after spending almost $500,000 for furniture.

Nobody is on the main floor.

Tartan Realty Group started advertising the first floor space last November 27th.  The listing is still up:

I wonder if those luxury apartments on the upper floors are rented?

How long can the developer survive without filling the building?

Now look up Tartan on the Secretary of State’s website:

My, Oh My, Oh My!

Look who the President is:


350 W HUBBARD ST #640


Same guy that got the huge contract payoff for the Portillos deal!

Anybody think Uptown isn’t so successful?  Normal had to reduce the rent Subway pays.  The library decided not to build.  Now there isn’t a restaurant in sight to move into the final centerpiece building of Koos’s dream.

How long do you think the $1,726,739.90 check will keep the building’s owners from filing for bankruptcy?

Maybe this is why the new Normal budget has this:

Has Normal finally figured out that government development doesn’t work?

Keep in mind this building is supposed to be generating TIF bucks so Normal can pay off the debt.

Almost empty doesn’t show the building is worth much.

Of course, this is all speculation based on facts.  Maybe Normal can add a new edition of Rumor vrs Fact.







15 thoughts on “Hum, Uptown Circle

  1. VERY INTERESTING! seems Koos might have some explaining to do when UPTOWN is “ghost town” 2.0
    Portillos saw a sucker there boy!


  2. Snore. None of this is new about Doug Reichl. It’s not being hidden; it was previously reported. I’ve read it and heard it all before. AND how much money did the town save in interest by paying early? The payment came out of their reserve fund to save the interest (previously reported). They weren’t suddenly flush with cash. How do I know this stuff and you don’t and YOU run the blog? I should start a blog!! And instead of asking a bunch leading questions, actually answer them!


    1. Hey Dick, you might be right, it’s not being hidden. However there are so many young adults out their with liberal arts degrees, reading liberal news outlets, while struggling to pay back student loan at their minimum wage jobs all the while screaming about how much more they want/need for quality of life they can’t possibly pay attention to how the Town/City are imprisoning them by holding them hostage with the belief they “owe” the government everything and the government is somehow entitled to decide what it doles out to whom. It amusing how few liberals have the ability to use critical thinking to figure out where this is heading even while Diane is drawing the pictures.


  3. Hmm wonder if they are considering a Potemkin Village type existence, you know, just enough flash to fool the sheep or maybe some gullible investors here and there.


  4. funny too how the same name pops in on the deals , wonder if there’s any quid pro crow or side slush funds going on to either parties or political parties . facts and true accessing of needs and markets separate dreams from becoming nightmares . koos and reiner are like mosquitoes sucking as much blood as they can before they get chased off ..


  5. Interesting…
    Reichl served 14 years with HSA Commercial, Inc., where he served as Principal, Executive Vice President, and Managing Director of Retail Services. Mr. Reichl also has a deep background in tenant representation. He oversaw the leasing of the 310,000 sf Southgate Market in downtown Chicago, which is anchored by Whole Foods. Additionally, he was part of the leasing and development team for Chatham Marketplace, a 50-acre brownfield development on Chicago’s south side anchored by Wal-Mart and Lowe’s Home Improvement. He also assisted Potbelly Sandwich Shop with its Central Illinois expansion. He is a Founding Partner of Meatheads Burgers & Fries.

    They focus on sustainable communities. Tartan currently serves as the master broker for all CA Student Living mixed-use developments across the country.


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