By: Diane Benjamin
Yesterday I toured the downtown core with a friend. If the pics below have spots blurred, it because a reflection was caught in the pic. My partner wishes to remain anonymous. The Core area is bordered by Front, East, Market, and Madison. It’s 12 square blocks.
First, I was surprised by the number of small businesses that are downtown. If you don’t know what is left open, I urge you to explore. I finally know where some of the bigger names are located like Specs Around Town, Bedtime Boutique, Common Ground, new Pantagraph office, and Fox and Hounds. There are other businesses that might be worth your time if you are adventurous.
This week on the radio Renner claimed another deal is coming. Without revealing my source, I think it involves all the Huff buildings again. It would be tragic for Bloomington to lose the Front & Center building, People’s Bank, and the Elks. The building behind the Front and Center building wouldn’t be much of a loss. The architecture in the other 3 can never be duplicated. Since government is the only entity with money, I’m wondering if Tari is scheming for money to tear them down for the bus transfer station. That project will be another failed attempt at creating economic activity downtown. If he found somebody else who wants to develop the area, they will want your money. It will be the dog and pony show part 3.
I purposely made all the pics small to save space. Most have captions saying what they are, click on them if you want to read those. Pics of the 4 Huff buildings:
The C11 East building looks even worse in person than other pics I’ve posted:
Evidently not many people want to live downtown. There are apartments for rent signs everywhere along with business space for rent:
Some other buildings made it difficult to tell if they were empty or not. The old Lancaster’s will be getting a new restaurant. A Taco place is going in across from the Law and Justice Center.
Downtown isn’t dead, there just isn’t a need to go downtown. If you go to a Farmer’s Market, take some time to walk around. If nothing else, check out the architecture of some other buildings. A cooler day would be better, there isn’t much shade.
Too bad Bloomington wasted money on entertainment venues that never show a profit. Their economic impact numbers are pure fiction. The leaders in Bloomington have spent decades making bad decisions. It continues today.