By: Diane Benjamin
Tari thinks a Public-Private partnership can save the State Farm building in downtown Bloomington. Jenn Carrillo must think she can bully State Farm the way she did the Gypsy Room.
If you don’t understand the hazards to your wallet, keep reading. If you do, a petition to “Let It Go” is on-line collecting signatures: Let the State Farm building go
1 Uptown Circle is a public-private partnership. Normal sold the developer the land for $1 and loaned them $2.75 MILLION. Add the cost of renting an entire floor for 15 years – around $5.9 MILLION – the total cost is $8.65 MILLION.
Keep in mind the first floor is STILL vacant. The “fining dining” restaurant dying to locate there never materialized so taxpayers aren’t getting their $2.75 MILLION back.
That is what Public-Private partnerships do – transfer risk to TAXPAYERS. Details here: https://blnnews.com/2018/03/17/more-on-uptown-circle/
The Hyatt is also a public-private partnership – Normal borrowed money to hand to the developer to build both buildings. A total of $7.85 MILLION of taxpayer money was loaned to the developer to be paid back with hotel taxes, TIF funds, food and beverage taxes, sales tax, and utilities tax. Normal was also going to rebate up to $1 MILLION of Sales Tax.
A State Farm Public-Private partnership will do the same thing! Take your money, hand it to “friends” never to be seen again.
My power went off THREE times while writing this story! Hopefully it’s back on for good now.
One more thing about the Uptown empty first floor. There is nothing in the ordinance that Council passed March 17, 2016 penalizing the developer for not obtaining a tenant on the first floor. Normal failed to protect their investment because the building would not have been built if they had. Normal did want to have a say on WHO the tenant is. How many have they rejected?
See all the documentation here on 1 Uptown Circle – including a statement of how stimulated the Uptown economy will be because of the non-student housing (luxury apartments). PDF page 193 and following http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2058
Now, go back and sign the petition. If the building was capable of turning a profit, public investment would not be needed. Since State Farm failed to sell it, the private sector knows the building has no future. Tari should be thanking State Farm for tearing it down, unlike the other property owners in downtown Bloomington who are waiting for government to buy them out.