Is Normal GIVING away property to ISU?

By: Diane Benjamin

The Art Gallery in Uptown is on the agenda for Monday:

See PDF pages 34 and following. The docs contains very little financial information except what ISU has already paid. It does say the current lease agreement will be extended until February 2020.

As I reported in this story: The current lease says this:

That appears ISU gets the space for free for now. The Town claims since the property was built with a Tiger Grant they have restrictions on how much rent they can charge. Did that matter with Subway? Wasn’t their space built with the same Tiger Grant. I suspect the free lease will be back when they hope nobody will notice. (or maybe Stan and Karyn are having a fiscal impact?)

This statement is included in the ordinance, the last word doesn’t make sense. Is FREE in your best interest? See PDF page 35:


PDF page 70: The FIALA Brothers will get permission to raze most of the former Bill’s Lock and Key building. At the last meeting tearing it down wasn’t evident in receiving the $150,000 rebate.


The Financial Trends Report will be presented, of course it isn’t available before the meeting so citizens can follow along or get questions answered.


What is Normal saying has already been paid?

That brings the total spending just since May of 2018 for free money to $382,444.62. See previous total:

I wonder why Chloe got $275.00?

Just to remind you what Connect Transit gets from you every month, what the Economic Development Council gets every month, and the rent for an entire floor at 1 Uptown Circle (1 month).

6 thoughts on “Is Normal GIVING away property to ISU?

  1. Uptown is full of empty promises and empty of full paying tenants. Koos and the gang are literally giving away property and subsidizing rent all over Uptown in an effort to avoid more empty storefronts. (1 Uptown Circle sticks out like a sore thumb and serves to remind taxpayers of the failures of government-led economic development.) Spaces are occupied by and/or significantly underwritten by the Town of Normal (or should I say, the taxpayers). The house of cards is crumbling. ISU saved Koos’ bacon in the last election. No way he’s going to all of a sudden charge them rent for the gallery or sunset the lease. And, as with most government programs, it will likely never end anyway. The EDC needs to stop accepting money from government or government agencies. They would actually get things done in the interest of economic development and the community, not the Koos and Renner agendas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only way an economic development organization works if it is majority funded by local business and CEOs actually sit on the Board of Directors. BN has always sought to do it backwards with government funding the majority of its operation then appoint the usual faces to its board structure. The money contributed by the taxpayer basically covers staff salaries and not much else to get any work of value done. If you look at growing communities the heavy hitters are all in on these efforts. In BN, not so much. I always believed it was by design so the usual BN Elitist Clique members could run the show.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Spot on, MPEABODY! You said it better than I. Businesses have no voice in Bloomington-Normal unless they go through government or are canonized by government. As a business owner that once operated in BN for several years before relocating the business and family out of state, I can say with great authority that business owners doing great things, expanding, growing, and reinvesting, are generally ignored and in many cases maligned by local government and the EDC unless they are in the members-only circle. For this very reason, many left the community, including several promising startups and/or tech companies with bright futures. There is very much an elitist clique, which is too egotistical and self-absorbed to notice that they are the actual problem while masquerading as the solution. They’re fearful and afraid of any change and no longer being the big fish in a small pond. Of course, the marketplace doesn’t care what they think and will do the changing with or without them.

        Liked by 1 person

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