Why is ISU going after private business?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Years ago ISU decided to tear down old dorms.  This led to a plethora of private companies building housing for ISU students.  Buildings went up all over Normal that contribute to the Town budget through property taxes.

ISU has now decided to build a sophomore dorm.  Are 2nd year kids living on the streets because they can’t find housing?  If there is a shortage of housing, how do you explain this:

Young America

It’s incredible that this private business is willing to offer free housing, but why does Young America Realty have empty apartments available?  Is it because there isn’t a need for more housing for ISU students?

When the ISU dorm opens how many private sector businesses will ISU put out of business?  How much will Normal raise property taxes on everybody else because ISU destroyed the private rental market along with the property taxes they pay?

If ISU wanted students living on campus why did they tear down housing before replacing it?  Is ISU pandering to the unions who don’t have work in the private sector because we live in slow-growth Illinois?  Is ISU trying to kill capitalism after they encouraged it?

Inquiring minds want to know!

The timing is really bad for taxpayers.  Pritzker has refused to fix the pension problems and instead is opting for more taxes with a Constitutional Amendment.  Pension funding percentages will show a major crash after the last two weeks.  The Town of Normal’s year end is March 31st, the stock market will not recover the massive losses by then.  Actuaries will compute new amounts Normal will have to pay to achieve 100% funding by 2040.  Only the clueless ever believed that was possible even before the crash, the chances now are zero.

Since Normal thinks pension funding can only be paid through property taxes, and ISU will put some of these private companies out of business with their dorm, the taxpayers of Normal won’t be able to afford their homes.  Property taxes will skyrocket.

Hey, but let’s pass a progressive tax on the rich.  You are clueless if you think the rich are the only target.

We need more “Young America Realty” types and far fewer of the others.








15 thoughts on “Why is ISU going after private business?

  1. First, hats off to Young America. This is an amazing show of support for students and the broader community. Hopefully, students will learn that capitalism is not evil and that business owners can and often do put their hearts before their wallets, especially in times of peril. Anyway, Young America deserves every bit of praise they get…and more. As for ISU, it seems their focus is on building new buildings, which means some get demoed now and some get built later. Generally, there’s a period of time between demolition and a new building were those utilizing the facility are caught in limbo. Not sure there’s any sort of grand conspiracy. I do agree that the see-sawing in numbers of on-campus dorm units has a big impact on private sector housing alternatives. The real trouble will come when university enrollments start to decline. Deitz and the gang can celebrate their “record” enrollment all they want. What they won’t tell you is that it’s the direct result of the fast decline of E W and S Illinois universities not their business acumen and financial stewardship.


      1. Sadly, I don’t think they thought it through or, more likely, were otherwise indifferent to the short-term ramifications. Universities are all about building the next big, shiny modern building to showcase for prospective students. It’s an arms race of sorts that comes down to who has the best amenities. Not sure ISU cares about the unintended consequences to local property managers and owners. We know the Town of Normal will rubber stamp and not question anything from ISU, kinda like the City of Bloomington and a certain insurance company they dare not cross.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. ISU can do whatever it wants but it will not forestall the coming reality of first declining enrollments and then no enrollments. The bell is tolling for higher education. Anything they build today will in the not to distant future be part of a large museum or just an abandoned building.


  2. Kudos to Mr Endress and his Team at Young America! Nice to see private local business stepping up when ISU makes poorly thought thru decisions.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A GENUINE act of goodness on the part of Young America.. as for “TROUBLE2” and his ISU will be a museum, SORRY to tell you but, ISU HAD 7 museums years back, closed them ALL (funding don’t ya know) and everything went into storage, where it’s getting pillaged, broken, misplaced, etc. Some items of a nature that would be considered NATIONAL TREASURES!


  4. Maybe this online learning that has been instituted as a result of Coronavirus will accelerate the demise of the brick and mortar framework of the universities.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ISU has , in the past have had apartment complexes and totally screwed them up to the point they were taken over by the private sector. So ISU it going to try again to become apartment managers. And the definition of insanity is???? ISU is a state run college. Just look at the state of the state of Illinois run entities and you have the picture of what the new “village” will become.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ISU building apartments is about GREED. How so?—- ISU mandates students must live in ISU housing to get the housing money which otherwise would have gone elsewhere. This is a play for additional revenue.
    – This will leave a glut of unrentable student housing. This means the student apartment property values and taxes will drop. This will cause all other property owners to pay more property taxes to cover the loss. ISU is exempt from property taxes. So ISU will get more revenue at the expense of local taxpayers.
    – ISU’s student housing will be built with taxpayer money and it will redirect more money from the private sector to ISU. The sickening part is taxpayers are essentially paying to make things worse on themselves.

    This is all about how ISU can get more money from an already overtaxed Illinois residents and businesses.

    The money is made easier to fleece because Dan Brady and Normal put ISU on a pedestal far above any negative impact to us taxpayers. Both are too egotistical to care about the people who actually live here for some reason other than because of ISU.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think that YA did the right thing during thid time. They are offering free housing to students that are displaced. Transparency, all.of their apartments are rented with contracts when last inquired. However there are a.plethera a apartments that students have been trying to sublet, sitting vacant, collecting revenue, and students have not been sucessful in subletting out.

    ISU needs a new dormatory and they also need to renovate old ones. example , Watterson needs a complete HVAC and ventilation renovation.

    If anyone thinks that the private housing is NOT making a boat load of money on students
    think again. 550 to 1000 a month for a student to live in an shared apartment with or without utilities, outrageous. Each unit is pulling in 3 to 5 thousand a month.

    If the units were condos, with real estate taxes, the overall cost of the unit would be less, including maintenance. As a.professional in the industry, I would not worry about the private sector. They have their profit margin all figured out. The most stable economy in Normal Bloomington right now is Private Student Housing.


  8. During this stressful time for all, I really hope there are other more critial issues that your energies can be focused on.

    Reaching out and taking care of each other is what is needed now. Love and care for each other.


  9. I have repeatedly asked top ISU officials and Town of Normal, what are the plans for the Shelborne Apartments that have not had residents for approximately 5 years plus or minus. I have asked could they be turned into affordable housing for citizens.I have received no response. If too expensive to rehab, tear them down and use the land upon which they occupied and the acres of grass for the new soccer fields. And if sports are ever allowed to resume, the land could become soccer fields with no land acquisition cost and the contract between ISU and the soccer group could include a 5 year notice, if ISU ever decides to use the land which becomes more doubtful with students and universities discovering that bricks and mortar are not necessary. This would help the businesses in north Normal. Oops, I apologize as this all makes to much sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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