By: Diane Benjamin
Trail East is moving forward. Bids are being taken by Bush Development which means the mural will be going away soon. See the plan to move it here: Moving the Mural January 7, 2019
The work was supposed to start by June 1, 2019.
This new building is going to be HUGE:
The architect, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer are all with Farnsworth. They just happen to be one of the future tenants. PDF page 49 of the document below states:
Conflict of interest?
The developer was unable to bid services, Farnsworth has no incentive to look for savings.
Original agreement January 16, 2018: http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2871
Detailed agreement October 15, 2018: http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3094
The 10/15/18 document states the mural was permitted by the Town – just in case you thought it was done without permission.
On January 7, 2019 the Council approved making the building even bigger: http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3156
This document also states the cost of moving the mural – PDF page 90
The Town wants you to believe the only costs for taxpayers are from “future revenue”. Those include up to $8.43 million is TIF funds. The Town was planning to keep $430,000 of TIF money to reimburse taxpayers for the utility work Normal agreed to do. The January agreement gives it to the developer instead. It also rebates 50% of the Food and Beverage taxes for 5 years – up to $250,000.
The developer will also receive a sales tax exemption and .5% State investment tax credit. See PDF page 83 of the October packet. Also in this packet on PDF page 84 is a parking agreement. The Town is giving them 300 parking spots for $10 a month through 2023, then 50% off the going rate through 2029. Of course the public will be losing a parking lot.
The Town doesn’t want you to know the additional cost – the land the town GAVE to the developer for $1.
PDF page 128 of the October document has a list of all the properties. The only property the Town doesn’t own is 106 E Beaufort.
http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/parcel/view/1428435026/2019 included above
http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/parcel/view/1428435030/2019 included above
http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/parcel/view/1428435014/2019 included above
Total $2,415,500 although some of the above are confusing.
Three on the same day – PIN #14-28-435-027, #14-28-435-030 and #14-28-435-014
Who is Simon Wilson? He sold property he didn’t own on the same day Normal bought it?
Yesterday on apartments.com 1 Uptown Circle had 2 units available. Trail East will add more apartments. Don’t forget the 1st floor of 1 Uptown Circle is still vacant.
2 companies have committed to locating in the new building. They are currently in Bloomington, thus Normal is merely stealing jobs from Bloomington.
The developer does not have to use local labor or union labor.
No new long-term jobs are being created. The chairs on the Titanic are just being rearranged.
A food court is planned in Trail East. Normal will be the beneficiary of Food and Beverage Taxes at the expense of Bloomington.
Good luck finding parking in Uptown.
The building will require LEED certification which is meaningless as Normal has proven https://blnnews.com/2020/05/22/remember-normals-energy-audit/
Trail East is so complicated other details could be missing, but to recap:
Moving the mural $100,000
TIF rebates – maximum of $8,430,000 (1/7/20 PDF page 83)
Relocating utilities expense $207,807 (10/15/20 PDF page 138)
Food and Beverage taxes $250,000 (1/7/20 PDF page 84)
State Investment credit $150,000 (10/15/20 PDF page 83)
Developer Easement $50,000 (10/15/18 PDF page 109 7.6)
Unknown cost of waiving permits and fees
Unknown sales tax on construction materials
Unknown parking revenue
The costs of tearing buildings on any of the properties are unknown.
Infrastructure improvements to any of the properties is also unknown.
$2,415,500 in free land – minus $1.00
Grand total $11,603,307
(not including the unknowns)
If you don’t have your pics of the mural yet, you better hurry!
This is how taxpayers got in debts for 10’s of million of dollars. All their redevelopment projects gave away your money.