Uptown – Conversation on Facebook

By: Diane Benjamin

There is a Facebook Group called: Save the Uptown Mural and Historic Buildings

On November 29th this story was posted to the group:  Against Master Developers

The best lines in the story are at the end:

Master planner-based developments, with their large, centralized buildings, inhibit the growth of local businesses and reduce the number of firms in the development and construction space. Many smaller buildings would serve better and be cheaper to profitably lease. 

Master Planning in Uptown created the scenario of a still empty first floor at 1 Uptown Circle and the Normal taxpayers paying ridiculous rent for the second floor. That building is essential subsidized luxury apartments.

The Town of Normal is charging ahead anyway with attempting to find developers to build two more huge buildings to complete the circle. Of course incentives will have to be given, the properties that were acquired at taxpayer expense will probably be given away. The Trail East building that was scrapped would have moved two businesses from Bloomington to Normal. The incentives Normal was granting did nothing other than rearrange the location “deck chairs”.

The interesting part of this post was the comments made – even one from Chris Koos. Of course the common sense of Stan Nord probably forced his hand:

Koos knows his first building to fill a hole can’t be sold as a success. The College Avenue Parking garage never got a tenant either. Instead of admitting he isn’t a developer, Koos is charging ahead with fleece two and three.

The Town is also charging ahead with Uptown 2.0 on the south side of the railroad tracks. Progressives think they are much smarter than you, even if the results are less than stellar. Facts are immaterial to “progress”.

How many failures are the taxpayers of Normal going to accept?








7 thoughts on “Uptown – Conversation on Facebook

  1. The plan at hand is to forge ahead with agenda 2030, formerly known as Agenda 21. Appointed King Koos dances to the puppet masters strings for false promises as he progresses.

    1. Through the years, Koos has progressed up the ladder of the corrupt Illinois liberal political machine. He and Durbin have had one another on speed dial ever since plans for the new train station were drawn up. Pritzker is a late comer to the phone tree. Yes, everything in Normal is about Agenda 21. Eventually, everyone will learn about the real reason they all wanted Rivian to land in Normal. The corruption of the partnership has nothing to do with bringing more jobs to BN. Koos also has plenty of Agenda 21 true believers working among the “professional staff”.

  2. Most, if not all, of the businesses in Uptown are friends of the government and likely have to pass a political or ideological purity test. Sucking up to the local politburo is not entrepreneurial. By the way, if Uptown is so successful, why are there so many vacant properties and storefronts? I’m mindful that there is high turnover in retail, which is a different issue for a different day, but the ongoing vacancy rates, including anchor locations like 1 Uptown Circle, strongly suggest the supply already outweighs the demand. Why add to the oversupply of empty buildings?

  3. Comment from a reader who couldn’t get it to post:

    I’m older and not much of a shopper, unless “fabric” is involved, but the appeal of Eastland and College Hills, back in the day, was enclosed shopping to numorous stores, with good, safe parking and food choices to break up a day of spending.
    Those malls led to strip malls…. not as appealing – it felt like walking a mile to get from one end to the other, in the weather and with few lunch choices.
    That said, my favorite shopping experience, these days, is a craft or antique mall. Note the similarities. Many “booths or vendors” in one location, under roof, out of the weather , to browse and shop. You only have to park in one spot – (no dark, questionably safe, parking deck) and lots of shopping options.
    If you are designing or building for your ego, prestige or corporate vendors…… stop right now. Design and build with your target shoppers in mind.
    You should want open, safe parking, that doesn’t require a shuttle to get to the shops, room for small eateries, and vendor space that is adequate and affordable so to attract the most shoppers, of all ages. The more vendors, the more shoppers…..duh!
    Your target should be small local entrepreneurs who will pair nicely with home town shopping as well as vying for out-of-towners and tourists/ visitors.
    Gosh….. that sounds basic and simple…..i didn’t even have to be elected to think of it !!

  4. I am a small business owner in wonderful uptown Normal been here for 17 years the business has been here 99 years and I can assure you that I have never supported the political climate here. But I have had the pleasure of watching not only the politicians but town staff ruin the business climate. Just this morning 7:00 am there was not one parking space available for blocks the city owned hotel conference center had a large function and again the attendees were not instructed to use the parking decks as witnessed by the fact that the parking decks were very empty. This is a big reason why locals will not shop in uptown Normal. You can bet your ass that if mayor Koos’s bike shop was in uptown parking would be available. The picnic tables sure as heck would not have existed.

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