By: Diane Benjamin
The Town of Normal meeting was almost 3 hours long.
The Council voted to accept the MOU for building Trail East and West, the only no vote was by Stan Nord because of the subsidies it will require. The land will be given away. Just hit play below to hear the most interesting part of the discussion. The developer reveals how much he wants the Town to pay, what the housing rents might be, and Trustee McCarthy proves he’s uniformed or wants to change history. McCarthy interpreted Nord to “correct” his comment. Make sure you listen for about 4 minutes.
This is for Kevin McCarthy: PDF page 194 https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2058
That page is from when construction of 1 Uptown Circle to “fill the hole” was authorized by the Council March 17, 2016. If you listened above, McCarthy interrupted Stan Nord to tell him this agreement did not specify the first floor had to be a restaurant. McCarthy is WRONG:
“The TOWN shall have approval authority over the selection” of who rents that space. That space is still empty. The agreement calls for rebating Sales taxes up to $1 million while the Town keeps Food/Beverage taxes. All of these expected taxes are non-existent since nobody wants to build out a restaurant in the space.
More for Kevin McCarthy is on PDF page 206 at the link above. He must not have read what he voted for years ago, or maybe he’s trying to re-write history:
No one corrected McCarthy. Preston, Koos, and Lorenz voted for this project in 2016, did they “forget” too? Facts don’t matter?
The Town paid for parking study is almost done. One Normal resident spoke at 25:15 about parking, she knows there isn’t enough. It was later revealed that parking would be available on the south side of the tracks when the underpass is completed. Uptown 2.0 wants you walking and biking instead of pulling up in front of stores you wish to shop at.
Normal wants these buildings to complete their decades old vision. Taxpayers are on the hook for the remaining debt Uptown so far hasn’t generated enough TIF money to pay. Housing in this project are expected to range from $900 for a studio apartment to $2500 for a two bedroom. Of course those numbers are before inflation.
Economists are predicting another recession caused by high energy prices which led to inflation and increasing interest rates. Since Farnsworth still wants to be in Uptown, they should just move into 1 Uptown Circle and forget new construction.
They could take over two floors of 1 Uptown Circle. Quote from former City Manager Mark Peterson about the ridiculous rent Normal agreed to pay just to get the building built:
“We’ve written the lease in such a way as if some other private comes in and they’re interested in that space for the same terms, we can turn it over,” Peterson said. Source: https://www.wjbc.com/2016/03/21/normal-approves-redevelopment-agreement-for-one-uptown-phase-two/
If you want more about the meeting – watch the 3 hours. There was adulation by a former mayor to the Council having a plan and sticking to it. Debt is immaterial to staying the course. A building without a first floor tenant and Town lease costs are also immaterial. See 20:30.
If you are fleeing Illinois now is a great time to sell your house. Evidently yesterday only NINE houses in all of Bloomington-Normal were for sale.