Facts Matter, just not to everybody

By: Diane Benjamin

EDC director Patrick Hoban showed up at the Bloomington City Council meeting to push for the $750,000 downtown study. He claimed downtown is the heart of the City (heard that before?) and he has studies that claim the Return on Investment is between 100 and 500%. He also claimed we don’t need to look too far north to see that. Just hit play below to hear his comments.

Meanwhile, do facts matter Patrick?

Uptown is not coming close to generating the revenue needed to recoup the investment. Taxpayers will be paying the bonds when the TIF ends soon. Patrick, that is less than 100% ROI.

How about all the businesses that have closed in Uptown Patrick? OHMfit, Commerce Bank, Busey Bank, and Merry Anne’s Diner. Two empty banks across the street from each other right on College are attractive.

Of course there is the NEVER RENTED 1st floor of 1 Uptown Circle – the For Lease sign is now on the south side of the building behind some evergreens so it isn’t so obvious from the circle:

Uptown is such a success that building would never have been built without the Town of Normal renting an entire floor at a ridiculous rate.

Don’t forget all the other vacancies too including the closed Subway in the train station: https://blnnews.com/2022/07/21/uptown-vacancies-and-temporary-signs/

Patrick Hoban thinks this a success. It’s beautiful and proves government can’t control the market.

Got some people who want to buy a bank property or two Patrick?

Nobody wants a street level space right on the Circle?

If this is Patrick’s definition of success Bloomington is in trouble. Worse, the vote to approve spending $750,000 for a plan that will take at least a year was 5-4.

Here’s who Bloomington taxpayers can’t blame when ROI isn’t great: Nick Becker, Sheila Montney, Grant Walsh, and Donna Boelen who only voted no because she wanted to use reserves instead of ARP funds.

The meeting lasted over 2 1/2 hours. Motions were made and defeated to be more responsible. Elections are coming fast. Who’s running? Uptown proves if you build it they don’t always come.

8 thoughts on “Facts Matter, just not to everybody

  1. Should not the Bloomington city planning stafff come up with a plan vs. spending $750,000 for an outside expert?
    Oops! I forgot that they can’t get the fountain at mcgraw park running

  2. Crazy, wanting to be like Normal. Normal has a ISU. 20,000 students. Bloomington has IWU, 1600 students. Normal has the expensive train station, and the one that could not be fixed but is suddenly fixed for Uptown South. Bloomington has – well we used to have a train store with a red door. Normal residents have been helping the Tarton bottom line. What is the debt that Normal residents are saddled with these days. The argument is we MUST do something. First, the Huffs…how many pieces of property do the Huffs own in downtown Bloomington that they are just sitting on. Letting the buildings rot. Then that front and center building? To the council people who voted to spend spend spend….When this comes back as a 40 million dollar project will you still spend spend spend? When this company comes back and says nothing should be done above ground until the downtown sewers are replaced and that will cost 70 million, will you still spend, spend, spend? Which is more important to a business owner wanting to relocate to downtown Bloomington? Trees or working sewers?

  3. Uptown is so successful that the world’s largest fast food franchise (Subway) has left Uptown Station.

  4. I think the saying goes you can polish a turd all you want and it’s still a turd. There is a huge water project in the works that no one seems to be talking about. Getting rid of the lead lines in town is a law the state just passed. Where is that money coming from. My guess a rate study will be coming soon and then a rate hike. All I can do is shak my head.

  5. As long as local government has seats on the board, thereby financing the EDC, this nonsense with both downtowns will continue. So much tax money has been thrown at down and Uptown viability it even isn’t funny. Board members should be from for- profit businesses who buy their seats via a healthy contribution to the EDC operations. Maybe then, recruitment and retention efforts would take on a more serious tone. Also, look at the board membership, the same old tired faces and personalities that are incapable of moving BN forward. Instead of choosing prosperity and breathing life by diversifying the economy, BN leadership chooses ultimate death by playing the same cards for over thirty years.

    1. The object is to collapse the system, that’s why they don’t care how much anything costs. Driving up debt IS the objective, (as well us keeping the union guys happy.)
      “Top down, bottom up, inside out. Cowards & Piven.”

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