Uptown Vacancies (Updated)

By: Diane Benjamin

The map below was created using a list of vacancies compiled by a citizen. It includes the 1st Floor of 1 Uptown Circle since there is still not an operating business there.

Click the link below – each X has a description. Next ask Normal (and Trustees/candidates) what success is. Government buildings and a few subsidized others?

Trail East and Trail West are not on the map. Developers backed out of both. If this is success Normal needs different leadership.

You might have to sign into Goggle to see the map.

Here’s a copy but you can’t click on the X’s for an explanation.

14 thoughts on “Uptown Vacancies (Updated)

  1. What I’ve heard ad nauseam for years in the town of Normal is that in Normal “we plan our work and work our plan.” They don’t seem to understand that not only are the plans not working, but the plan is outdated, overpriced and just plain stupid. There is little or no regard for the rank and file of Normal, Illinois who pay way too much in taxes to support these stupid schemes of government. The buildings Normal wants to build in Uptown are obsolete before they’re even built. Here we sit in Bloomington Normal post Covid with empty office buildings all over the place for people who are working from their homes right now. News flash, city government, that trend is only going to grow and they’re not going to be flocking to new buildings in Uptown. If you built it, they will stay at home.

  2. And why are they building more vacancy in Uptown South?

    Smith, Byars and Lorenzo all hyped up the gloriousness of Uptown and pouring more money into Uptown South in their campaigns.

  3. Why is Normal in the Rental/Property ownership leasing business at all? Favoritism and corruption are just so easy already in the acquisition of property, planning, bidding, financing, inspections, etc.

    Now they have renters and leases for way lower then market value. Sold property for 0.00 only to pay rent after completion at extortion level prices to the landlord/friend of Mayor. Or fix up and maintain old Route 66 book store property for $120.00 rent? I guarantee people would love to rent that for a lot more. But again. It’s either a “friend or they got pictures/videos/ or know something” for a sweet deal like that. I mean whom else gets a free house from the city and winters in Florida?

    1. I always thought it would be great to turn that into a neighborhood bar called the Filling Station.

  4. Seems nothing would prevent the city from starting to store equipments at the address Ryburn is renting. She was given a sweetheart lease to live there and operate a gift shop. Anything that is not granted in the lease should not be done. $0 non life/safety dollars should be spent. Start utilizing the parking lot and any space. If there is any occupancy requirement, enforce it. This isn’t about her operating a gift shop. It’s an essentially free place for her to live up here.

    Let’s just be frank: there is no desire for this space. It just shuffles taxpayer money from the population to the favored few. If there was demand for these facilities, there would be paying private occupants of these spaces. There would be developers not needing subsidies and Normal-guaranteed leases. Did Farnsworth only agree to lease space if they got a lucrative contract from the project?

  5. Diane, A very minor technical issue with the list of all vacant properties in Uptown and one additional piece of information,  The Heading “All Items” does not allow the viewer to view the first item which is 1. Mariannes Diner at the corner of Fell and College.  The list that can be seen starts with number 2.  This is a very minor problem.  I would not take the time to correct it and send it out again.  Question,  do the Normal Trustees and President receive your emails?  Because I was considering sending this list to them with some comments and recommendations.  Given all the vacancies in Uptown, I am not sure why any developer of Uptown South would put commercial space on the the ground floor of any apartment building.  It should be all residential space of which Normal has a shortage currently.   One other addition.  Where Subway was in the Transportation/City Hall building, is now a workroom or project room for children visiting  the Children’s Discovery Museum Building.  It does not look as a temporary remodel to me.  It looks as a completely finished permanent remodel, however I could be wrong.  It does not look like a coffee bar or any fast food place will return to Uptown Station and City Hall.    Several additional snack and beverage dispensing machines have been installed on first floor in or near the waiting areas.    R

  6. It’s a campus town, like Green street in Champaign. College student-oriented restaurants, bars, coffee shops will thrive. Everything else will go out of business. Just accept it, Normal. Take the tax money these businesses will bring in and accept it.

      1. I forgot about those. Add that to the list, although probably cheaper for college students to get it from a local “dealer.”

  7. Thanks for the great summary. Well over a dozen vacancies and the Town wants the taxpayers to pay to create more.
    And your list doesn’t even include the ‘effectively/commercially vacant’ space under the parking deck that the Town is letting the ISU Gallery use for free or effectively so. Or Wild Country on Linden, which IIRC pays zero rent.

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