Bloomington unloads Market Street Garage

By: Diane Benjamin

The City of Bloomington has wanted to destroy the Market Street Garage since at least 2018. Remember when the Downtown Task Force recommended moving the library there?

Tonight documents – PDF page 246:

The documentation doesn’t say why the old Pantagraph property didn’t work. It was February of 2021 when that site was announced for the downtown transfer station:

Maybe the developer who bought that property wanted too much for it. Other buildings like Front & Center and People’s Bank that have been empty for years weren’t considered evidently.

The docs don’t even have a definite plan other than locate the transfer station where lots of cars currently park. There is also a Post Office located there, it isn’t mentioned either. The City and Connect Transit haven’t even decided if CT is buying the property or renting it.

In other words, Gleason wants this deal locked up so the next Council can’t change it. That happens May 1st. Of course the two who were elected in Wards 4 and 6 are all in on downtown so they aren’t going to object.

I remember a study saying most of the bus riders to downtown went to either the library or the Law and Justice Center. This location isn’t close to either. Maybe CT wants to make their ridership look better by creating 2 trips out of 1 by busing people to the transfer center and then a second trip to either location. Since transfers count as another trip the numbers instantly double!

Tim Gleason was hired because of what he did to downtown Decatur. It does have businesses and activity during the day, not much at night. Bloomington doesn’t have that problem with all the bars downtown – they have the opposite problem. Businesses have fled downtown because customers don’t like parking in a garage and walking when businesses with easier and free parking are readily available elsewhere.

I wonder if Jamie Mathy will appear at Public Comment? He is redeveloping a property downtown and requested 12 parking spots in the West Market garage.

There are no plans yet, just an agreement to work together. It sounds like Bloomington wants a combination parking garage and transfer center:

Since Bloomington is overflowing with cash, expect massive plans. The new $750,000 streetscape study is due soon. Expect the results to already be written with the transfer station included. Expect grant announcements too because a $32 trillion debt isn’t early high enough.

h/t a reader

Baltimore has a gorgeous downtown streetscape. It’s also empty because crime forced businesses out of downtown.

Bloomington’s future because of who got elected? We will see.

6 thoughts on “Bloomington unloads Market Street Garage

  1. Just spent 3 nights in a downtown Airbnb in Champaign. Lots of empty buildings, gang tags and homeless asking for money. We used to like to go to downtown Champaign, but not anymore.

  2. Too bad, the former Fred Groves building cant be retrofitted, or demolished and its land used, as it is empty and across the street from the Jail/Justice/Morgue…..

  3. The Pantagraph bldg and bank building were not considered as there was no potential for grift or friends and family profit to be had in either of those places.

  4. The destrction is intentional. I quit giving the benefit of the doubt years ago when nefarious coincidences arrived in multiples and therefore became obvious intentions.

  5. The good news is that the homeless will have a new home! What a great place for the drug dealers as well!

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