Normal’s Conga line of miss-truths

By: Diane Benjamin Every time Normal wants something big they recruit local elites for Public Comment to praise the project. Last Monday was no exception. Former mayor Paul Harmon spoke both at the beginning of the meeting and the end. Patrick Hoban, the President and CEO of the local Economic Development Council was first up. […]

Uptown 2.0 takes flight!

By: Diane Benjamin Is anyone occupying the first Floor of 1 Uptown Circle yet? Has Pam Reece found someone to sublet the second floor so taxpayers aren’t stuck with the ridiculous lease? The Council told her to do it well over a year ago! How many other empty spaces are there in Uptown? Didn’t the […]

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 […]

Uptown: We will take two please

By: Diane Benjamin Is Uptown a success? The successful buildings on the circle so far are government owned, Children’s Discovery Museum and Amtrak/Town offices. The third building still has an empty first floor and the taxpayers are renting the entire second floor for the Town. (Remember when the Council told Pam it was a high […]

Uptown TIF isn’t a success

By: Diane Benjamin The TIF reports for Normal have been posted on the Illinois Comptroller’s website. This is the report for the Uptown TIF: The Tax Increment Financing district was started in 2003, that means the majority of it is expiring in 2026. A small part was extended because development hasn’t occurred yet. The theory […]

Trail East is Dead, now . . . .

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Normal Town Council told Pam Reece to make getting the Town out of the $36,000 a month lease for the 2nd story of 1 Uptown Circle a priority? Remember, that building would have never been built if the Town hadn’t agreed to rent an entire floor. Remember too the […]

Say Goodbye to the Mural

By:  Diane Benjamin Trail East is moving forward.  Bids are being taken by Bush Development which means the mural will be going away soon.  See the plan to move it here:  Moving the Mural January 7, 2019 The work was supposed to start by June 1, 2019. This new building is going to be HUGE: […]

New Uptown Building delayed

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Trail East construction has been delayed until spring:  https://www.wglt.org/mayor-financing-issues-delay-construction-trail-east-until-spring-2020 Note:  The last time a new building in Uptown had “financing” issues, the Town agreed to rent an entire floor at above market rates and the main floor is STILL empty. Demolition of the old buildings on Beaufort may start […]

Feeling okay Koos?

By. Diane Benjamin This sage started with a planted story at WGLT, it needed 3 reporters to write it:    koos-says-nord-went-lone-wolf-fire-department-merger-uptown-recruitment Then it got funnier when the Pantagraph decided it was news:  koos-nord-acted-alone-to-poach-bloomington-business Somebody please check on Chris.  Make sure he isn’t suicidal or buying a gun.  He’s obviously lost his mind over Stan Nord. […]

Trail East: Stealing Bloomington jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin The proposed building on Uptown Circle will result in the loss of historic buildings on Beaufort – and the mural. What does Normal Get? Farnsworth Group and AFNI jobs will relocate from Bloomington.  No new jobs.  No growth for the area, just destruction of the mural and historic buildings. Is the war […]