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BLOOMINGTON — A proposal to build 50 affordable housing units on city-owned property where the Coachman Motel once stood near downtown has been withdrawn.

"The housing deal has fallen through. They have withdrawn their application for this year," Mayor Tari Renner told The Pantagraph on Wednesday. "It may come back next year, and it may be in a different form."

The proposed project was being reviewed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and Renner said he did not know the outcome or whether it was a factor in the developer withdrawing its application.

He referred questions about why the application was withdrawn to Laborers' Home, which did not respond Wednesday to a Pantagraph request for comment.

The Springfield-based not-for-profit development company, an affiliate of the Laborers' International Union of North America, has built about 1,000 housing units in the state, including senior and supportive living facilities.

The Coachman site proposal, with a construction cost of $5 million to $6 million, was the third attempt by Laborers' Home to obtain state approval for a Bloomington project, the company's Tim Ryan told local officials in January. Two previous proposals on the city's west side were rejected by the state because of location issues, according to Ryan.

State housing authority officials also did not respond to a request for comment.

The mayor was hopeful that the project, to be called the David Penn Apartments, would be resurrected in some form next year.

"It was predicated on the assumption that they get grant money, but they could apply for a new set of grants next year," said Renner. "There could be a new set of circumstances."

The project site has been included in the proposed Downtown East Washington Street Redevelopment Tax Increment Finance District, which is still pending council approval.

Laborers' Home did not request TIF incentives for the apartment complex development.

Iceberg plans to convert the second and third floors of the former Bloomington High School, 510 E. Washington St., into 58 apartments for people 55 and older and lease spaces to commercial and nonprofit users on the first floor.

Creation of the TIF district was placed on hold until the council could address whether it should adopt guidelines for how to use tax increment financing.

The council has canceled its work session Monday so it can meet in a special voting session to possibly adopt a resolution spelling out those guidelines.

In a TIF district, the increase in property tax revenue generated by improvements in the district is diverted from the taxing bodies into a fund earmarked for economic development within the district.


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Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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Bloomington Reporter

Bloomington reporter for The Pantagraph.

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