Normal City Council agrees to a $29.2 million, five-story building to be built on the northeast side of Uptown Circle. Why?
Just completed within the last year is a building that has vacant space on the first-floor, and a major tenant in this building is the town of Normal. Their lease, as noted in The Pantagraph at the time the developers were obtaining financing, was significantly higher than the going market rate for similar space.
Financing was in jeopardy without a guaranteed lease in place. Paying significantly higher than the going rate, in my opinion, is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. This building was built using tax dollars with an out-of-town developer. To develop the uptown area as well as along the Main Street corridor, TIF districts have been used to help fund the new buildings. Local school districts are severely hurt because local property taxes are redirected.
The TIF district along Main Street is not an area that is in decline and where a major portion of Illinois State University students congregate.
Ample parking is an issue in the uptown district, and now there will be 80 less spaces.
There have been many changes within the Bloomington-Normal market area, i.e. State Farm, auto manufacturing plant, loss of national retail stores, and continued increases in assessed property taxes and tax factor are negative issues where the affect is not known.
It is time to hold the line on spending until more is known about these negative issues.
James Riker, Normal