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Fred Groves closes downtown auto shop

BLOOMINGTON — Fred Groves said he closed Fred Groves Servicenter on March 29 because it was "time for a break" after going to work at his auto shop in downtown Bloomington for 55 years.

Broker sees interest in State Farm building

BLOOMINGTON — Broker Jill Guth of Guth & Associates of Champaign says she has identified "multiple interested parties" considering leasing space from a pending buyer in the vacant downtown Bloomington building State Farm put up for sale in April 2018.

Developer Vernon Prenzler dies

BLOOMINGTON — Longtime Bloomington-Normal real estate developer Vernon Prenzler, who died March 10, was remembered by the local business community as a man who helped change the look of the Twin Cities.

B-N home sales up 1.6% in 2018

BLOOMINGTON — Twin City home sales inched up 1.6 percent from 2017 to reach 2,850 units in 2018, led by sales of existing homes, according to year-end statistics released by the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors.

Chestnut unveils health center

BLOOMINGTON — Chestnut Health Systems had an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony March 11 for its $8 million, 32,000-square-foot Chestnut Family Health Center, 702 W. Chestnut St., Bloomington, which was built to serve low-income, medically underserved people. 

Rock Soul Love opens in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON — Rock and jewelry enthusiasts have a new destination in downtown Bloomington with the opening of Rock Soul Love, 424 N. Main St., which also sells clothing, jewelry and other items.

Downtown sees new businesses

BLOOMINGTON — New businesses debuting in downtown Bloomington this spring include Flourish Home and Gardens at 103 W. Monroe St.; Say Anything Studio and Premiere Lux Media at 315 N. Main St.; an ice cream parlor at 403 N. Main St.; Bloomington Spice Works at 507 N. Center St.; and Smokehouse Restaurant in the former Pub America space at 602 N. Main St.

Normal cool to hotel incentives

NORMAL — Superhost Enterprise, a Naperville hotel company, has filed plans with the town of Normal for a 102-bed Home2 Suites at Constitution Trail Centre, but it may not proceed without incentives, said Vice President Samir Lakhany — and Mayor Chris Koos told The Pantagraph he doesn't expect any to come.

Cortese expanding shoe store

NORMAL — Dr. Carl Cortese and the staff at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic and Sole Savers Shoe Store, 1607 Visa Drive, Suite 5B, Normal, are stepping up to expand their retail offerings while other stores are closing.

Employment numbers dip in B-N

BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois Department of Employment Security said 88,800 people had jobs in January in the Bloomington metropolitan statistical area, which was down from 90,400 in the same month last year.

Brandt expands manufacturing in first year

HUDSON — A year in, Brandt Industries is making good on its promise to grow in McLean County by expanding to 90 employees at its ag manufacturing plant at 19500 N. 1425 East Road in rural Hudson.

Stores added at Bone Student Center

NORMAL — A new Starbucks, a greatly expanded Barnes & Noble and a new Qdoba joined McAlister's Deli in March at the remodeled and expanded Bone Student Center on the Illinois State University campus in Normal.

Afni, ISU plan to use Trail East

NORMAL — Bloomington-based Afni and Illinois State University plan to use portions of the five-story Trail East building after it opens in 2020 on the northeast side of Uptown Circle in Normal, developer Bush Construction said in late March.

East Street Hardware & Tools closes

BLOOMINGTON — East Street Hardware & Tools in downtown Bloomington closed March 30, bringing an end to a history that began when the store at 503 N. East St. opened under the Clark & Barlow name in 1969. 

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for The Pantagraph.