The City of Bloomington has release a master plan for the redevelopment of the Bloomington Hospital site, which the city is expected to take ownership of later this year. The 24-acre site will be vacated when IU Health moves to its new complex on the east side of town.
The downtown Bloomington site is bounded by West 2nd Street to the north, West Wylie Street to the south, the B-Line Trail to the east, and South Walker Street to the west. The area is being considered for a mix of residential and commercial development.
Find more information on the project's website.
Several leaders of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce were named to the City of Bloomington Waldron Recommendation Task Force, a group appointed by Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton to give advice on the future of the Waldron building at 122 S. Walnut Street.
Task force members include Cindy Kinnarney, German American Bank regional president and Chamber board chair; A. John Rose, founder of Textillery Weavers and co-chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; John West, commercial broker/owner of FC Tucker Realty and co-chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; Travis Vencel, director of development for TWG real estate development company and a member of the Chamber Legislative Council; and Ron Walker, CFC Properties vice president of operations and Chamber director.
The Waldron task force is co-chaired by Miah Michaelsen and Valerie Peña, who serves on the Chamber Advocacy Council. Michaelsen is deputy director of the Indiana Arts Commission. Peña is assistant vice president/chief of staff for the Office of Government Relations & Economic Engagement at Indiana University.
More information and updates are posted on the city's Waldron task force website.
More than 100 items from Bloomington Chamber members are highlighted in our first annual 2020 Chamber Gift Guide, to help you shop local for the holidays. The guide is divided into 15 categories, including "For Bringing Home a Bit of Bloomington," "For the Fashionista" and "For Holiday Cheer." You can view the Chamber Gift Guide here.
Free downtown on-street parking will be available from Thanksgiving through Sunday, Nov. 29, and the city's public garages will offer free parking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 1-3. Click here for details.
In addition, parking will be free at certain Indiana University lots after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. This includes IU lots at 4th and Dunn, 6th and Dunn, and Poplars Garage.
The City of Bloomington is offering free Election Day parking on its downtown metered spots and garages. City offices will be closed.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, polls are open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Go to the Indiana Voter Portal to find your polling location.
Update: Find Monroe County election results here. Statewide results will be posted on the Indiana Election Division results site.
Monroe County Commissioners are holding a public forum on Monday, Nov. 16 to get input on the future of the Monroe County Convention Center expansion. That project, which has been in the works for several years, was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year.
In announcing the forum, Commissioner Julie Thomas said: "Given the pandemic, given the pause, it's just a good time to review where we're at and where the community's at before we make any further decisions."
In a press release, the county posed these questions:
The Nov. 16 forum starts at 6 p.m. via this Zoom link. Or email your comments to CCR@co.monroe.in.us.
The proposed $44-million expansion is being funded by a countywide 1% Food & Beverage Tax, which was levied by the Monroe County Council in 2018. Since the pandemic struck, proceeds from that tax have been used to support tourism-related businesses.
Miah Michaelsen and Valerie Peña were named co-chairs of the Waldron Recommendation Committee, a group appointed by Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton to give advice on the future of the Waldron building at 122 S. Walnut Street.
Ivy Tech, which has owned the former city hall for several years, is returning it to the city. That transaction is expected to be completed in early 2021, according to Sean Starowitz, the city's assistant director of economic development for the arts. He gave an update on the process at the Bloomington Arts Commission's Oct. 14 meeting.
Michaelsen is Deputy Director of the Indiana Arts Commission. Peña is Assistant Vice President/Chief of Staff for the Office of Government Relations & Economic Engagement at Indiana University. According to the city's press release, the city will be seeking nominations for other committee members. To nominate or self-nominate, contact Mary Catherine Carmichael, the city's Director of Public Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-349-3406.
In addition, IU Professor Mark Levin is leading a Capstone class of graduate students to do a feasibility study of the Waldron. And a coalition of Cardinal Stage, Bloomington Playwrights Project and Pigasus Institute submitted a proposal to manage the Waldron. You can find a video describing that proposal here.
During a weekly joint press conference on Friday afternoon, Mayor John Hamilton announced plans to close sections of Kirkwood to vehicular traffic 24/7 through the end of the year. Those sections are between Dunn and Grant, and from Washington to Walnut. The block between Indiana and Dunn will be closed weekends only. North/south cross streets will remain open.
Since this summer, sections of Kirkwood have been closed from Thursday through Sunday to allow restaurants to set up tables for customers in the street. It allows for additional seating with distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restaurant owners have been advocating to keep the closing throughout the week so that they can set up tents with heaters during inclement weather.
The City of Bloomington is hosting a public forum on Oct. 6 to review a site plan for the redevelopment of the current IU Health Bloomington Hospital area. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held online. Residents can participate by registering here, or watch the event on Facebook or CATS.
Participants will be asked to take part in three 25-minute workshops featuring interactive discussions about the plan. The workshop topics will be Access + Connections, Open Space, and Land Use + Neighborhood Character.
The next public forum will occur in December, when the master planning consultant, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), will present a finalized plan. The master planning team is also working with the Hospital Reuse Committee, a group of more than 30 community members who have been involved with the city on this project since 2015. Chamber CEO Erin Predmore serves on that group.
Additional information, updates, and input opportunities are available on the project website.
Several changes designed to support downtown businesses will be extended by the City of Bloomington through the end of 2020. These include:
Previously, these initiatives were set to expire on Sept. 30.
The PUDO zones and parklets will be extended by the Bloomington Department of Public Works, and the weekend closures of Kirkwood will go before the Bloomington Council at an upcoming meeting in September, according to city staff.
Businesses that are interested in the parklet program can apply online here. More information is available on the city's business resource page, or contact Kaisa Goodman at email@example.com.
The City of Bloomington has started a pilot program to convert parking spaces into additional spots for outdoor dining in the downtown area. Restaurants that want to create these “parklets” can apply to the city, which will then install barriers to protect the seating area.
Businesses can apply online here. More information is available on the city's business resource page, or contact Kaisa Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program will be available at least through Sept. 30.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy