The chimney of the historic Johnson's Creamery building is in need of repair, with recommendations that include demolishing the top 15 feet.
At their June 11 meeting, the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission heard a report on the issue. To do the work, the owners would need a demolition delay review, according to city staff. It is not located in an historic district, but the building is on the Historic Sites & Structures list.
Commissioners discussed their desire to designate the building as an historic structure. They also talked about recommending removal of the cellular antennas attached to the chimney, which cause damage from wind shear. It is technically considered a cell tower.
According to Commissioner Duncan Campbell, this is the second chimney for the building. The original one, built in 1949, was much taller, he said. The main building dates back to 1914. Campbell said he was alarmed to see that the chimney has deteriorated to such an extent.
Click here to view the discussion on CATS. Information about this project in the June 11 meeting packet starts on page 17.
A forum on Tuesday, June 16 will focus on getting input for the redevelopment of a 24-acre site where the IU Health Bloomington Hospital is now located. The City of Bloomington will be taking over ownership of that area in 2021.
The public forum starts at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Registration is required – click here to register. The event will also be livestreamed on the city's Facebook page.
Unable to attend? Give your input by taking this online survey.
Click here to view the project's website.
On June 1, the City of Bloomington will launch a revamped website for public input on the redevelopment of the Bloomington hospital site.
Consultants hired to develop a master plan – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – will be meeting with stakeholders later this month. They'll also host an online "town hall" on June 16 at 6 p.m.
Details about all public engagement efforts will be posted on the hospital redevelopment site starting June 1.
Work will start later this year on a redesigned 4th St. garage, following approval of required variances by the Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories, 537 spaces and ground floor commercial space. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
The city also has dropped its appeal in the eminent domain lawsuit it filed to take the JuanSells.com building at the south end of the block.
The variances granted by the BZA at its March 19 meeting included allowing the parking structure’s entrance driveway to be wider than would ordinarily be allowed under city code, and allowing the driveway to be closer to Walnut Street than the code allows.
The downtown garage was closed in late 2018 because of structural flaws. It was subsequently demolished last year.
In a nearly unanimous vote on March 9, the Bloomington Plan Commission has approved a redesigned 4th St. parking structure. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories and 537 spaces. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
Eighteen people spoke during public commentary. Of those, 11 strongly supported the project, including A John Rose, chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; Ron Walker, immediate past chair of the Chamber board and vice president of operations for CFC Properties; Jim Murphy, president of CFC Properties who also serves on the Chamber Advocacy Council; and Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy.
The project, which includes a public art component, does not require additional city council approval. Click here to read details of the project from the Plan Commission packet.
Watch the Plan Commission deliberations on CATS here. Or read the B Square Beacon report: "Bloomington plan commission OKs 4th Street replacement parking garage, target completion date now August 2021."
At their quarterly meeting on Jan. 14, Arts Forward Bloomington held a forum focused on transportation issues that affect local arts organizations.
The group heard from Michael Shermis, the City of Bloomington's special projects coordinator, about current transportation-related activities, including a grant from ADA Indiana used to train people who are elderly or with disabilities how to use Uber.
Beth Rosenbarger, the city's planning services manager, discussed transportation issues in the context of the city's comprehensive plan and transportation plan.
The group discussed what kind of incentives might be offered by local arts organizations to encourage patrons to use alternative forms of transportation when coming to events, rather than driving a car. Ideas included offering free concessions for people who walk, bike or take the bus. The possibility of changing three parking spaces in front of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater into a drop-off/pick-up zone was also discussed.
In general, Arts Forward Bloomington wants to make sure the voice of the arts community is heard on a range of issues affecting the health of that sector.
Arts Forward Bloomington will hold its next forum in April, focusing on space needs for arts organizations. The group's steering committee includes Danielle McClelland, former director of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater; Gabe Gloden, Managing Director of Cardinal Stage; Ken Buzzard, President of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra; Susan Swaney, Artistic Director of Voces Novae and Founder of Sing for Joy! Senior Choir; and Kay Olges, Board President for Windfall Dancers.
Redevelopment of the 24-acre Bloomington Hospital site is taking a step forward with the selection of a master planning team to oversee the project.
Last fall, the City of Bloomington issued a Request for Information (RFI) and received responses from 23 organizations in December. Of those, eight were selected for interviews by a Technical Review Committee on Jan. 16-17. The committee is chaired by former state Senator Vi Simpson and is a subset of the Hospital Re-Use Committee, on which Chamber CEO Erin Predmore serves.
Click here for details about the proposed work of the master planning team. Click here for more info about the redevelopment project.
The fate of the Monroe County Convention Center expansion will likely be decided within the next 48 hours. We need your help in ensuring our elected officials work together to agree on a governance structure so that this important project can move forward.
The Monroe County Council is poised to consider possibly repealing the Food & Beverage Tax, which funds the expansion, if no concrete progress is made by Friday afternoon.
The Chamber supports the creation of a Capital Improvement Board (CIB) as the governance structure for an expanded convention center. We support equal representation between the City of Bloomington and Monroe County, which has been agreed upon by both sides. The county commissioners have begun the process of creating a CIB and could make that final decision at their Dec. 11 meeting.
We are concerned that the palpable bitterness and distrust between the county commissioners and city administration could ultimately derail this project.
Please contact our Bloomington/Monroe County elected representatives to urge all parties to move forward with this project. Click here for contact information. See below for additional background, as well as information about upcoming public meetings where you can speak in person. Questions? Contact Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, at email@example.com or 812-336-6381.
Timeline of Upcoming Meetings
Here's a timeline of upcoming meetings and possible actions. For additional background on recent actions, read this article from the B Square Beacon.
The City of Bloomington is conducting a survey to assess the space needs of organizations and individuals in the Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District (BEAD) .
The survey takes about 3-5 minutes and will close on Nov. 27.
BEAD is a state-designated cultural district that's overseen by the City of Bloomington's Department of Economic & Sustainable Development. It is an area in downtown Bloomington that includes a variety of cultural venues, including the Bloomington Playwrights Project, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater (where the BEAD Info Shop is located), WonderLab Museum, Arts Row and more. Click here to view a walking map of the district.
For more information, go to VisitBEAD.com.
The City of Bloomington is seeking input on how to redevelop the site of the current Bloomington Hospital, a 24-acre area that the city is buying from IU Health.
The committee that's working on this project got an update at an Oct. 28, 2019 meeting. Click here to see the slidedeck from that meeting. Erin Predmore, the Chamber's CEO, serves on the reuse committee.
Per terms of the agreement with IU Health, the city needs to make a decision by Nov. 21 about whether to keep the Kohr Administrative Building and/or the four-story parking garage, which was built in 1989 and has 480 spaces. The main hospital building must be demolished. The site is located at West 2nd and Rogers.
The site will be transferred to the city when the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center opens in the fall of 2021 along the 45/46 Bypass. Options for residential, retail and office development are being considered.
For additional background about this project, check out the city's IU Health Hospital Redevelopment Site website.
Click here to take a survey about the site redevelopment.