City contractors Tuesday night released rough plans for a new downtown technology park. The city will fund initial green space development, but officials say they hope private companies will sign on to develop the park.
The planned tech park, northwest of downtown near the Showers building, currently houses a few private companies and a number of abandoned buildings once owned by Indiana University. The city purchased many of the buildings last year to maintain control of development.
Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development Director Danise Alano-Martin says the city will recoup its initial investment after private companies lease or buy land back from the city.
“We issued bonds to purchase the property and some of that bond volume we set aside for future projects toward this vision,” Alano-Martin says. “So we have money set aside through that bonding process to do this project as well as the certified tech park funding. Then as the project gathers more private interest there will possibly be more income from the sale of properties that we will be able to use to reinvest.”
Residents packed city council chambers Tuesday to hear about the development plan. Bloomington resident Benedict Jones says he hopes the project will add to the city.
“I’m just excited to see what it will add to the overall cultural landscape, and the opportunities for jobs and other things to develop are really exciting,” Jones says. “What I’m more excited about is just the really smart people in this town and the kinds of things they might be able to develop and add to the world using technology.”
Alano-Martin says she hopes to have signed contracts from investors by the end of the year. However, she was hesitant to provide a date on the actual development of the technology park.