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Bloomington Plan Commission Votes Against Proposed Downtown Multi-Use Complex

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Members of the Plan Commission expressed their doubts about the project, many with concerns that the new petition prioritizes residential units over office spaces. (Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

The Bloomington Plan Commission voted unanimously Monday night against a proposal for a four story, multi use development near the downtown Trades District.

Developers from Waterstone Bloomington Land LLC are proposing developing the property located at 320 West 11th Street into a joint hotel and apartment dwelling. Their plan calls for 40 hotel rooms and 30 apartment units on the upper levels as well as 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the building’s first floor.

The plan also includes an adjoining 22-space parking garage on the property’s west side.

"This is right across the street from the Dimension Mill this is a key property," Alex Crowley, the city’s Economic Development Director, says. "So, we would love to see that interact and support the employment opportunities happening just at the south.”

A site plan for the property was originally approved in 2007, allowing for a variety of uses on the site including an office building – but those zoning requirements have since expired.

Many members of the Plan Commission expressed their doubts about the new plan because they say it prioritizes housing over office spaces.

Commissioner Jillian Kinzie says moving forward with the project would be a missed opportunity to do something innovative and business oriented with the site.

"It disappoints me to think that we’re gonna quickly develop this space and make it into something that to me falls short of the broader vision for our community," Kinzie says. 

The Commissioners voted to give the developers until February to rework their proposal.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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