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Bloomington Seeking Property Through Eminent Domain For Fourth Street Garage

Juan Sells property and Fourth Street garage

The city argues the new garage is beneficial to the city and the project is in the public interest. (Alex Eady, WFIU/WTIU News)

Bloomington city leaders are seeking legal action to acquire property just south of the Fourth Street parking garage to make room for new, larger structure.

The city has entered a court dispute with adjacent real estate property called 222 Hats to acquire the property through eminent domain.

Property owner Juan Carlos Carrasquel operates a local realty business, Juan Sells Realty. The business operates under a mortgage dated back to March 2018 connected to German American Bancorp, Inc.

He says he feels he's being forced out of an ideal downtown location and the city should instead look into alternative options.

"Because they can get the garage done and accomplished for all of us with the space they have, just build it a little taller," he says. 

According to court documents, the parties haven’t been able to agree on the purchase and sale of the property.

The document says the city has attempted to negotiate with the property owner in “good faith” to purchase the land by obtaining two independent appraisals. The city also claims they have offered Carrasquel a space in the garage’s new retail space that matches or exceeds the current space’s footprint.

The city argues the new garage is beneficial to the city and the project is in the public interest, but Carrasquel argues the first floor retail space proposed in the garage's design does not fall within "public purpose".

The city has begun the decommissioning process of the existing Fourth street garage in preparation for its demolition and reconstruction.

The expansion of the Monroe County Convention Center south of Juan Sells Realty is also in the early stages of the design process.

Eminent Domain Acquisition by Indiana Public Media News on Scribd

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