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City Of Bloomington Puts Old Furniture Factory Up For Sale

A kiln in Bloomington.

Payne hopes features including exposed brick and doors that could be removed for natural light will help attract buyers.  (Adam Pinkser/WTIU News)

A piece of Bloomington history is up for sale.

The Redevelopment Commission is accepting letters of intent from those who want to buy a portion of the Showers Brothers Furniture Factory until July 19.

Brian Payne is Assistant Director of Environmental and Sustainable Development. He says the city is selling the kiln building on North Madison.

“It used to be used a hundred years ago for the Showers Brothers Furniture Factory to take wet logs from straight off the truck from the forest, dry them with kiln fires and then send them into the mill where they were processed into lumber," he says.

The floors sit four feet below ground level, allowing the building to stand 20 feet tall and provide 7,000 square feet of space. Payne hopes features including exposed brick and doors that could be removed for natural light will help attract buyers. 

It sits not far from the recently-renovated Dimension Mill.  

“The area is designed to attract future focused companies with high growth potential and an innovation theme," Payne says. "As well as tech start-ups and marketing businesses that cater to the community, and employers that are going to be around and supporting the economy for the 21st century.”

The city recently invested $4 million to turn the abandoned historic mill into a co-working space, tech incubator and events venue. The city hopes the kiln will be the next building to be transformed.  

Payne says it will likely take about $500,000 of investment to prepare the building for commercial use.

The city will review the proposals and make a decision by the end of August. After that, a purchase agreement will be negotiated and redevelopment will begin.

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