Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan credits an increasingly diversified economy for Bloomington’s economic success and resiliency over the past year.
During his state of the city address Wednesday night, Kruzan discussed efforts to encourage Bloomington Hospital officials to maintain their downtown location, as well as efforts to increase public safety by decreasing all neighborhood speed limits to 25 miles-per-hour and efforts to expand the city’s potential for development by purchasing 12 acres of land near the Showers Building from Indiana University.
Kruzan says the goal is for the new land to serve as an economic generator.
“We see an extension of downtown with a better demographic in terms of housing,” he says. “We don’t want it to be just more student housing, we want it to be year round owner occupied housing. We’re looking for different levels of affordability in housing, melded with the kinds of things that you see down town now: locally owned and operated businesses, technology companies, the kinds of restraints, the kind of entertainment venues that you see down town just magnified and expanded.”
Kruzan says negotiations with the university are nearly finalized for the purchase of the land, valued at about $9.5 million. City Council President Susan Sandburg says she’s excited about the direction of the mayor’s plans.
“The most important thing is definitely the strength of our economy,” she says. “Times are hard. They’re hard for a lot of the cities throughout the state and Bloomington remains strong. And it’s because of our leadership and our fiscal effectiveness.”
Kruzan says his theme this year is maintaining and improving livability in Bloomington.