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Bloomington Redevelopment Commission Reviews Fourth Street Garage Design

The redevelopment commission meeting in City Hall.

(Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission reviewed design plans for the new Fourth Street garage.

The city is on contract with architecture firm CSO to map out a plan for the new structure.

Monday night, the RDC approved an amendment to the project’s preliminary budget plan, which estimates the project’s design contract to cost $36,000.

The design proposes a 6-story garage with 504 total spaces.

The garage would also have new amenities, including electric charging stations, a designated drop off and rideshare zone, bike racks and two exterior public restrooms.

 

rendering of the new fourth street garage
The design plan calls for a 6-story garage with 504 spaces. (Photo: CSO Architects)

City Council member Susan Sandberg is one of many city officials working on the project. Sandberg also serves as a member of the plan commission. She says she’s impressed with CSO’s work to carefully vet design options.

“We’re in the hands of professionals who know how to tweak and get things done," she says. "Who know how to make the compromises when we need to make the compromises to get the product that we want, that’s going to serve that downtown that’s going to serve all the commercial interests as well as the constituents.”

The design plan also calls for 9,800 square feet of retail space on the garage’s lower level along Walnut Street. But developers say land south of the garage has yet to be acquired and is the next step in solidifying the design.

Juan Carlos Carrasquel of Juan Sells realty owns the property and says the need to expand to allow for retail space is “illegitimate.”

“I think there is an alternative you can build the building higher and you can solve your problems," he says. "You can get rid of the retail and solve your problem; you don’t have to take my land.”

The city has entered a court dispute with the property owner to acquire the land through eminent domain.

City attorney Larry Allen says the garage expansion is in public interest, and the city is moving forward with its legal process. He also says the city’s Unified Development Ordinance requires that buildings in that part of downtown require retail space.

The Bloomington Plan Commission will review the garage design plans on July 8.

The project is slated to be completed in 2020.

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