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Bloomington Takes First Steps To Initiate Trades District Development
Updated May 4, 2016 5:49 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton announced two significant steps in launching the development of the Trades District, also known as the Certified Technology Park, north of City Hall.

A Master Plan and Redevelopment Strategy for the Trades District was completed in July 2013, envisioning the Trades District as a mixed-use area supporting jobs with private company start-ups, and growing technology and life science businesses as well as a diversity of housing choices.

Hamilton announced first that the hub for new business start-ups and co-working space will be the former Showers Dimension Mill, a historic building on Morton Street north of City Hall. Hamilton is recommending to the Redevelopment Commission (RDC) that the RDC partner with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) to redevelop the Dimension Mill.

Under the proposed agreement, the BEDC will be asked to analyze the Dimension Mill space and recommend how to renovate the building for optimal future uses. The BEDC will be tasked with designing the space to attract entrepreneurial support resources such as the Small Business Development Center, the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, and other such entities as well as emerging new technology companies, and to offer start up space to emerging and start-up companies. Hamilton is asking the RDC to provide approximately $11,500 for initial work that must be done prior to hiring an architect and engineer for the redevelopment project, with the intent for RDC to finance the development of the project should designs prove workable.

A second element Hamilton announced is affordable housing for working people in the Trades District. Hamilton presented a signed Letter of Intent with Pedcor Investments for development of approximately 40 affordable units as part of a pilot statewide program. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) selected development teams to identify two locations in the state to participate in the "Moving Forward" program, an innovative collaboration designed to create highly energy efficient, affordable, transit-oriented housing with state tax credits set aside for support.

Hamilton announced the Trades District and Pedcor are in line to be one of those two pilot projects in the state, which will create long-term affordable housing for non-students earning less than 60% of the area median income. The City will propose that the RDC negotiate the sale to Pedcor of a 1.66-acre parcel west of Rogers Street between 10th and 11th Streets. Hamilton also shared an updated site layout plan for the area.

"These projects are two major steps toward launching a vibrant, growing Trades District as a hub for start-ups and jobs as well as a site for affordable, energy-efficient, workforce housing," Hamilton said. "The Trades District is designed be a forward-focused place where investors and inventors will come together to help create new opportunities, one step at a time. We envision our Trades District as a model of thoughtful urban development that grows organically over time, with new ideas and continuing collaborations with the private sector combining to make the master plan vision into reality."



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