Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Mitsubishi Motors North America has sold its plant in Normal to an industrial reclamation firm.

Maynards Industries is a Detroit-based company that will take possession of the plant in June.

Mitsubishi says it does not know Maynards' plans for the site and equipment, but are aware they are in discussions with various parties.

Portillos

Portillo's hot dogs will open a restaurant in Normal in 2017. The Oak Brook based restaurant chain is not yet announcing a location or opening date.

pixabay

The world is reinventing itself from the bottom up according Bruce Katz. The Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and author argues cities are the center of problem solving and innovation, where place rules over party, collaboration over conflict and evidence over dogma.

YMCA

The YMCA of Bloomington Normal is seeing a significant shift in income among those who use its programs.

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Unemployment in March was 6% for the Bloomington Normal area. The State Department of Employment Security says that's an increase of nearly one and a half points from the same month last year.

Dorothea Lange / Flickr via Creative Commons

A survey of rural bankers in 10 Western and Plains states suggests the region remains stifled by relatively low agriculture and energy commodity prices.

Clinton Power Plant Days Numbered?

Apr 18, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Exelon Corporation announced Friday the Clinton nuclear power plant will operate for at least another year after it cleared a recent power capacity auction.

Workbench/Green Top Grocery

Bloomington's Greentop Grocery has been approved for a $1.5 million loan. National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and Shared Capital specialize in working with coops.

Staff

The Main Street corridor from Olive Street in Bloomington to College Avenue in Normal is the subject of only two TIGER Grant applications being submitted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). It's the only project involving road construction. 

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner calls the multi-modal aspects of the application "exciting." Town of Normal Manger  Mark Peterson said the economic benefits are a "game changer."

Staff / WGLT

There's evidence the state budget standoff is hurting the economy in Illinois and in Bloomington Normal.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University contributes about 7.5% of the McLean County. Hasan Mohammedi of ISU's economics department is one of the people who did a study that also shows direct and indirect employment from the University topping 8,900 jobs.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The task force working to find a buyer for the former Mitsubishi auto manufacturing plant is continuing to field inquires. An upcoming trip to an international industrial trade show in Germany could increase interest.

Illinois Farmland Values Fall

Mar 30, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

A new report from the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers finds farmland prices in the state saw a significant decline last year.

ADM Workers Vote Down Union

Mar 24, 2016
Dan / Facebook via Creative Commons

Maintenance workers at Archer Daniels Midland Co.' BioProducts plant in Decatur have voted against joining the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

Home Sales Boast Healthy Start To Year

Mar 22, 2016

Last year was pretty healthy for the twin city housing market, but 2016 is off to an even better start with close to 5% more sales than a year ago.

RogerW / Flickr

Caterpillar expects its first-quarter results to come in below Wall Street's view as it continues to deal with weak product demand.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is hiring two consultants to help secure federal TIGER funding for a probable underpass beneath the tracks near Uptown Station. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Mayor Chris Koos told Mike McCurdy the Town's eventual application is not in competition with a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant application from the City of Bloomington to fund the Hamilton Road extension project.

Patsy Lynch / FEMA

The Kankakee plant that once bustled with 3,000 workers building gas and electric stoves is coming down. A Chicago company has obtained a demolition permit to raze the 810,000-square-foot Kankakee Roper building on 35 acres on the city's west side. Roper moved its manufacturing plant to Georgia in 1982. General Electric Co. bought the company, and the Kankakee property, in 1987. A GE spokesman said the company has no plans yet for the property. The $1.38 million demolition should be complete by August. Buildings on the campus will be leveled to slabs and basements backfilled.

CIRA

American Airlines new flight from and to Dallas - Ft. Worth has begun service from Bloomington.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport says the non-stop flight joined two other flights on American to north Texas. It also links to a hub with more than 200 destinations in 26 countries.

The light will have a regular daily schedule arriving in Bloomington at 12:09 p.m. and then departing from Bloomington at 1:05 p.m. and arriving in Dallas at 3:24 p.m.
 

Careerlink

Many laid off Mitsubishi workers are still searching for new directions after the plant ended production last year.

Bernard Goitein / Bradley University

An economic analyst of the Peoria area says the present downturn in manufacturing employment is nowhere near comparable to the huge job losses of the 1980's.

Bernard Goitein / Bradley University

The fourth quarter snapshot of the Peoria economy is flat, according to the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University.

Staff

Michael Keane says he viewed wind power as a "science experiment" when he was working his way up the corporate ladder following his graduation in accounting from Illinois State University in 1977.

Some twenty-five years later, he found himself as an executive at  Clipper Windpower, a firm that was one of the first to produce wind turbines so ubiquitous today.

Staff / WGLT

The College Avenue Kroger Grocery Store is preparing to move to Bloomington. The new location targeted is still on College, but on the east side of Veterans Parkway, opposite Meijer. The Bloomington City Council is considering economic incentives at their Monday meeting to facilitate the deal.

Workbench/Green Top Grocery

The organizers of what would be the community’s first co-op grocery story, Green Top Grocery, has to raise a total of $600,000 by February 29th. The organization still has about $450,000 to go. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Green Top Grocery Board Chair Melanie Shellito told Mike McCurdy, owner loans are continuing to come in at a steady pace.

Destihl

A Bloomington Normal Brewer is building a new $14 million production facility in north Normal. Destihl Brewery says it has plans for a 47,000 square foot facility north of Menards.

Homes Selling at Brisk Pace

Feb 17, 2016
Images Money / Flickr via Creative Commons

Low interest rates and comparably mild weather helped make the first month of 2016 strong in terms of home sales. Karen Stailey-Lander, president of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors, says the closing of the Mitsubishi plant has so far not impacted the housing market.

Brad Basham Photography / bbasham.com and Town of Normal

Filling the hole in the ground in Uptown Normal may not be the only upcoming project for that district. During Mayor Chris Koos' regular Sound Ideas interview he told GLT's Mike McCurdy that developers are showing "active" interest in plots other than the property adjacent to the recently completed Hyatt Place Hotel.

Jeff Giebelhausen/Farnsworth Group

The developer presenting plans to the Bloomington City Council Tuesday said during GLT's Sound Ideas if he'd known two and a half years ago it would take so long, he wouldn't have gotten into it.

Jeff Giebelhausen told WGLT's Mike McCurdy that his youngest son is a freshman at Illinois Wesleyan and he's "vested in Bloomington."

"I believe in this project. I do believe in Downtown Bloomington. I believe the negatives are a very vocal group," said Giebelhausen. "I want to address their questions absolutely accurately, one at a time, and when the facts speak I think it's clear this is a good project for the city.

Congressman Davis Pushes Access Bill

Feb 5, 2016
Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Republican congressman Rodney Davis is pushing a bill that he says will provide a more open market for things like corrective lenses. During a tour of Identity Optical in Normal, Davis says the bill would allow companies like Identity Optical compete in markets where health care industries limit patient choice.

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