Downtown Bloomington | WGLT

Downtown Bloomington

Cindy Le / WGLT

Around 100 people circled around the courthouse square in downtown Bloomington on Monday to show support for victims of domestic violence.

Drawn directional signs and a streetview mock-up.
Courtesy / KMA Design

The committee tasked with coming up with designs, sizes, and attractions to be featured on wayfinding signs in downtown Bloomington seems to have found its way with a new approach that'll seek more public input.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington’s mayor says he’s convinced: A proposal to demolish an aging downtown parking garage and build a new library and transit center has some merit.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Members of the Downtown Bloomington Task Force clashed Tuesday over a proposal to knock down the aging Market Street garage and replace it with a new library and transit center, weeks before the panel presents its final recommendations to aldermen.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Pro Tem Karen Schmidt said Tuesday she thinks it's unfair to speculate whether aldermen bear blame for any factors that might have led to alleged theft of nearly a million dollars by the city's former arena management company.

Bloomington’s Downtown Signage Committee is already back at work, looking to develop a new design for wayfinding signs that will get a warmer reception from aldermen.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

The most famous red door in Bloomington-Normal will be closing for the last time next month.

WGLT

Three months ago, aldermen told the Bloomington Public Library's board of trustees to plan for expansion at its current location just east of downtown.

Staff / WGLT

Proponents of a new Bloomington Public Library combined with a Connect Transit transfer center have a hurdle to overcome—a previous council consensus.

Downtown Bloomington may not “Dream Big” after all.

Baylee Steelman/WGLT

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Sept. 4-8, 2017) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Looking for a big “catalyst” project to lure more people to downtown Bloomington, members of a city task force expressed support Tuesday for a plan to knock down an old parking garage and build a new library and public transit transfer center in its place.

Bloomington Public Library

A new library. A new hotel. A new YWCA building.

Those are all possible big-picture projects as the Downtown Bloomington Task Force works to establish top priorities for the city’s next three to five years. 

WGLT staff

What at first sounds like a zombie attack is actually a chance for the whole family to get creative with a parlor game that's been around for over 100 years.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council has created a downtown section for its Community Development Department.

Downtown Task Force Wants More Time Before Making Recommendations

Aug 16, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington's Downtown Task Force Committee wants permission to miss its Aug. 31 deadline to present its initial recommendations to the Bloomington City Council.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

As the new Radisson in north Normal opens its doors this month to guests, the hotel will face increasing competition in a Twin City market that may already have more rooms than it needs.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Dividing Downtown Bloomington into three zoning areas—instead of only one—could increase the area's walkability, leading people to spend more time and maybe money there, according to Bloomington's community development director.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A task force looking for ways to reinvigorate downtown Bloomington is circling a bold idea—closing off a portion of Main Street and making it for pedestrians only.

Staff / WGLT

Some members of Bloomington's Downtown Task Force expressed support Tuesday for installing new parking meters in the central business district, as the committee worked to prioritize suggestions for downtown improvements.

Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy said Bloomington and Normal are the only major cities in Illinois he has seen that do not have parking meters.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Editors note: This article is part of a series of interviews with newly elected council members in Bloomington and Normal. Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy was interviewed May 25. 

A new downtown task force is setting priorities. The group has three more meetings before an initial report is due on Aug. 31. 

Squad car with lights flashing blocking entrance to the 500 block of north Center in downtown Bloomington.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

It's been six months since the city of Bloomington came up with a plan to address safety concerns for bar patrons and police officers trying to handle as many as 1,600 people pouring into the streets on busy weekends.  The solution appears to be having the desired effect but so far, it comes with a price tag of $80,000 because police officers used for the additional downtown detail are considered "hire backs," and not part of the regular schedule, therefore they are paid time-and-a-half.

Ralph Weisheit

Editors note: This is the first of a series of interviews with newly elected council members in Bloomington and Normal. 

There are a "ton of details to work out," but a Bloomington Alderman is standing by campaign statements about a shared sales tax agreement between Bloomington and Normal. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Developers of the Grove subdivision and other community stakeholders are pushing back against the idea the City of Bloomington should not oversize a sewer line for an undeveloped area north of the Grove.

Opposition to the $300,000 project stems from a desire to return to compact development.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen will again discuss and eventually vote on a budget amendment to strike a controversial sewer oversizing project on the city's far east side. 

City of Bloomington / Smith Group, JJR

Parking lots in the northeast part of Downtown Bloomington purchased by the city may not remain as parking lots for long. 

"The Frontier lots are critical and they're critical to economic development and frankly, from the stand point of the city, control over the property," said Mayor Tari Renner during Sound Ideas. "We're finding, obviously with the Front 'n' Center building, if you don't have control of the property there are limitations in how you can operate." 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The walkable downtown of the past isn't an anachronism, it's a future model for economic development.

Supporters speak at rally
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

An estimated crowd of more than 1,000 people marched with bright pink signs Saturday morning through downtown Bloomington in support of Planned Parenthood and women’s health care.

Bill Waller / Facebook

Tar on a bench and a spate of calls to police complaining about homeless people near businesses in downtown Bloomington last summer focused attention on the issue.

Not a lot has happened publicly since then, but Downtown Bloomington Association Director Tricia Stiller says there has ben an effort to communicate on the issue among stakeholder.

WGLT

Bloomington has been on the right track, even when it has been on the wrong track over the last several decades as it has struggled to preserve and revive its downtown.

That's according to Urban Historian Alan Lessoff of Illinois State University. Lessoff is the fall arts and sciences lecturer Thursday evening at the Bone Student Center.

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