Town of Normal officials can put colloquial phrases like the "Uptown Hole" and a "Federally protected wetland" by the wayside. Council members unanimously approved a redevelopment agreement for the Uptown One space with Tartan Realty and Harlem-Irving companies.
The foundation for Uptown One has been in place for five years--constantly exposed to weather elements. Mayor Chris Koos says waiting another year or two would result in a loss of the foundation. City manager Mark Peterson says the foundation is fine...for now.
"That foundation was constructed to be covered up, and it's been exposed to the elements. But, its been tested and reviewed by structural engineers and they determiend it to be in good condition; however, it's the sort of thing that overtime it will deteriorate."
Peterson says the foundation is in good shape for construction, which will begin sometime in April or May. He says it could take up to twenty months. Uptown One will include a limited service hotel and luxury apartments along west Beaufort street, off of the uptown circle.
Uptown One may not be the only new construction project in the Normal Area. If given the opportunity, a new type of MRF ("MURF") or Materials Recovery Facility, promises to use old technologies in new ways to turn waste into fuel, renewable energy and jobs, without disrupting local industries.
ParadigmBioAviation spokesperson Alan Robinson's presentation before the Town of Normal Council, yesterday, outlined the plant's potential and answered concerns about displacing established collection and processing plants.
"Are we going to put people out of work? Hopefully not.We're going to create jobs. We are already talking to existing companies here...."
Robinson says 2013 is a critical year for the potential plant. Permits and bonds must be secured and studies conducted before the year's end to secure its feasibility. Robinson says the new plant's success would be the result of a collaborative effort with local trash and recycling collection and refining services and existing technologies
"It's about intergrating technologies in ways that haven't really been put together that way...."
Robinson says, if approved, the plant would empower the Bloomingt and Normal communitits and allow them to provide energy and particularly synthetic jet fuel for surrounding areas.
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