Economic Development | WGLT

Economic Development

Girls celebrating on soccer field
Photo courtesy of Fusion Soccer Club

Time continues to tick in a three month window to determine how or whether to proceed with a proposed multi sport complex in Bloomington Normal. That's how long, Mayor Chris Koos said last month would be the limit to decide.

Speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas Tuesday, Koos said the Town has now met with a private developer.

"It was really at a high level, get to know them - they get to know us. So, no details came out of that. But, they are very interested in the project," said Koos.

Kim Keenan
Eric Stock / WGLT

A health advocacy group suggests healthy food can do more than help us live longer—it can be an economic development engine.

Illinois Public Health Institute CEO Elissa Bassler said the group aims to encourage more businesses to invest in ways to improve access to healthy food, something farmers, restaurateurs and grocers can help.

"We want to look for more of those entrepreneurial initiatives and figure out ways that our economic development systems in communities (will) value that and invest in the development of that," Bassler said.

Cindy Le / WGLT

Local officials are scratching their heads about why the state picked a chunk of Illinois State University’s campus as McLean County’s sole tract for a new tax incentive program designed to help low-income areas.

A map of  Uptown with the TIF District highlighted.
Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal said the extension and enlargement of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district won't hurt schools and other taxing bodies.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

A new manufacturer is coming to town.

Google Earth

City leaders took two big steps this week toward luring new development—including two housing projects—along Washington Street just east of downtown Bloomington.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said Rivian Automotive has earned its property tax abatement for the year.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois Wesleyan University is hoping to boost the number of students it enrolls from McLean County by significantly raising financial awards for those students.

Invenergy

The Zoning Board of Appeals has given its OK to a wind farm in northeastern McLean County.

Farnsworth Group/Eckenhoff Saunders Architects / Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council at its next meeting may review a proposal for what's being called a "major economic development initiative" in Uptown Normal. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Most of the roughly 100 towers for a proposed wind farm in the Chenoa, Gridley, and Lexington area will be 450 feet tall. That’s bigger than the average of even just a few years ago.

AP

The Sweden-based retailer Hennes & Mauritz is adding a fast fashion outlet of its H&M brand stores at Eastland Mall, GLT has learned.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

There are 9,000 fewer workers in Bloomington-Normal than there were seven years ago, according to Economist Mike Doherty of the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Bradley University

The latest quarterly look at the Peoria area economy shows modest growth and projected stability.

Google Maps

Negotiations over tax incentives to bring a Canada-based Brandt Industries manufacturing plant to McLean County were unusual in that they included the Unit 5 school superintendent and the county board chair at the table, as well as economic development officials.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Board voted 16-1 on Tuesday for a proposed deal to bring a Canadian manufacturer to central Illinois in exchange for at least 300 jobs and a plant investment of more than $21 million.

Google Maps

The new restaurant in the works for Eastland Mall is not new to the community at all.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

An author who chronicles the effects of globalization on food and clothing is urging the public to become more informed.

Unit Five Questions Proposed Low Income Housing Location

Jun 13, 2017
Google

Unit Five Schools has helped postpone a decision on a low-income housing development in southwest Bloomington. The city council is asking for a financial impact study.

'BN Advantage' Works To Build BN Excitement

Jun 6, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Normal has a lot going for it in the competition for a stable and perhaps growing economy. That's according to the head of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives. Mick Fleming spoke during a B-N Advantage event at the Rivian Automotive Plant.

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

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

McLean County Museum of History

Route 66 Tourism grew by 50 percent in Bloomington last year.

That's according to attendance figures for the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center in the McLean County Museum of History.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County and state and federal elected leaders hope a bike trail will eventually extend from the northern border to the south end of McLean County.

On Wednesday they dedicated a new eight mile stretch of the Constitution Trail extending along Route 66 from Normal to Towanda. U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) said he is sponsoring a bill to make Route 66 a national historic trail.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The face of retail is changing drastically, but there is still a place for brick and mortar stores. That's according to Rob Karr, the head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Karr spoke in Normal before the Economic Development Council saying there are parallels with the past in the way technology is changing retail.

Staff / WGLT

Normal Town Council candidates said they find the idea of combining the Bloomington and Normal public libraries an intriguing one.

At a GLT candidates forum held at ISU's University Galleries, candidate Chemberly Cummings embraced a question about merging library services rather than building a new library in Uptown South in Normal and an expansion in downtown Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

The closure of Macy's in Eastland Mall is a symbol of retail upheaval nationwide according to Bloomington City Council candidates in wards one, five, and seven.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hopes Rivian Automotive will help boost employment in central Illinois.

Rauner joined many state and local elected officials at Rivian's opening ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Rauner said he's excited to see entrepreneurs like R.J. Scaringe take risks to start business in Illinois.

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal has fired a broadside at the City of Bloomington over its decision to try to terminate the Metro Zone agreement.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Alderman Diana Hauman is breaking with Mayor Tari Renner over the Metro Zone agreement.

Renner supports dissolving the partnership with Normal covering taxes, services, and infrastructure on the west side of town.

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