Normal is seeking a developer to lease the unfinished ground floor of the College Avenue parking deck.
The 12,000-square-foot space is included in the town's tax increment financing district (TIF). A TIF funnels the increased property tax revenue a project generates back into a development.
Economic development director Sally Heffernan said despite the recent extension of the TIF to 2038, the clock is ticking to get something done there.
“We want to make sure that we offer this development before we get too far down the road and there isn’t enough TIF life left to make it worth the while for someone to do what we hope is a great project in this space,” Heffernan said.
Heffernan said the site needs about $2 million of renovations, including construction of a roof, windows, doors and extending water and sewer service.
“We have no desire to put town money into that space if we don’t have to,” Heffernan said. “We are hoping it’s private money because it’s going to be an expensive buildout.”
Heffernan added the town is looking for a business or nonprofit that complements Uptown.
“Something we don’t have now, something that would add to the ambience that we’ve created in Uptown Normal, a business that would be compatible with the businesses that are here or perhaps a not-for-profit use, some kind of attraction (are possible),” Heffernan said.
She said it's not a good residential space. She said the town has received inquiries from several interested parties.
The town is asking interested parties to contact the town by Feb. 28.
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