Council Considers Low-Income Housing Developments

Local News
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The City of Bloomington could soon have more low-income housing.

The city council took two different developments under consideration Monday. Both would include low-income apartments.

One would be built around Greenwood Ave., near Highland Park Golf Course. Developers are proposing a 54 unit, mixed income housing development. Twenty unites would be low-income apartments. Ten of the those would be directed toward residents with special needs.

The Unit 5 School District, which runs Cedar Ridge Elementary in the area, says adding more familes, particularly low-income families, to the school would strain their already stretched resources.

A member of the Cedar Ridge Promise Council said, “Our concern is, with a 76 percent poverty, we are barely keeping up with this. And to add more children to that mix really puts pressure on all of the social services and agencies trying to help our kids.”

Curt Richardson, Unit 5’s Attorney explained, “In a climate where the state owes unit 5 $8.1 million in mandated education and transportation payments for this school year and no education budget passed for next school year, the proposed development will likely have a negative impact on the school district.”

The council tabled the proposal to look further into the development’s impact.

It did approve a redevelopment agreement, with a separate developer, to turn the old Bloomington High School into low-income senior apartments and a commercial space. The redevelopment would include 57 apartments.

The developer has requested the city adopt a TIF district, which provides economic incentives. The proposed TIF district would include other properties surrounding the former school.

The developer is expected to invest about $17 million into the project. The city’s TIF assistance would not exceed $1.3 million or 11.8 percent of the total project cost.

The council approved a feasibility study on Monday, which is the first step in creating a TIF district. It will cost about $34,400.

Council members also approved a transportation committee.

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