BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A former Bloomington alderman will seek approval from his former colleagues in hopes of expanding his store while in the process of rehabbing a vacant downtown building.
Jamie Mathy, former Ward One alderman for the City said he hopes to double the size of his business, Red Raccoon Games, and needs tax break help from City leaders.
If approved, Mathy said the plan is to remodel the vacant Main Plaza building at 301 North Main Street and move the board game shop into that space.
Mathy said his business has grown rapidly since the pandemic as many have found or re-found a love for board games, strategy games or puzzles. He said the current store front right next door to Main Plaza is too small to meet the boom in business.
According to Mathy, the new space will expand their retail space by 50% and its event hosting space will nearly triple in size.
City documents state that Mathy will invest $1,589,000 into the property. Plans call for a 50% reimbursement of municipal sales tax generated by Red Raccoon Games to the owners with the other 50% going to the City of Bloomington over six years.
100% of the city’s property tax at the Main Plaza building would also be abated for six years.
Mathy said the building is need of modernizing and with help from his former coworkers on the council, he and his wife can do that.
“The structure is great, but it hasn’t had a major remodel in so long that it’s completely out of fire code, electrical code and it needs an elevator put into it to use the basement,” Mathy said.
Mathy said this project is the reason behind his resignation from the city council in March.