The proposed development at the Uptown One site includes apartments, a hotel and a health and wellness spa. (Stephanie Pawlowski/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - The Normal Town Council has approved the public development agreement for the Uptown One site.
It includes public funding with a $7.4 million, 20 year general obligation bond. City Manager Mark Peterson said the town will pay off that bond with revenues from the project. That would include a projected $2.7 million from the Tax Increment Financing district, $1.7 million from sales tax revenue, $1.4 million from food and beverage tax revenue and $3.6 million from hotel motel taxes.
Mayor Chris Koos said he thinks the public wants the project done because the site has been empty for so long.
"I know a lot of people have said, 'Please get on with it. Get something going on that project,'" Koos said. "Plus the fact that we were at the point of losing the foundation if we waited another year or two and all that work would have been for naught."
The developers, Harlem Irving and Tartan Realty have proposed a $32 million project including a 34 unit apartment building, pool, health spa, restaurant, stores and Hyatt hotel within the site. Developer Doug Reichl said the estimated timeline for the entire project is 22 months.
"That's kind of an outside window. We would hope that it would be less," Reichl said. "I think on the short end of that it's probably 14 months and hopefully no more than 18 months."
The building designs still have to go through approval of the different town committees.
The developers of Paradigm BioAviation hope to implement major portions of the waste to jet fuel project in 2013, with the help of Bloomington-Normal. CEO Alan Robinson gave a presentation on the project to the Normal Town Council Monday night. He said so far, he's gotten the land for the project, secured technology partners, local partners and has an agreement for alternative jet fuel.
"What we need in 2013 is that we need to know that come 2016 that there is a stream of waste. We would like to be able to provide you, and that's to be discussed, with a ten year offtake agreement for a supply of green power, provide a ten year access to renewable diesel," Robinson said.
The council asked questions about the kind of waste, residential composting, the amount of fuel airports would get and if the project is up and running anywhere else in the world. Robinson said components are running in Europe.
Robinson still has to make a presentation to the McLean County Board.