Bloomington council approves $3M for technology center
The Bloomington City Council has voted to appropriate $3 million towards funding construction of a new technology center in the Trades District. The district is a 12-acre portion of the Bloomington Certified Technology Park and is comprised of several historic buildings that are being re-purposed for economic development.
The total project cost is estimated at $8.5 million. The project has already received $3.5 million in federal funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and nearly $2 million from the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission. The $3 million balance comes from the Bloomington Community Revitalization and Enhancement District funds.
“This vote empowers us to move forward quickly on the construction of the Tech Center,” said John Fernandez, senior vice president of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships at The Mill, which will manage the development and marketing of the Trades District. “It’s important to understand that we’re not just building office space with these funds. We’re catalyzing a shift in our economy.
The 22,000-square-foot tech center will be a Class A office building that will meet minimum Silver LEED certification standards and will offer collaboration space and offices.
“The Tech Center doesn’t just benefit techies. Innovation-driven companies create a wide range of jobs and typically pay much higher wages, up to 38% more for a person with a bachelor’s degree,” said Pat East, executive director of The Mill. “We’re grateful to the City Council for understanding the importance of this project.”
The partners say the Tech Center is another cog in the wheel of economic development along an 84-mile corridor that runs from Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane to Indianapolis.
“Bloomington is perfectly positioned to become a vibrant center for the emerging tech-focused economy,” said Fernandez.
The city says future development around the Tech Center is expected to also build out entertainment and housing options that contribute to a dynamic community experience.
“Innovators, founders, and talent are attracted to places that provide not just great startup and business resources, but also a quality of life and local culture that feed creativity,” said Fernandez.
Construction is expected to begin this fall and be complete by early 2025.