Architects and designers presented the design for the Fourth Street parking garage renovation and a progress update at a Bloomington Redevelopment Commission meeting June 17.
The current design includes six stories with 504 parking spaces and a space for retail that is 9800 feet. Designers are still considering details about the size of parking spaces and retail.
“I was very impressed by this entire design team,” council member Susan Sandberg said. “Watching each meeting as ideas were being shared, I saw the professionalism of the entire team.”
Representatives from CSO Architects and Core Planning Strategies laid out the current design after the design and construction team took feedback from the Technical Review Committee.
Josh Scism, a senior project manager at Core Planning Strategies, called it a “modern approach to a parking garage.”
The design includes many environmentally friendly amenities, such as charging stations for electric vehicles, 50 bike parking spaces, 10 bike lockers and solar panels on the roof.
There will be a pick up and drop off section in front of the garage meant for public transportation use and ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft.
Some city council members and citizens were against the rebuilding of the garage for environmental reasons. In the meeting, council member Andy Ruff agreed with the public comments on how continued car usage could worsen the effects of climate change.
There will also be a public art installation by Sean Starowitz, Bloomington's assistant director for the arts. They showed examples of murals, sculptures and also discussed the potential for a kinetic art piece with the garage.
“Arts is a big part of the vision so we wanted to create a variety of opportunities for this design,” said Scism.
The plan to rebuild the garage was approved April 3 by the city council with pushback from members of the public and council members alike.
Local realtor Juan Carlos Carrasquel attended the meeting to offer criticism to the board, claiming the development of the new garage will cause him to lose property at his Walnut Street location.
“I think the public purpose of this is questionable,” Carrasquel said. “I object to the public purpose of this.”
Director of Bloomington’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Development Alex Crowley said he talked with businesses located nearby to ensure the construction process goes smoothly.
This included talking to businesses such as the Back Door and Best Taste about the dates of construction and demolition since some of their entrances are accessed by the alley closest to construction.
“I felt very impressed from the very beginning, we are in the hands of professionals that will serve the downtown,” Sandberg said. “We’re in very good hands.”
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