Indiana Daily Student

City council tables developer’s plans to buy public land for housing

<p>Bloomington City Hall is seen on Feb. 14, 2022, on Morton Street. Peerless Development returned to the Bloomington City Council on Wednesday to request the vacating of an alley owned by the city to build apartments. </p><p><br/><br/></p>

Bloomington City Hall is seen on Feb. 14, 2022, on Morton Street. Peerless Development returned to the Bloomington City Council on Wednesday to request the vacating of an alley owned by the city to build apartments. 



Peerless Development, a Chicago-based real estate developer working on, returned to the Bloomington City Council again Wednesday to request the vacating of an alley owned by the city to build apartments on the Johnson Creamery smokestack site.

At the initial meeting, the council asked Peerless to build a public art display in exchange for the land, but no deal had been reached. 

Some councilmembers said they didn’t feel like the proposal would benefit the public enough to warrant a sale of city property. 

“It just doesn’t sit well with me when I’m going to approve a project where the rent of a two-bedroom apartment is gonna be higher than a mortgage on a three bedroom house out on the side of town where I live,” councilmember Jim Sims said. 

Councilmember Sue Sgambelluri said she supported more housing, but not in this form. 

“I don’t think it can be argued that additional luxury houses provide us with public benefit.” Sgambelluri said. 

The council voted to table the issue. 

The council also removed what it deemed as an unnecessary part of a 2019 agreement between the City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Housing Authority to allow the BHA to comply with Section 8 housing and complete Rental Assistance Demonstration conversions. 

Section 10, which required the BHA to refund part of the city’s infrastructure investments if they ever made a profit, was deemed unnecessary because matters of funding were determined by individual agreements with Housing and Urban Development or the City of Bloomington. 

The vote was unanimous.

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