Bloomington to buy land from Indiana University - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bloomington to buy land from Indiana University

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- The city of Bloomington is preparing to buy 12 acres of land from Indiana University -- downtown property that the mayor hopes developers find attractive for retail and housing projects.

The Herald-Times of Bloomington reported the city hopes to buy the land from IU for $9.3 million and then sell it to a developer.

Mayor Mark Kruzan announced the city's intention during his State of the City address in March.

"My goal has been to have the community dictate what happens to the 12 acres in the heart of downtown with a Bloomington vision as opposed to a university vision for the property," Kruzan said.

"It's not an income-driven vision; it's a quality-of-life-driven vision."

The city plans to sell about $13 million in revenue bonds to cover the $9.3 million purchase of the land and $2.8 million for infrastructure improvements and other costs. City officials plan to use funds from a downtown tax increment financing district and money from the resale of the land to make the payments.

"We may be able to recover the entirety of the cost or more," Kruzan said.

However, the city may be willing to sell part of the land for less than it paid to entice a developer to build affordable housing, Kruzan said.

Tom Morrison, Indiana University's vice president for capital projects and facilities, said the deal is advantageous to both sides because the university no longer had a use for the property.

"There was not a long-term master plan for that site," Morrison said.

Officials originally thought the area could become a research hub, but the university developed land near East 10th Street and the Indiana 45/46 Bypass instead and the downtown land became unneeded.

Morrison said the money IU gets from the deal must be used on capital improvement projects on the Bloomington campus. The university has 18 months after the sale to vacate the property.

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