Bloomington expands border for 100s of apartments, townhomes despite urban sprawl concerns

Concept plan for "Bloomington 77" development.
Concept plan for "Bloomington 77" development.(City of Bloomington)
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 8:24 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (25News Now) - Bloomington is adding 77 acres to its boundaries on the west side to allow for construction of a massive development of apartments and townhomes near Rivian Automotive Twin Cities’ plant.

The city council Monday night voted 7-1 to annex the property just north of West Market Street and just east of Rivian Motorway, also known as Route 150.

Tentatively called Bloomington 77, plans call for 700 to 800 apartments and 90 townhomes with 10 acres of retail and commercial space. a community center and an outdoor running and biking trail.

“It would also help to fulfill the need for quality non-student multi-family housing identified in the Economic Development Council’s Bloomington-Normal Housing Analysis, near existing employment centers like Rivian where nearly half of the workforce lives outside of the Bloomington-Normal Area,” A city staff report said.

“Providing opportunities for workers to live closer to work and to take advantage of the city amenities in the area could increase future revenues for the city,” the report also said.

City council annexes 77 acres for hundreds of multi-family apartments and townhomes near the...
City council annexes 77 acres for hundreds of multi-family apartments and townhomes near the Rivian plant.(City of Bloomington)

The only no vote came from Ward 2 council member Donna Boelen.

Boelen is worried about urban sprawl in which taxpayers would be responsible for long-term costs of maintaining infrastructure like roads and sewers. Boelen said the city can’t afford to maintain existing roads.

The developer has agreed to pay for a traffic study, and also pay the city $25,000 per acre instead of dedicating park space.