Old National Bank is one major step closer to moving its downtown Bloomington branch.
On December 8, the Bloomington Plan Commission approved plans for a two-story building on the corner of Kirkwood and Lincoln. Old National plans to vacate its current branch, which is just one block west, and move those operations to the proposed building.
The company developing the project, GMS-Pavilion Properties, has been negotiating with the city for years.
City Planner Jim Roach said the Planning Department is happy with the recent progress.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we believe this building meets all city requirements and there are no parking or residential density issues,” Roach says.
Plans for the building originally included a third story as well as 17 apartments. Over the past year the developer scrapped those elements, making the proposal better comply with the city’s zoning rules. Plan Commission members had few complaints about the current proposal.
But Commission President Jack Baker did have an issue with the brick developers plan to use, saying in order to keep the vibrancy and quirkiness of the street, they should use a more reddish color.
The brick currently proposed for the building is more earth-toned than Baker wants.
Steve Hoffman, from Pavilion Properties, said his company can’t do much to change that part of the plan, because it’s what the bank asked for.
Baker proposed an amendment that would require the developer to work with staff to consider a new color of brick. But that amendment didn’t pass.
The Commission later approved the plans for the entire building unanimously. It still needs approval from the Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals before construction can happen. By moving into a new building, Old National hopes to clear the way for a new hotel on the site of its current branch.
But there have been complaints about the hotel proposal. The Commission delayed a vote on that plan at the December 8 meeting and won’t take it up again until February.