In a recent development that promises to transform Bloomington’s vibrant Trades District, the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission (RDC) has given the green light to an ambitious project—a brand new boutique hotel. With its approval of a letter of intent from Alluinn Development, LLC and Pure Development, Inc., the city is poised for a $35 million investment that will not only bolster its hospitality offerings but also inject new energy into the local economy.

The proposed hotel, boasting 150 rooms, meeting spaces, and dining options including a restaurant and bar, aims to cater to the growing demand for upscale accommodations in Bloomington. Mayor Kerry Thomson expressed her support for the project, emphasizing its potential to attract a diverse demographic to the Trades District.

“We constantly are hearing from the 25-and-up crowd, ‘Where is it that we hang out after hours?’ I think this really magnetizes the Trades District in a different way and will bring people that are not just in trades during the day, but other folks that are interested in that ecosystem,” Thomson remarked during the RDC meeting.

The decision to move forward with Alluinn and Pure Development’s proposal came after careful consideration of competing offers, including a $1.35 million bid from MHG Hotels. Unlike MHG’s proposal to purchase only Tract 3 of the Trades District, Alluinn and Pure Development’s offer includes both Tracts 3 and 4. John Fernandez, senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at The Mill, which oversees the Trades District’s development and marketing, explained the rationale behind the RDC’s decision:

“Since we’re talking about at least 150 rooms, if you’re just using Tract 3, it’s a pretty narrow lot. Trying to get 150 rooms on that lot might require us to have a much taller building, which, we’ll just run into issues with our height variances and also escalate the construction costs significantly.”

City staff will now enter negotiations with Alluinn and Pure Development to finalize the project agreement, which will then be subject to the RDC’s final approval. The agreement must be executed within 60 days of the letter of intent being signed, with the goal of opening the hotel for business in the fall of 2026.

This exciting endeavor represents not only a substantial investment in Bloomington’s infrastructure but also a testament to the city’s commitment to innovation and growth. As plans for the boutique hotel take shape, anticipation builds for the positive impact it will undoubtedly have on the local community and economy. Stay tuned for further updates as this project progresses and the Trades District continues to evolve into a dynamic hub of activity and opportunity.

To learn more, see the Indiana Public Media article here.