Work in time to improve O’Neil Park’s CII East

Bloomington, IL (WMBD) — Restoration work continues on historic buildings in downtown Bloomington.

Construction crews have begun work on the interior and exterior of the CII East Building on East and Front Streets near the Government Center.

Outside, the crew began removing the old balconies and replacing them with new metal. Inside, the crew has dismantled parts of the interior and started assembling the rooms and spaces.

Six months ago, Catalyst Construction embarked on a redevelopment with the City of Buildings.

Robbie Osenga, director of business development at Catalyst Construction, said things started slow but are picking up. By summer, the newly renovated building will be the new “front door” to downtown for drivers heading north on East Street.

“When people come from the south to our communities and downtown, they no longer see empty buildings, but fully restored, vibrant spaces where people love to work and live. We really believe this will be a catalyst for other developments here downtown,” Osenga said.

The building’s tenant and namesake is Northwestern Mutual, which will move its Bloomington offices to the ground floor.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors will be 12 short or long term rental units with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Two miles west of downtown, O’Neill Pool and Park continues its $13.7 million renovation.

Currently, the crew is working on an eight-lane lap pool, installing pipes and filters, and working on the bathhouse.

Eric Veal, head of Parks and Recreation, said the project is still on track and should be completed next summer and is within budget.

Veal says the completion will revitalize the west side and bring state-of-the-art facilities for all residents to enjoy.

“This will be the first lazy river to open to the public in Bloomington and Normal. You can,” says Veal.

The project also consists of upgraded park amenities, including a newer, larger skatepark. Work in time to improve O’Neil Park’s CII East

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