By Brian Werth
May 14, 2003
Construction started Tuesday for The Kirkwood, a $12 million, 59-unit luxury apartment complex to be built over the next 13 months at the corner of West Kirkwood Avenue and Madison Street on the west edge of downtown Bloomington.
The developer is CFC Properties, the real estate arm of Cook Group. For 30 years, CFC has been the biggest player in the redevelopment of Bloomington’s downtown, spending tens of millions of dollars to restore or create such buildings as the Graham Plaza, Fountain Square Mall, the Bloomington Antique Mall, and the Depot.
The Kirkwood will consist of two buildings, each housing four towers containing one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The exterior of the George Ridgeway-designed structure will be brick, with limestone accents on all sides featuring architectural details that complement other downtown buildings.
The building site, next to the recently opened WonderLab Museum, contained the Waldron Tannery in the 1890s. Later, grocery stores were on the site, including Louden’s, Thrifty-Mart, Ralph’s T-Mart and most recently Mace, which closed in 1997.
“The area has been an eyesore for five or six years,” said CFC President Jim Murphy at Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “Now, it’s a new opportunity for downtown living. It’s in walking distance of just about everything downtown. We’ve got eight different floor plans, custom cabinetry, private balconies and terraces with French doors, controlled access to the parking garage and a rooftop deck with a shower.”
Construction is being done by Wilhelm Construction of Indianapolis, which is also working on the Regester Place parking garage downtown and the northside Miller Showers Park. The apartments should be ready for occupancy by June 2004.
Rents are estimated to be in the $900- to $1,600-per-month range, depending on the size of the unit. Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez called The Kirkwood project a great addition to the changing face of downtown.
“There’s $80 million worth of construction going on right around us,” Fernandez said. “A city’s downtown is the gauge of the vitality of a community.”