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Tesla working to sell cars in Blo-No

Tesla has big Twin-Cities dreams as it has petitioned Bloomington for a special use permit for their building on 420 Olympia Drive in Bloomington at the Towanda Barnes Business Park.

“Tesla will be using it to repair vehicles and have some display vehicles in case people wanted to order one,” Bloomington City Planner Katie Simpson said.

If approved to sell cars it will not be an “auto row” style dealership.

“We require a special use permit for vehicle sales because traditionally they take up a lot of lands, there is a lot of cars on display and there might be a lot of traffic and this is a unique situation because it’s mostly operating in the footprint of the building and a few display cars,” Simpson said.

Tesla has just over an acre with warehouse space to create its first Illinois location outside of the Chicagoland area.

“It’s all of Bloomington it’s a great decision it speaks to the hub we’re creating with electric vehicles with Rivian on the north taking over the Mitsubishi Plant,” Ward 8 Alderman Jeff Crabill said.

The request, Simpson said, lines up with Bloomington’s expectations.

“Bloomington has a few goals in our comp plan related to promoting sustainable transportation. promoting local business, encouraging economic development. When we make a recommendation, especially positive recommendations, we like to make sure those goals are met,” she said.

The recommendation will go to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday and if sent to the city council it will appear on their agenda in August.

Stephanie Rodriguez

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