An eyesore in downtown Rockford could soon receive a $70 million dollar makeover. The proposal was put before Rockford city leaders on Friday.
The Amerock building in downtown Rockford is a historical landmark that's been vacant for years, but with the building falling apart, the city is working on a project that could potentially change the skyline of downtown Rockford.
The CEO of Gorman and Company, Gary Gorman told the city council that this project would benefit the Forrest City. “This would be a bold move for the downtown, it would inject energy into the downtown, and it would encourage investment.
Although Gorman sees the benefit, the Rockford city council is not 100% on board. “it is a wonderful project, and we do need it in this community, but paying for it is a different story.” said 7th Ward Alderwoman Ann Thompson-Kelly
All together, the hotel and convention center renovations will cost $70 million dollars.
Gorman and Company will fund most of the project, paying $50 million. The city also must pay for parking and road improvements and a parking garage which will cost around $20 million dollars.
The parking garage would be built next to the Amerock building near Davis Park. Alderman Teena Newburg expressed concern with the structure, saying it would not help the city as a whole. “we need more parking for the county, for the court system, and the city. It would help the people and businesses downtown.” said Newburg.
Despite the push back from the City of Rockford alderman, Gorman said the project will go on. “we put a lot of time and effort into this, and so has the city, the mayor, and the alders, so we are confident it will get done.