Firefighters kept watch over the burned-out Hanley building Tuesday afternoon, making sure the fire that gutted it didn’t re-ignite. Most of the 117 year old building is still standing, despite being on fire for several hours on Sunday.
Architect Gary Anderson spent two days surveying the building and consulting with other experts to see if it could be saved.
“We found that there was really a conclusion amongst all of us, and a consensus that…this building is very salvageable,” he explained.
Despite that conclusion, the city and the building’s owner have decided to demolish the structure. Both parties releasing a joint statement Tuesday night, saying they “have determined that a plan to repair and redevelop the existing structure is not financially feasible.”
Meanwhile, other business owners currently shut out of the building next door are frustrated by a lack of communication.
“The leadership of Rockford and the leadership of Urban Equities, there has been zero communication,” said photographer Christopher Tyson, who operates out of an office above Magpie. “And no access has been given to us in any way, shape or form to communicate with them.”
“They have not uttered one word to any of the business owners they have impacted,” added Magpie’s owner Stephanie Caltagerone.
The City says now that the Hanley building is coming down, and they hope to redevelop the space. Those affected business owners don’t yet know what that will mean for them.
“It wasn’t easy to spend my life savings, to make my dream happen, next to a condemned building,” said Caltagerone.