Construction on Rockford’s new Indoor City Market officially began Wednesday.
Located in what’s now a vacant building on Madison street, one of the city’s most popular events is one step closer to being open year-round.
“The extension of the outdoor market has been such a growth engine for downtown Rockford,” said Board Chairman of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, David Anderson. “It’s bringing people into our community, it’s local tourism.”
Transforming this space won’t be cheap. The project will cost more than $5 million. A cost Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says is more than worth it.
“You have a local construction company, you have local labor, a local architect,” said McNamara. “It’s all to build something really wonderful for everyone in our community to share and enjoy and create new experiences with their family.”
The development is expected to create more than a hundred construction and permanent jobs. Local businesses can also set up permanent locations inside the market hall. So far, three restaurants have signed their leases. All of them are current vendors for the outdoor market.
The indoor market will complement its outdoor counterpart during the summer. McNamara says it should make for a unique experience.
“So now there’s a whole new generation of families and young kids who have a whole new experience of what downtown really is,” said McNamara. “I didn’t have that opportunity growing up. There wasn’t a whole lot going on downtown.”