The Hanley building in downtown Rockford, gutted by a fire over the weekend, is expected to come down soon, but the question is when,and how long will it take? Questions city leaders do not have the answers to tonight.
Just days after the Hanley furniture building went up in flames the city of Rockford has decided that it would be best to demolish what remains of the building, a big decision. However, the city has not decided when demolition will start, how it will be done, and how long it will take. Owners of neighboring businesses still closed since the fire erupted are frustrated by the lack of communication to them.
Stephanie Caltagerone, Owner of Magpie said, “We’ve not received collectively information from anyone of authority or from the land owner.” Neither she or her employees are allowed back in her building, likely until the demolition is done. She says she’s reached out to the mayor and the owners of the Hanley building, Urban Equity Properties; all to no avail.
Stephanie said, “All of use here have invested our life savings without any assistance from any grants or tax credits, or the city, or the state, or anybody and we’ve sustained a historic building on our own.” However, she is hopeful for the future as she believes she’ll be able to re-open her business one day without the longtime vacant Hanley building next door.
Stephanie added, “I’m really looking forward to opening a restaurant not next to a condemned building that’s full of filth and rodents, falling bricks and debris onto our parking lot and our cars. I’m really looking forward to it being gone.”
A spokesperson for the city of Rockford says an outlined plan for the demolition is expected to be ready by this Friday. We also asked about plans to secure the area during the Fourth of July celebration, but the city has yet to finalize a plan for that either.