ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford aldermen approved a plan to demolish a long-condemned Broadway building at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Business owners near the building, at 1016 Broadway, hope the demolition will reduce blight and attract more business to the area.
Yolanda Mendoza, who owns La Fiesta Bridal, at 1001 Broadway, said, “I’ve had brides come in and the parking is just awful down here. With the snow emergencies, we’ve had to close, because we have nowhere to park.”
Off the Top Barbershop owner, Jason Tiesman, says he’s had to go to extremes to get people in the door of his business, at 1001 Broadway.
“I had to offer, ‘Hey, I’ll give you $50 off!’ or something, just so they can come down to this area,” he said. “The area could use some love. We’re trying to survive, too, you know. We could use the extra foot traffic, and a lot of people don’t want to come down to this area too much, anymore.”
Mendoza and Tiesman hope the parking situation can be resolved once the building comes down.
“It’s been an eyesore for a lot of years, here,” said Ald. Tuffy Quinonez (D-11th Ward). “We’ve had a lot of calls on it. So, I’m also happy, so I can move on and get other buildings and houses in our ward that have to be torn down.”
“It’s just been a mess,” Tiesman said. “Everyone in the area has made a call about something, pieces of the building are falling off. There’s people running in and out of there.”
Broadway businesses hope the demolition can be the start of the area’s restoration.
“I want to see Broadway come up and be lively again, like it was back in the day,” Quinonez said. “With the new organizations and Broadway businesses coming up, we’re headed in the right direction.”
Quinonez says he’s working to bring a bar to that portion of Broadway. Demolition of the blighted building is expected to begin within 45 days.
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