ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Developer J. Jeffers & Company and the City of Rockford took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the former Barber-Colman complex this week.

Phase 1-A of the project is now underway, which will see the site, at at 1300 Rock Street, become transformed into a mixed-use area of apartments and commercial and retail space, the Colman Yards.

Phase 1-A of the $420 million redevelopment is expected to take nearly 2 years to complete, with Phase 2 beginning 12 months later.

The project would bring nearly 1,000 residential units and 130,000 square feet of commercial space to the area. 

The 26-acre Barber-Colman property has been vacant for more than 20 years.