For several years, the former State Street Station on East State has sat empty. Now, there’s hope for redevelopment in the heart of Rockford’s Miracle Mile. At a special city council meeting, aldermen took some possible first steps to make it a reality.
“We’re hopeful the city will lessen the fines or even erase it so the property can be redeveloped,” said Miracle Mile executive director Paula Olson.
Monday, Rockford City Council introduced a fine reduction request for the 3515 East State Street property. 12th ward Alderman John Beck says the move makes it more attractive for potential buyers.
“They weren’t the owners who had the property when the fines were assessed,” said Beck. “They have some plan on what to do with the property but if they have to pay the fine as well as purchase the property and develop it, it can be prohibitive for them financially to do so.”
Beck is the city council’s finance and personnel chairman, he says the idea is a no brainier.
“Either we can say ‘no’ and the property sits there and continues to be vacant and not be on the tax roll, not provide jobs, or improvement to the community,” said Beck. “Or we can waive the fines.”
According to Gambino Realtors’ website, there is an offer on the table for the property, but certain conditions need to be met first before finishing the purchase.
“Having a new business here would be a wonderful attraction to the businesses that surround it,” said Olson. “It draws attention to them as well.”
Despite the former adult business at the location, Olson hopes to welcome a more family friendly establishment in the future.
“That’s our goal, to make this whole area a family friendly and entertainment for families and children,” said Olson.
Alderman Beck expects more of the fine reduction request’s details will be discussed at next week’s finance and personnel committee.