ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – It was a busy evening on Monday for members of the Rockford City Council.
On tap were deals for the former Barber-Coleman Complex, the International Women’s Baseball Museum and Hard Rock’s temporary casino. Alderman approved all three deals, meaning the projects will continue to move forward, but there is still work to be done before the full impact of the votes will be seen.
“Tonight, we celebrate a little bit. Tomorrow, we get to work,” said Kat Williams, the President of the International Women’s Baseball Center.
The center got the go ahead from the Rockford City Council, which means that plans to build a museum on the Beyer Stadium property will move forward. The project will also include an activity center across the street from the park.
Monday’s vote came following months of back and forth between the IWBC and non-profit “Friends of Beyer” regarding the project’s location.
“Disturbing Beyer Park ground does not make sense,” said Friend of Beyer’s Andrew Wright. “When there is so much land that could be available and could be improved by a program like that, so we want to just continue to work toward that.”
Williams said that the next step is fundraising. She said that the project will cost around $10 million to complete, and that there is no timeline for when construction might begin at this point.
“Right now we have concepts. Then, we need to sit down with architects, and we need to figure out this plan, and that plan. We could not do any of that until we had this vote,” Williams said. “I can not give anybody a date, but believe me, we are working hard.”
City Council also approved a liquor license for the temporary Hard Rock Casino, and supported the sale of the vacant Barber-Coleman campus to real estate developer J. Jeffers and Company.
The company’s vision is to renovate the vacant facility into a part residential, part commercial space. There is a 180 day due diligence period before the sale of the property is finalized.
A 2022 budget was also approved. The city said that the just over $181 million plan is balanced, and does not include an increase in property taxes.