ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A historic building in Downtown Rockford is getting a new chance at life.
It was once known as “The Emerson House.” The project looked for approval at Monday night’s city council meeting, and one alderman said that this project is another example of the work being done to develop Rockford’s downtown.
“It does look favorable upon our inner core of our city when a developer comes in and is willing to put up this kind of money,” said 3rd Ward Alderman Chad Tuneberg.
That money is being spent on revitalizing a building that has sat at 420 N Main St. for over a century. Tuneberg represents the neighborhood, and he said that it is time to use the property to its full potential.
“The former Mendelssohn building has been many things over many years, anything from a funeral home to office space, but we now have a developer that’s interested in making it a multi-tenant office space with a living loft above it,” Tuneberg said.
The first step is the vision, next comes the execution. The vacant space will be a fixer-upper.
“There is a number of repairs that need to be done on the building,” Tuneberg said. “Elevator, tuck pointing, and old miscellaneous slew of things that’s going to cost a lot of money.”
Tax Increment Financing, TIF, District has been requested for the property to help offset some of the costs.
“With a pay as you go TIF, the increase in property values will then be recaptured, so it does give some incentive to developers to come in and do this kind of work,” Tuneberg said.
The developer can receive a $50,000 reimbursement on the TIF, something that Tuneberg said is a win-win for all involved.
“It’s good for the city, it’s good for the developer, and it’s good for the tax payer,” he said.
The property cannot be used for certain things, like a tattoo shop, tobacco store or gaming machines, under an agreement with the city.