Downtown Rockford is becoming a hot spot to live with younger Forest City residents looking to move where all the action is. However, local realtors are having trouble building and developing apartments fast enough to meet the high demand.

People are moving into downtown Rockford and realtors say it’s a trend that won’t change any time soon.

“We’ve seen a lot of younger, millennial type people moving into downtown and into this building, we’ve also seen some empty nester folks as well, but the majority of folks moving into this building are millennials,” said Caleb Wilson, Vice President of Urban Equity Properties, said. 

The problem is there isn’t enough properties to meet the demand.

“It’s just a little tough right now because there isn’t a lot open for purchasing for someone who’s looking to purchase a home,” said Eva Marcial, Manager for Local Manufacturing Company.

“We do see a demand problem right now,” Wilson said. “That’s why we’re building more apartments in downtown Rockford.”

Those looking to make the move say there’s something special about living downtown.

“We can walk to get food and to just see stuff and be outside, walk up to the park,” said Catherine Forslund, Isabel Ross Abbott Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Rockford University. “We like to be able to walk places and not always have to drive everywhere.”

“People are very comfortable very friendly, despite it being downtown, it has a very neighborhood feel,” Marcial said. “There are people with families and a pretty wide range of people that live down here.”

With more businesses choosing to make downtown home and the $90 million Embassy Suites hotel project slated to open next spring, realtors say the future looks bright.

“I’m definitely excited for it,” Wilson said. “I think, in about a year, when there are more apartments and the hotel opens up, things like that, they will continue to, I think more and more businesses are looking at down here.”

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