ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rockford took another step toward construction of the Hard Rock Casino project on Wednesday.
Mayor Tom McNamara met with the IBEW union and other trade groups to sign a project labor agreement.
“This is a big step forward in our community,” he said. “It really was an exciting meeting, I think not just for me, but for the entire team that’s worked so hard on bringing this casino to Rockford after decades of wanting it, and for our entire community.”
Dan Fischer from 815 Entertainment shared a statement with Eyewitness News.
“We’re excited and appreciate labor’s support of this project as we continue to move forward,” he said in it.
President of Ringland-Johnson Construction, Brent Johnson, said when construction does begin local workers stand to benefit.
“The construction trades people, women and men, who will build this important casino are guaranteed their involvement in the project,” Johnson said. “I would estimate there will be approximately 1,200 to 1,400 construction trade jobs created when that project gets going.”
A date has not been set to break ground on the project.
Last week, the Illinois Gaming Board approved a supplier’s license to 815 Beltway Holdings, which means the company can apply to construct the casino.
“Right now Hard Rock has formally asked to begin construction, and the Illinois Gaming Board is doing their job thoughtfully reviewing it,” McNamara said.
It also means a temporary casino can open at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center, 610 N Bell School Rd.
“Our hope is that they will continue to thoughtfully review that and provide an approval to Hard Rock 815 to begin construction so that we can get the temporary casino moving, and then shortly there after get that temporary casino open, and also start construction on the primary casino,” McNamara said.
The gaming board is scheduled to meet again on July 14th.