The latest proposal to develop the Amerock building into a hotel and convention center was taken off Monday night’s Rockford City Council agenda, after city leaders claimed they did not have enough time to review it in advance.
But, Gorman & Company, the developer behind the project, wants the project to be approved quickly, to take advantage of the state’s financial incentives.
“Well, one of the real reasons for urgency is that the state historic tax credit expires at the end of this year,” said Gary Gorman, the CEO of Gorman and Company. “So, the greater portion of the budget that we can expend in 2017 the more benefit we can get from that tax credit.”
Aldermen say they only received the latest proposal last Thursday, and that’s not enough time to review the fine print of the deal.
Some highlights include the city fronting more than $13 million for the hotel and conference center, splitting the income for naming rights with developer Gorman, and even an additional $800,000 for a parking lot.
Alderman Ann Thompson-Kelly says the city’s finances are being stretched too thin as it is, already.
“We also are looking at an increase in the pension fund of $3 million. We’re looking at the increase in our revenue declining,” said Thompson-Kelly. “We don’t know what the state’s going to do. We don’t know what funds we’re going to be even discussing or have in 2017. So, to keep spending something you don’t have is ridiculous.”
Aldermen will discuss the proposal at the next council meeting, which is in two weeks.