Rockford leaders hope new library project will attract more residents downtown

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Forest City invests in its library, but the new project will do more than house boooks.

Rockford aldermen voted on details of a TIF agreement with the project’s builder. We show you what that means.

“Our riverfront is definitely something that developers want access to,” said 9th Ward Alderman Bill Rose.

Monday, Rockford City Council approved a TIF agreement with Bush Construction to break ground on a six-story apartment, restaurant, and retail space building.

“Anything that we can do to appease people that want to live downtown and want to live along the river it’s going to help small businesses, it’s going to help our downtown recuperate some of the losses we’ve had during COVID and overall it’s going to help the heart of our city,” Ald. Rose said.

The TIF agreement means that until 2031, revenue generated from property taxes will be put back into the building–equaling a four million dollar investment from the city.

“That comes out as just 1/5 of the project or just under 20%,” explained Ald. Rose.

“It’s anticipated to be about a 25 million dollar project,” said 3rd Ward Alderman Chad Tuneberg.

To be approved for a TIF agreement, the project must meet qualifications like bringing jobs to the area and being a multi-purpose building.

“It meets all our scoring policy to a tee,” said Ald. Tuneberg. “This really is good news for Rockford anytime we get multimillion dollar project being done within our city, let alone downtown is a good thing.”

Aldermen tell us the Wyman Street building is set to be demolished sometime in the fall.

“It really is something that the residents of Rockford will be proud of and be able to see the continued advancements of our city and really that’s what we need especially what we went through in 2020,” Ald. Tuneberg added.

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