ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — State officials have given the go-ahead for construction to begin on the Hard Rock Casino in Rockford.

The City of Rockford said the Illinois Gaming Board has issued a limited construction approval, which will allow for the casino to begin laying the foundation and utilities for the resort.

“The Illinois Gaming Board has given us approval to commence site work. The City of Rockford issued a permit that aligns with that approval only. We continue to work with the Gaming Board on the remainder of the process to seek complete approval that will allow us to construct our permanent facility,” a Hard Rock Rockford spokesperson said.

The casino will be built on the site of the former Clock Tower Resort, at 7801 E. State Street at the I-90 exit ramp.

As part of Rockford’s plan to bring a Hard Rock Casino to the city, a temporary Rockford Casino: A Hard Rock Opening Act opened at the former Giovanni’s restaurant, 610 N Bell School Rd.

The Rockford City Council voted in favor of the plan from Hard Rock International in October 2019, after considering proposals from the downtown Rock River West Casino Group and Forest City Casino.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a gaming expansion bill into law on June 28, 2019, allowing a casino to be built in six areas in Illinois, including Rockford.

Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said the $310 million casino project would create 1,200 permanent jobs and another 1,000 during construction.

The company has committed to incorporate a music production studio at Washington Park Community Center, build an outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, provide enhanced performance opportunities and make possible improvements to the Sinnisssippi Music Shell. Hard Rock has also agreed to provide support for neighborhood youth programs.

In development competition with a Rockford casino, the Ho-Chunk Nation announced plans to build a $405 million resort casino in Beloit.