Condo project underway at former River Oaks site

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114547905511394.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jim Hagerty’, ”);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114547914413884.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jim Hagerty’, ‘The 63-unit Thatcher Blake Riverwalk Condominium construction progress at 2400 S. Main St., where the former River Oaks Retirement Center once stood. Construction is due to be completed in three to five months.’);

An upscale condominium development is rising on South Main Street.

Infil Market Development of Chicago and Nicolina Homes, Inc., have broken ground on the 63-unit Thatcher Blake Riverwalk Condominiums project, which is expected to be completed in three to five months.

The site is at 2400 S. Main St., where the former River Oaks Retirement Center once stood until it was acquired and demolished last fall by Rockford Development Group. Infil Market Development has since purchased the land.

According to David Keierleber, president of Nicolina Homes, the new community will consist of townhome and raised-ranch style condos, which he said will include two-car garages, ceramic tile and meticulous landscaping.

Keierleber also noted that the location of the homes is a key factor in the development of the downtown corridor.

“The location on South Main cannot be beat with its (ease of ) access to I-90, Bypass 20 and the Rockford Airport,” Keierleber said, speaking of the close proximity to downtown restaurants such as the Irish Rose, Maria’s, Caffe Greco and Paragon on State. “A short car or Rockford Mass Transit ride will take you anywhere you need to go.”

The Rockford Art Museum, Burpee Museum, Rockford MetroCentre and the Coronado Theatre are also easily reached from the South Main location. Blackhawk Park and Klehm Arboretum are within walking distance.

Since opening in 2003, Gray’s Foods has been the largest addition to South Main Street. Jeff Gray said his business has been profitable, and the time is right for a homebuilder to add to the area’s economic development.

Gray said: “There are some nice homes and very nice people in this area. The new condos are in a very pretty area along the river across from the park. This can’t be anything but positive.”

Rose Virgili, owner of Al-Mar Florists, has been in business at 1904 S. Main St. for 63 years. She said she’s glad to see growth in the neighborhood. She also expressed excitement as she explained the beauty of the area and the eagles that can be seen in abundance along the Rock River.

Virgili said: “I have people stop here to take pictures, or they use binoculars to view the bald eagles. It’s really a wonderful area to live and work. That’s why we’ve been here 63 years.”

So far, 22 Thatcher Blake units have been pre-sold. Prices range from $49,000 to $185,000.

More information about the Thatcher Blake Riverwalk Condominiums can be found on the Web at, or by calling Nicolina Homes at 815-391-9352.

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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