New developments are on the rise in Rockfords River District. The Rockford Marina, located at 201 Hill St., is scheduled to be converted into condos.
Megan Koch, who owns the Marina along with her parents Lloyd and Diane Koch, said the estimated cost of renovations and designs is $6.2 million. She explained the purpose of the project was to bring momentum to the downtown area.
Gary Anderson will serve as the architect for the project. He hopes to begin construction this summer and have the building ready for occupancy by the end of the year. According to Anderson, it is scheduled to have 12 to 20 units available. Its one of the neatest interior spaces in the city of Rockford, Anderson said.
Koch believes the Marinas location on the river will be one of its greatest assets. Tenants will also have the option of renting a boat dock on the river for an additional fee. Koch feels the Marina has many aesthetic advantages over other new condo sites. This is the oldest prairie building in the state of Illinois and with that comes a lot of character that you dont get from some of the newer apartments.
Koch said the Marina will still be open for business. The plan is to replace the Marina with a banquet facility. The Marina would be moving into one of our other buildings, she said. Koch hopes the new condos bring more interest and development to downtown Rockford. Youre never going to find a place to live that would be as unique as this, she said.
Cellusuede Products Inc. at 500 N. Madison St. may be the site of approximately eight of the 18 to 20 condos of the entire complex. Parking and/or retail spaces could occupy the first floor, with the condos on the second floor.
The brewery/Marina building may have 10 to 12 condos, depending on the demand for commercial units.
Currently, the Marina specializes in watersport equipment and services. It sells a variety of boats from manufacturers such as Centurion, Mariah, Nautiques, Manitou and MirroCraft. The Marina also rents boats and has a full service repair shop at 313 Hill St. The department carries parts from several vendors including Mercury, Bombardier (Johnson & Evinrude), Correct Craft, Pleasure Craft Marine, Mercruiser and Indmar. Additionally, the Marina hosts events throughout the year. On April 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. it will showcase the Northern Illinois In The Water Boat Show. For more information, visit www.rockfordmarina.com.
Andersons Ingersoll proposal
Anderson also has plans for the Ingersoll building on South Water Street. His main objective is to convert it into condos and office space. He also hopes to attract a restaurant or retail facility and build a river walk. It is scheduled to be a multiphase project and cost between $13 million to $15 million. Anderson hopes to have part of the building, which is owned by the city, completed by the end of the year. He believes that Ingersolls location by the dam and proximity to other downtown highlights like Davis Park will draw residents. It has some tremendous possibilities, Anderson said.
Rockford Mayor Doug Scott said one other proposal has been submitted to the city for the Ingersoll building, and budget comparisons are being made.
Concerned River District residents and business owners are asking why the other proposal is not on the table for the public to see and compare. They also cite many instances where the city has been slow to move or very hard to work with, resulting in the loss of projects or extreme delays.
The city bought the Ingersoll building for $2 in April 2000, originally to provide more convention space for the MetroCentre.
Both of the Anderson-directed projects would bring 38 to 40 new condos to the River District.
Editor & Publisher Frank Schier contributed to this story.