River District marina adds boardwalk, docks

River District marina adds boardwalk, docks

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

The latest step in the transformation of the old brewery to the Rockford Marina, 200 Prairie St., encompasses installing a 120 ft.-boardwalk that will contain slips for 40 owned or rented boats.

The project began Monday, June 18, when Summerset Marine Construction from Lake Geneva hauled the pre-constructed dock with 20 slips in a barge down the river to the Rockford Marina. After it is installed, an additional dock with 20 slips will be brought in and installed. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the dock permit on June 14.

Summerset Marine Construction is also constructing the boardwalk, which will be about 300 feet long, the length of the building on the river side. The projects are expected to be completed by July 15.

The projects total $150,000. Mark Kalousek, who is running the marina with Megan Koch, noted the purpose of installing the docks now is so that boaters can pull up to the Rockford Marina Shore Store (convenience store) which will have items such as general marina merchandise and food (but no packaged liquor).

“We’re very excited,” Koch said. “We can’t wait to open. We’ve got an ‘Opening Soon’ sign in front, and all weekend, boaters were driving by and pointing at it.”

Koch’s parents, Diane and Lloyd, purchased the property last spring and revealed their plans to help their daughter and Kalousek, her boyfriend, run Rockford Marina. Other projects:

l One or two gas pumps will be installed in early July.

l The Brewhouse Bar & Grill Restaurant will be constructed beginning tentatively in September, depending on financing. It is expected to be finished by next spring. Kalousek is unsure whether another restaurant will be created in the future.

l The boat showroom has been completed and needs to be painted.

l Kalousek said the date hasn’t been set for the construction of roughly eight loft apartments, but he believes they will be constructed in two years.

Kim Wheeler, executive director of the River District, indicated that the district endorses the efforts of the Kochs and Kalousek.

“I think it’s very exciting that they are doing all of this work to bring more people to the River District,” she said. She is pleased with the dock and noted the store will be a “wonderful addition.”

In regard to the upcoming restaurant

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addition, Wheeler believes the restaurant will be an asset because many are needed along the river. “This is going to be the first of many more restaurants we hope will spring up along the river.”

Meanwhile, the River District, the Park District and the city are collaborating on installing two docks to hold 12 boats each, behind the Luther Center and at the new Millennium Fountain, which will be dedicated at 11 a.m., June 26 at 202 Water Street.

A request for approval has recently been sent to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The target time for the installation is Labor Day. “It’ll be a great asset, definitely,” said Mike Pauly, landscape architect for the Park District. “We don’t have very much access on the west side.”

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