ZION Development breaks ground on Lantow Lofts Project

ZION Development Corporation, a local faith-based community organization focused on neighborhood and community building in the Mid-Town District, will break ground on its latest project—the Lantow Lofts—Thursday, Jan. 19, at 9:30 a.m. The Lantow Lofts Project at 502 Seventh St., formerly occupied by the Lantow Pharmacy. The ground-breaking ceremony will feature remarks by Mayor Larry Morrissey and representatives from AMCORE Bank, SwedishAmerican Health Systems, Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries and ZION Development.

The Lantow Lofts Project—housed in a beautiful, historic, 20-year-old, three-story brick building—will create seven market-rate condos, a coffee bar/bookstore and offices for ZION Development. Each 1,200-square-foot condo will feature two bedrooms, hardwood floors, dramatic 12-foot ceilings, contemporary open floor plans, ceramic tile bathrooms, high-quality kitchen cabinets and appliances, and two secure, off-street covered parking spaces and a number of other amenities. Katie’s Cup coffee bar and bookstore will occupy the north half of Lantow Lofts’ first-floor commercial space. Katie’s Cup is a joint venture of Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries and ZION Development. In addition, ZION Development will occupy the south half of the first floor.

The entire Lantow Lofts Project will cost $2 million with funds coming from the proceeds of the sale of the condos, the City of Rockford, AMCORE Bank, and ZION Development’s capital campaign. ZION has already raised nearly 25 percent of its $633,000 capital campaign goal and will seek the rest from corporate and individual gifts over the coming months.

AMCORE Bank is a strong supporter of the Lantow Lofts Project and has already made a gift of $75,000 to ZION Development for the project. In fact, AMCORE opened for business in the Lantow Building more than 100 years ago. AMCORE’s CEO, Ken Edge, has committed that the bank will make a gift of $15,000 to each of as many as five AMCORE employees who buys a condo in the Lantow Lofts Project. AMCORE has been a strong partner and business anchor in the growth and development of the Mid-Town District. SwedishAmerican Health Systems also strongly supports the project and has committed to give down payment assistance of $5,000 to each of its employees who purchases a Lantow Lofts condo. SwedishAmerican has recently invested $100 million in the expansion of its campus in the Mid-Town District and has fostered a number of its own neighborhood improvement projects.

The City of Rockford has granted ZION Development $350,000 for the Lantow Lofts Project and has offered ZION Development an additional $150,000 in dollar-for-dollar match funds as part of ZION’s capital campaign for the project. The Lantow Lofts Project is part of the City’s long-term plan to invest in the development of the center of the city—especially to increase residential opportunities.

From the Jan. 18-24, 2006, issue

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