- The Rock River Times - http://rockrivertimes.com -
River District names 24th Heart of Rockford Award recipients
Posted By Brandon Reid On March 26, 2010 @ 10:23 am In Happening Now | No Comments
From press release
River District Association held a combined 24th Annual Heart of Rockford Awards and Annual Membership Meeting Thursday, March 25.
In partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL), there was a presentation of the Jon W. Lundin Historic Preservation Fund grant.
Recipients of the grant and the awards were announced at a dinner and ceremony at Rockford Woman’s Club, 323 Park Ave.
The event included a social hour with entertainment by Jodi Beach & Jim McDowell, dinner and program.
This was the 24th annual event that recognizes personal and financial investment in the heart of the City of Rockford. One-hundred-ninety-eight awards have been handed out since 1987, which represents millions of dollars of investment in downtown Rockford.
In addition to the recipients are the dozens of nominees each year that have invested in River District. This represents even more investment in the community. This year, 23 nominations were submitted for the seven different award categories. A five-member jury went through an evaluation and selection process to choose the award recipients.
The program also included River District Association (RDA) Board President Emily Hartzog speaking about notable achievements of the downtown area, 2009 accomplishments and activities of the organization and highlights from River District Association’s 2010 work plan.
A noteworthy accomplishment of the association was the creation of a five- to 10-year Strategic Plan. RDA will use this as a guidebook for planning and implementing improvement projects and to provide direction for the organization.
In other business, RDA members voted to renew Alan Brown (Burpee Museum) for one three-year term.
Following are the award recipients, listed by category:
New Business: Noonan Holdings, LLC—Noonan Holdings LLC took possession of the building at 318 N. First St. in February 2009. There was one tenant in one office at the time of purchase. Noonan Holdings LLC immediately started renovation and recruitment of business tenants. At this time, the building is leased at 100 percent capacity with 11 businesses occupying 17 offices and work areas. The majority of the renovation was done by Dan Anderson and Kurt Richardson (one of the partners in Noonan Holdings LLC). The quality of workmanship is outstanding and the vision, passion and hard work poured into this project have brought new life to the building and the surrounding area.
Commitment by a Business: Octane InterLounge—During Phase I of the Downtown Streetscape Project on Main Street, Octane InterLounge owners Dan and Michelle Minick participated in and contributed to stakeholder meetings and events before and during the project. They always had a positive attitude throughout the most challenging times; they were flexible when it came to work that affected the entrance to their business and offered suggestions about how to create a better pathway for customers if needed; they helped facilitate distribution of information to other businesses about progress and always sent a positive message through the media to the community. They have made a commitment to not only contribute to the business/entertainment environment in the downtown core, but to be good neighbors as well.
Commitment by an Individual: Raymone Roberts—If you spend any time in downtown Rockford, you will probably recognize Raymone. In addition to his work at Comprehensive Community Solution’s Reuse Center, Raymone has been a dedicated volunteer for more than 10 years for various organizations, including River District, Greenwich Village Art Fair, and Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI), and he has worked, organized, and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for more than 1,200 people at Court Street United Methodist Church. This past year, Raymone was instrumental in organizing “Friends of YouthBuild Summer Music Bash,” the first fund-raising festival for CCS, which brought several hundred people to the CCS campus and brought attention to this South Main Street area.
Commercial Renovation: Katie’s Cup Coffee Bar & Bookstore—Since opening Jan. 15, 2009, Katie’s Cup has served 29,884 customers and hosted 379 events. It is no wonder it has become such a hotspot—the fireplace, overstuffed leather sofa, pleasing aesthetic appeal, architecture and coffee bar speak for themselves. ZION Development spent more than $1 million gutting and rebuilding the first floor and facade of 502 Seventh St., a 110-year-old building. In addition to the beauty of the place, Katie’s Cup is also environmentally responsible: it is heated and cooled geothermally, it avoids disposable/discardable items, and customers are offered the spent coffee grounds as compost material for their gardens. It purchases its coffee beans from a local vendor and serves as a key location for community get-togethers.
Residential Renovation: River East Lofts—Incorporating modern elements and conveniences while staying true to the history of this property located at Market and Madison streets, developer Javier de la Uz & ADV Enterprises took on the completion of the River East Loft project. Started, and subsequently abandoned mid-project, the building sat silent for several years. After Javier & ADV Enterprises took over, the project was finished in a little more than a year.
Preserving much of the original architect’s vision in the final design, all six loft units have been filled, proving there is demand for, and value in, downtown living options.
Festival/Event: A Salute to Mr. Lincoln—This year-long event began in February with a new Lincoln Exhibition at Veterans Memorial Hall. In March, the commissioning of a heroic size sculpture to be placed in Abraham Lincoln Courthouse Square was announced. Memorial Day brought a mobile Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library museum, drawing 4,000 visitors to downtown Rockford. A traveling exhibition regarding Frederick Douglass (who promoted Lincoln on his 1866 visits to Rockford) included contributions from Burpee Museum, Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford Public Library and Rockford College. In September, the John McClarey sculpture was erected in the completed Courthouse Square with weekend events that included interpretations of Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Ralph Emerson, and A Dinner with the Lincolns, which was organized by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Through the creation of the Courthouse Square, those who live, work or visit in the downtown district have another “green” location to enjoy.
Historic Preservation: Victorian Home, 611 N. Court St.—This wonderful renovation in the heart of a recovering Rockford neighborhood is a culmination of a three-year project. Bob and Connie Griffin bought this shell of a beauty to donate it to Victory Outreach—a local life recovery outreach center—and eventually to buy it back again. This service project culminated in a sacrificial gift of $100,000, which the Griffins gave to Victory Outreach. The meticulous work of all is evident in the restored beauty of this Victorian Home. The transformation of this home has inspired neighbors to better their properties.
Best of Heart of Rockford: Great Downtown Open House Collaboration—A collaborative effort between The Element, the River District Association, the City of Rockford, numerous property owners, several Real Estate agents, Rockford Area Realtors and First Northern Credit Union—the “Great Downtown Open House” encompassed multiple sessions in May, July and November, aimed at promoting live-work spaces in the heart of downtown Rockford. A Product Awareness Session, aimed at area brokers, real estate agents, appraisers and lenders opened dialogue about downtown housing options and projects. A public Open House in May brought approximately 1,300 people downtown to view 12 properties available for lease or sale that showcased downtown living spaces, encouraging participants to “Start anywhere, wind up in your new home!”
The mission of River District Association is to promote a growing, thriving, prosperous business and residential community in Rockford’s downtown neighborhood, River District.
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2010/03/26/river-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://delicious.com/post?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F&title=River+District+names+24th+Heart+of+Rockford+Award+recipients
 Image: http://digg.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F&title=River+District+names+24th+Heart+of+Rockford+Award+recipients&bodytext=From+press+release%0D%0A%0D%0ARiver+District+Association+held+a+combined+24th+Annual+Heart+of+Rockford+Awards+and+Annual+Membership+Meeting+Thursday%2C+March+25.%0D%0A%0D%0AIn+partnership+with+the+Community+Foundation+of+Northern+Illinois+%28CFNIL%29%2C+there+was+a+presentation+of+the+Jon+W.+Lundin+Historic+Preservation+Fund+grant.%0D%0A%0D%0ARecipie
 Image: http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F&t=River+District+names+24th+Heart+of+Rockford+Award+recipients
 Image: http://www.reddit.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F&title=River+District+names+24th+Heart+of+Rockford+Award+recipients
 Image: http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F&title=River+District+names+24th+Heart+of+Rockford+Award+recipients
 Image: http://twitter.com/home/?status=http%3A%2F%2Frockrivertimes.com%2F2010%2F03%2F26%2Friver-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients%2F
 Image: http://rockrivertimes.com/2010/03/26/river-district-names-24th-heart-of-rockford-award-recipients/feed
Copyright © 2009 The Rock River Times. All rights reserved.