Group to celebrate former Amerock building’s historic status
By Jim Hagerty
The group that made efforts to save one of Rockford’s most visible buildings will celebrate publicly tomorrow, June 9.
The grassroots group Friends of the Ziock Building (FOZ) will host a special event to officially announce the building’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Prairie Street Brewhouse. The day will begin with a 10 a.m. press conference. Several speakers are slated to address the media including Friends of Ziock spokesmen Don Bissell, Gary Anderson and Jeff Orduno.
A litany of historic presentations such as videos, interviews with Ziock descendants and former employees and art showings are also planned.
Officials said they will address the Illinois Historic Tax Credit, which could provide the City of Rockford more than 45 percent in tax subsidies to redevelop the now vacant riverfront structure.
“The tax credit is a game-changer,” Bissell said. “There’s quite a bit of opportunities there. The city owns the building and we will help market it for many possible things. That could be Embry-Riddle residences and classrooms; and we just discovered that downtown could absorb about 60 hotel rooms.”
The historic tax credit, sparked by Senate Bill 2168 (S.B. 2168), creates a Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit for the costs and expenses of rehabbing and renovating eligible properties. Depending on the project, credits could be as much as 45 percent or more.
Bissell said his group has begun the process of making the Ziock building a prime location for a variety of developers.
“We will be talking about how to attract buy-ins from developers,” Bissell added. “It’s a riverfront property, and the presentation is very interesting.”
The Rockford landmark, named the Ziock Building in honor of textile pioneer William H. Ziock, was built in three phases between 1912 and 1950 by the Ziock family and the Amerock Corporation. The building housed titans of two industries that helped fuel the industrial growth of Rockford: textiles and hardware. Today, the complex is commonly known as the Amerock Building because of its last major tenant and owner. The sprawling property is at 416 S. Main St.
From the June 8-14, 2011 issue
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