By Jim Hagerty
The Rockford City Council decided Monday, March 24, to delay a vote on the $50 million Amerock building project until leaders meet with the Milwaukee developer who aims to take it on.
The plan is to turn the building into a luxury hotel along the Rock River, complementing the 104,000-square-foot Downtown Sports Complex at 301 — 401 S. Water St.
Because of the project’s size, aldermen decided to keep the project at the committee level for at least another week. The plan has been with the Planning & Development Committee for the past two weeks.
Leaders want to spend more time discussing the project with the developer, Gorman & Company, which has agreed to contribute around $50 million. In turn, Gorman wants the city to kick in around $20 million for additional parking, hotel tax credits and other amenities. Those amenities include improvements along Chestnut and South Main streets.
“It’s a huge project,” City Administrator Jim Ryan said. “And it’s good that the council wants to take time to finalize exactly how we will fund the infrastructure. What goes into it is not only good for the Amerock project or the sports complex, it’s good for downtown.”
Ryan said the city would fund its share of the project through the motor fuel tax, which is part of Rockford’s capital improvement program.
The Amerock building is at 416 S. Main St.
Staffers and aldermen plan to meet with Gorman Friday, March 28. The proposal could be in front of the full council as soon as it’s voted out of committee, which could happen next week.
The Rockford City Council meets every Monday at 6 p.m., at City Hall, 425 E. State St.
From the March 26-April 1, 2014, issue