City approves sports complex, watch factory purchase

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

A plan to turn the Ingersoll industrial building into an indoor sport center along the Rock River took another step forward Monday, as aldermen voted for the project and the purchase the former Rockford Watch Company complex, at 325 S. Madison St., for $580,000.

Portions of the complex built after 1930 will be torn down and used for adjacent parking for the 100,000-square-foot sports complex and trade-show center. What’s not torn down will be redeveloped.

The vote on the sports complex project was 10-3. Alds. Ann Thompson Kelly, D-7, Frank Beach, R-10 and Venita Hervey, D-5 voted no. Ald. John Beck, R-12,  abstained because of his employment with the Rockford Park District.

According to preliminary numbers, the sports complex project is expected to generate $880,000 in annual tax revenue and inject more than $7 million a year into the local economy. The project is expected to cost $22 million. Leaders say it will be funded by grants, Rockford Park District funds and the Winnebago County/City of Rockford 2 percent hotel tax.

The Rockford City Council meets every Monday at City Hall.

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