Guest Column. River Edge vital for revitalization

By Gary Anderson 
Guest Contributor 

Last Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the four-year extension for the River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. This economic-development tool has been the key reason why downtown Rockford has been revitalized with over one-hundred-million dollars of outside investment in our city’s structures.  

This extension to the legislation will continue that momentum.  There are a significant number of projects that are in the pipeline that can now take advantage of what this program offers: filling significant gaps in the cost to finance these projects.

In financing developments in our community, there is often a significant gap between the cost of the development and its end value. It is one of the key factors that holds back growth in our community.

The extension to the River Edge program will fuel further redevelopment. Not only downtown, but in the 7th Street Midtown District, along South Main Street, and at the Barber Colman village.

We have changed the momentum in our community with recent developments. We have a vision for continued improvements to our housing, retail, office, and hospitality offerings. These developments will create jobs; attract talent to our community; and will continue to attract additional investment.

These developments are not easy to accomplish, but the use of the historic tax credit has proven to be the difference-maker in revitalizing communities. To realizing their full potential. The River Edge program encourages the restoration and retention of our significant architectural structures. That can have a long lasting effect on our community’s health, sustainability, livability, and attractiveness. R.

Gary Anderson is a local architect and proponent of the River Edge program. Find out more about what it’s done for Rockford.

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