ROCKFORD – Urban Equity Properties, on Wednesday, held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of CA Flats, a multi-unit redevelopment project at 327 W. Jefferson St., downtown.
Built in 1927, the brick and Indiana limestone structure is in the West Downtown Rockford Historic District. Over the years, it was known best as the location of the popular downtown supper club, Jacks or Better. The Times Lounge and another tavern later occupied the ground floor while a printing company was housed on the upper floors.
When the project is finished, the building will feature 18 residential loft apartments, ground-floor retail space and 26 enclosed and underground parking spaces.
“CA Flats is proof that we were right 12 years ago when we looked at the downtown landscape and realized Rockford has tremendous potential because it has tremendous value,” Urban Equity Properties President/CEO Justin Fern said. “When we look at properties like this, we are reminded of our vision of what Rockford can be and is becoming right before our eyes largely because we are restoring these historic buildings to create new housing and modern commercial and retail space for the 21st century.”
City Administrator Todd Cagnoni said: “It’s projects like this that bring additional residential units to our downtown and bring additional opportunities for small businesses to be established in commercial spaces, which is part of our overall strategy—not only to redevelop Rockford as a whole but specifically our downtown.”
CA Flats was announced in April 2018, along with the Residences at Talcott, 321 W. State St., and 301, 301 S. Main St. The three developments will add 87 market-rate apartments to downtown.
UEP’s investment in the projects is $29 million.
CA Flats is named after Fern’s niece, Charlotte Anne Fern, who passed away in 2016. Construction is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.