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City of Rockford aims to sell Barber-Colman complex to Milwaukee developer for $500K

Staff Report

ROCKFORD — The City of Rockford’s Finance and Personnel Committee, on Monday, approved a purchase agreement to sell the 22-acre Barber-Colman complex to J. Jeffers & Co., a Milwaukee real estate developer, for $500,000.

City officials say J. Jeffers has experience in adaptive reuse and historic building redevelopment and a vision to turn the 22-acre former manufacturing center into a mixed-use campus over a seven- to 10-year period that would include multiple phases.

The purchase agreement includes a 180-day due-diligence period where the company will review the feasibility of redeveloping the property, review the environmental issues and work with the city on a potential redevelopment agreement.

“While there are a number of steps to be completed prior to the project advancing, I am excited about the potential redevelopment of Barber-Colman,” Mayor Tom McNamara said in a release. “This is a much needed project for the city and specifically for the residents of southwest Rockford.”

The Barber-Colman complex is on the corner of North Main and Loomis streets.

J. Jeffers issued a statement Monday afternoon.

“The sprawling downtown Rockford manufacturing site offers many of the attributes J. Jeffers & Co. looks for when evaluating potential developments,” the statement said. “It possesses a significant number of historic buildings in need of re-imaging, restoration and adaptive reuse. It also includes parcels of land that can provide architecturally complementary new construction, adding to the project’s viability. J. Jeffers and its leadership team also seek sites that build upon a community’s history and have substantial scale to become truly catalytic when completed for the neighborhood, community, and municipality.”

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