Rockford Aldermen vote to extend city's partnership with Friends - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Aldermen vote to extend city's partnership with Friends of Ziock

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Last May, Rockford's Amerock building, originally known as the Ziock building, landed on the National Park Service's list of historic places. The city owns it, but has an agreement with a community group Friends of Ziock to not tear the building down. Group members have a 1 year window to market the property and get something done with it.

That's because aldermen voted to give exclusive rights to a Wisconsin developer to gather information about the building and consider options. So during that time period the clock stops ticking for Friends of Ziock.

"I think they have a real understanding of what this building is and can work through a to z the feasibility of a project like that. Which we would like to see happen."

Third Ward Alderman Doug Mark believes the development group Gorman and Company can turn the Ziock building into a residential, commercial, and retail shopping destination.

The Friend's of Ziock helped get the building historical recognition. The group's lawyer says they've had great timing when it comes to finding support restoring the landmark.

"Some things have happened here within the last year specifically state historic tax credits that have perhaps changed the nature of that building form an eyesore or a drag to a lever that we can use that we can use to bring more economic activity downtown," said attorney Mike Schirger.

Gorman and Company's Illinois Market President Debbie Dixon says Gorman has a clear goal for the Ziock building.

"To make it a real hub downtown to compliment the economic district, the art district, education, as well as to be a hub for transportation and I think it would just be a matter of common sense to take a historic building like this and to use it as an adaptive re-use property."

If Gorman and Company chooses not to develop the Ziock building all their research will be turned over to the City of Rockford.

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