A downtown Rockford proposal, potentially costing millions of dollars needs more time and discussion before it's approved. But, there is new information on how it'll be paid for.
A big project like revamping the downtown Amerock building brings a lot of questions with it. The item's now been held in Planning & Development Committee without movement for the last two weeks.
"It's an important project, I think it's prudent that the city council wants to get together as a Committee of the Whole and discuss the project and how it's going to be paid for to make sure it's a success." -says City of Rockford Administrator Jim Ryan.
Ryan does have some preliminary answers to financial questions. The potential developer, Gorman & Company, plans to contribute $50 million turning Amerock into a hotel and conference center. But, the group would like a few things from the city in return, including street improvements and changes to Chestnut and South Main, a roughly $2 million undertaking.
"We would finance that through motor fuel tax, taxes that we have within the Capital Improvement Program." -Ryan explains.
Plus, a parking deck, which is estimated to cost the city nearly $17 million, paid for by CIP funds and fees from those using the parking spaces. Ryan says this project is a catalyst to improvements the city planned on making downtown.
"This investment's not just for the hotel and conference center, it's for the entire downtown, so I don't want it to be portrayed necessarily that this is just an investment for the hotel it's really an investment for the whole southwest portion of downtown, to make it a success."
City leaders, aldermen and developers plan to all meet together Friday, then committee members could vote next week, moving it to full council.
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