Rockford's plan to become a destination city - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford's plan to become a destination city


A destination city, that's what leaders want Rockford to become. They've formed a group dedicated to making that happen by identifying what's lacking.

"I think we need more stores down here."

"Boutiques, shopping boutiques."

"Good, safe environment."

"I think we need more art events for the youth ."

People know what they want to see in the downtown. Already there is a lot happening in the city. The Ingersoll building is becoming an indoor sports center, the old Amerock is turning into a hotel and an Amtrak station is going in nearby. With all that activity, the city wants to make sure it's planning for what's next. That's where the downtown implementation plan comes in.

"Are we continuing to make the right decision as to where we are putting our investment? What additional investment needs to take place to maximize the return on that investment?" asks Todd Cagnoni, Community and Economic Development director.

Those are some of the questions the Chicago-based consultants hired by Rockford are expected to address Monday at the city's planning and development committee meeting. Farr and Associates has been working with community stakeholders to see what would make the most sense around those buildings. But the plan does not just stop with buildings they also want to create more events like City Market and Stroll on State that will draw people into the downtown.

"There's a lot of reasons and things that make places special, make people come to downtown," says Cagnoni.

That's where "you" come in. Cagnoni says after the consultants present what it's found public forums will start and they want you to weigh in on what you think is missing from Rockford's downtown.

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