Kishwaukee redevelopment plan to consolidate schools and revital - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Kishwaukee redevelopment plan to consolidate schools and revitalize neighborhood

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Local developers say they want to revitalize an area in southeast Rockford.

With an upcoming District 205 project in the works in that same neighborhood, they say now is the time to act.

"There's a lot of land that needs to be acquired, there are people that need to be relocated, there's demolitions that have to take place, streets that will have to be closed off," said Paul Logli, President of The United Way and a developer for the project.

Paul Logli is talking about areas around Kishwaukee and Nelson schools. RPS 205 plans to close them as part of its facilities plan - and build one new school.

Logli says he and other developers want to give neighborhoods there a face-lift by doing things like demolishing blighted homes, and eventually adding amenities like parks and a fitness center.

That's the big-picture project and it could cost upwards of $20 million.

Developers are focusing on phase one right now - tearing down more than 30 blighted homes or other buildings.

In order to do that, they say they need money from the private sector, Winnebago County, and the city of Rockford.

The plan calls for aldermen to approve contributing $600,000 to this plan.

"The impact that we can have on an entire area by putting a concentration of money in that to demolish old structures that are a blight to our city is important," said Alderman Tom McNamara (D), 3rd ward.

"We know that Brewington Oaks will be coming down in a couple of years, and when that comes down that will clear area that can then be developed with mixed-income housing," Logli said.

Some aldermen say they want to talk about that big picture plan first before voting. Others have questions about the city's portion of the funding.
City Council members discussed this item for about an hour on Monday - and will continue that conversation in committee next week.

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