It's a day that's been seven years in the making, but now it's finally happening, construction of the Rockford's new downtown hotel and conference center.
"It has been quite and experience and you know we're just launching the construction process here," Gorman and Company president Gary Gorman said.
Almost one year ago exactly, Rockford city council narrowly approved the Amerock project with many debating over the price tag of the city's investment, which is $12.5 million.
"To get through the council meeting a year ago was certainly a huge, huge hurdle," former Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey said. "If we hadn't gotten through that we certainly wouldn't be here today."
So, when can you expect to see it open? Developers say in just a few years. "I'm really excited about spring 2020 when we have our grand opening," Gorman said.
The new Amerock will house a 160-room hotel along with a 40,000 square foot conference center.
"It's one of those pieces that's been missing in our downtown for several years now so this is an exciting day," Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said.
And for visitors, that includes two new restaurants and a rooftop lounge with a view of Davis Park and the Rock River.
"Eighty-seven million dollars invested in the heart of Rockford, Illinois, is a huge boost for this city," Gorman said.
Gorman and Company estimates Amerock's construction and opening will also bring in close to 700 new jobs. But beyond the numbers, leaders say it also brings a renewed sense of pride to the Rockford area.
"It's not just good for downtown, it's good for the entire city," McNamara said.
"Getting to in many respects, the start of what we believe is going to be a new future for our community," Morrissey said.
And with construction now underway, Rockford is one step closer to that new future.
13 WREX will continue to follow the Amerock construction and bring you any updates on its timeline moving forward.