Consultants say East State Street is the best place for Rockford to build a new convention center, but it's not the conclusion city leaders were looking for. They planned to convert the vacant downtown Ingersoll building for the purpose.
Rockford leaders hope to transform this vacant building into a downtown convention center. A new report suggests East State Street is a better location, which isn't good news for downtown.
"We say that we made a mistake when w built i-90 10 miles out of downtown. Why would we continue to improve upon a mistake by locating a major $90 million convention center out there as well," says Sarah Skorija.
The convention center study hasn't been released to the public yet, but according to city leaders, consultants say the Ingersoll sight is not accessible or visible enough, and there's a lack of support facilities in the area like hotels. Skorija admits there are some hurdles but says that shouldn't stop the project from being built downtown
"Yes it will be difficult but I think it certainly can happen," said Sarah.
A convention center would bring thousands of visitors to downtown each year and could mean big business for local stores
It would be a great boon for downtown Rockford as it is trying to rebuild and get more people to come downtown. It would be a great thing to have downtown," Kurt Lukan said.
An 11-member committee overseeing the Ingersoll building study will decide what to do about the report.