ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- There is certainly no decline for attendance at Rockford’s City Market; an estimated 7,400 people turned out for the first Friday night of the weekly summertime event. Rockford leaders are turning their attention to the indoor version.
Aldermen are putting together a proposal to send to the state that would ask for $218,000 in River Edge Redevelopment Zone grant funding to buy a building on Madison Street to be the site of the indoor market. In 2013 aldermen spent $66,000 on a survey of the site to see what it needs in renovations. The building would have a few permanent retail shops plus temporary flexible spots for market vendors. It sits right behind the current city market space but this one would be open year round 5 days a week. This permanent addition to the neighborhood is welcomed by some business owners downtown.
“From what I’ve seen, it brings a lot more people that don’t come downtown into downtown, and with Rockford trying to reform itself the way it is, I think that’s a great thing,” says Pete Petropoulos, manager at the District. “They’ll be exposed to downtown a lot more than just in the summer:"
The council will also try and get the state to approve another RERZ grant for $200,000 to demolish the parking deck on Water Street that is currently; the home of City Market. The parking deck would be turned into a flat parking lot, but not until after this season ends.