Council Meets on Amerock Plans

By: Shannon Smith
By: Shannon Smith

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – There are new developments surrounding two local vacant building, including one that could become a more than $50 million hotel and convention center after sitting empty for decades.

Before the Amerock Building can see new life, some local lawmakers need to decide how they’ll pay for the city’s part of the deal.

City leaders met this morning saying a possible solution could take money away from other projects.

“It’s all about how you’re going to pay for it.”

Renovating the old Amerock building into a new multi-million dollar hotel and convention center is gaining momentum.

“I think it’s a really exciting project that’ll be catalytic to downtown.”

Part of the project would include new parking lots which would be built along Cedar Street, however that’s something city would have to pay for.”

City leaders are considering using money from the Capital improvement plan. Those funds would help build more parking spaces near the hotel, but 3rd ward alderman Tom McNamara says that means cutting millions of dollars from other projects, possibly the Whitman Street Interchange.

“We have so many needs in this city, I think we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t believe we have to give up something to make something like this happen.”

“I at first was completely under the assumption that Amerock, the friends of Ziock, they were going to build the parking and the city would lease from them,” said Ald. Teena Newburg, (I) 9th Ward.
Newburg says other agencies should help pay claiming they would also use the new parking lots.

“I want to see them put up, I don’t think the city should tie up all of our money.”

In addition to the capital improvement plan, the city would also use about $2 million in motor fuel tax to add parking along this street. This money would also be sued to turn Main into a two way street at Cedar.

Gorman and Company’s CEO says tax credits and investments will pay for the overall project. This proposal will go before the planning and development committee Monday.
If it’s approved, it will head to the full city council for a vote.


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