ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The area around 11th street and Harrison in Rockford is in for a facelift as a private developer gets the OK from the city of Rockford to flatten the vacant Pump Handle Inn.
Aldermen agreed Monday to most of the fines on the property, totaling more than $400,000, if the new owner tears down the old hotel. Strenstrom and Clark Developers have agreed to demolish what's left to make way for future development. The old hotel was condemned in 2009 for code violations. Neighbors hope taking it down will kick start growth in the area.
“A park would be wonderful; it'd be great for the kids. You know a nice little mall or something. Anything would be better then what's there now," says neighbor Pam Danielson
"A gas station on that corner would be perfect, and a fast food joint. I just hope they would bring the business up. It would help the economy, it would help people around here,” adds neighbor Michael Powless.
The property is in foreclosure, once it's bought from the bank, there have been suggestions to put in a Walgreen’s or a CVS. Also as part of the agreement, the new owners will give a portion of the property to the city so they can expand and add lanes at the intersection at 11th and Harrison.