ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A new downtown destination is in the works following the success of the Rockford City Market. The hope is to expand on the summer staple to create a year-round money maker.
The plan to create an indoor market featuring retail shops, market stalls, a prep kitchen and common area where visitors can eat and visit is the creation of the Rock River Development Partnership. That group helped create the Rockford City Market back in 2010. They would like to remodel a vacant building on Madison Street to house an indoor market that would be open year round 5 days a week. The building is not city owned, but the city is being asked to contribute $65,000 for a site survey on renovations. The plan is to create space for a few permanent retail anchors, as well as spots for market vendors. Rockford aldermen got an update on the project on Wednesday.
“I could definitely get behind it, but I would need some more education being a new alderman and still getting the lay of the land,” says 3rd Ward Alderman-Elect Tom McNamara. “I am really excited about the opportunity to have an indoor city market; I think it would be an asset.”
The city council considers the funding proposal for the site survey in two weeks. If that gets approved, it could take up to five months to complete. Organizers would like the indoor market to open in fall 2014.
Last summer, Rockford City Market took in $1.4 million in sales and helped spur another $1.1 million in sales at nearby businesses, according to organizers. They hope the indoor market would create an even larger impact throughout the entire year.