Discussion Over Proposed Shopping Center Continues

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- If there's ever been a rare occurrence in downtown Rockford, it's been the construction of a building that isn't backed by government funding. The last was built six years ago and that drought may be over soon.

A proposed shopping center at the corner of Jefferson and Third Street in downtown Rockford took one more step towards approval tonight. The building would house up to four tenants with one of them being a Dollar Tree.

Some residents who live near the property voiced their concern over the layout and landscaping of the center which would show a loading dock and dumpsters in plain view of homes across the street. Aldermen say they're willing to try and resolve those issues before the building approved.

"There were some, from what I understand, that were totally opposed to the project, there were others that weren't opposed to the project but had concerns about one issue or another that wanted to have those addressed. So I thought it was a constructive, very healthy debate”, says Alderman Frank Beach.

There has been worry over the types of shops the center may attract including tobacco outlets, pawn shops and cash stores. Aldermen talked about the possibility of working on ensuring those businesses aren't added to the building once completed. The shopping center will be discussed again at next week's meeting.

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