Neighbors Have Mixed Feelings Over Future Of Hell's Angels Clubhouse

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's been more than a year since the City of Rockford condemned the Hell's Angels clubhouse and now the members who faced criminal charges are off the hook. People along South Main near the clubhouse say they have mixed feelings about the possibility of the motorcyclists returning to their old stomping grounds.

Rosalba Diaz has been selling dresses in her store San Juditas Little Mall on South Main Street in Rockford for nearly 20 years. In the last year, Diaz says she's lost her sense of security.

"We had a break-in in the back, people coming in and look around and they even took a stove behind the building," she said.

Diaz says she started noticing more problems after the Hell’s Angels clubhouse was condemned.

"Nobody wants to mess around with them so yeah you do feel safer," Diaz explained.

A few doors down at the American Legion, Commander Sonny Sowell says he hasn't noticed much of a difference since the Hell's Angels left.

"We used to see them out there with their bikes and stuff but as far as having a problem, we never had a problem with them," Sowell said.

For others in the area the problem isn't with the group, it's with their building.

"What we do need is parking. With the revitalization of south main and the improvements that are happening there's going to be a lot more people coming down," SWIFT Vice President Rudy Valdez, said.

Valdez says just seeing the name “Hell’s Angels” scares potential customers away at a time the business district here is being built up.

"I see a lot of improvements to the roads. I see a lot of businesses trying to come down here, people talking about coming in this area," Dawaun Neal, owner of Classic Cuts, said.

At this point the Hell's Angels clubhouse is still condemned and there's a for sale sign in the yard.


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