Family Concerned a Lowe's Distribution Center Would Force Them Out

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Forty-five-year-old James Maples calls it the perfect home, surrounded by farmland, quiet and peaceful roads, and in just months, the potential home for a 240-acre Lowe's distribution center, just feet from his backyard.

"We've had a good life here. That's what saddens me to think that I'd have to leave all my memories, the kids, like when I laid cement on the driveway, kids throwing the football," Maples said.

The city of Rockford contacted Maples family to attend Monday's Board of zoning Appeals meeting. A plan was outlined for the proposed center's layout and the parking lot and large lights would be just 50 feet from Maples' driveway. Seeing a project so large, so close to his home, alarmed him.

"They'll build this city right around me and that kind of freaks me out," Maples said.

Maples admits the Lowe's opportunity is bittersweet; great for city of Rockford through the creation of hundreds of jobs, but terrible for his family accustomed to a quieter way of life.

"This is progress. It's going to bring a lot of jobs to Rockford, which I think is good. I'm excited about that,”

“But it comes at the expense of you."

“Yeah, in a way it does, " Maples said.

Should the land in Southwest Rockford turn from farmland to a new Lowe's Distribution Center, Maples says he just wants a fair deal, not in dollars, but in location.

"I don't care if they don't give me a dime. If they say "Jim look at this place out here that we found," cause they say they have a realty part for Lowe's they said some guy would be contacting me for that," Maples said.

Contact for one family, caught between their home, and a huge Stateline employment boost.


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