The owners of Amerock are hoping a new manufacturer will pick up where they left off.
More than half of Amerock's facility on Auburn Street is up for lease. The space has been vacant since 450 employees were laid off in 2004 and 2005.
"A lot of people think Amerock is abandoning the whole building, which no, they're keeping a portion for warehouse and distribution, and keeping a portion for offices," said Bob Mandala, a Whitehead commercial realtor.
The lease sign on Amerock's yard means Rockford has lost another part of its manufacturing base. But leasing out space in Amerock will provide new opportunities.
"Everybody looks at it as a negative but we're turning it around. We're doing these multi-tenant facilities. We're flexing, we're changing, we're adapting to the future," said Mandala.
There's about 500,000 square feet of available space in Amerock.
"It could house some warehousing in the tool room there's high ceilings there. There's plenty of docks. I could see light manufacturing, assembly, or offices. There's really a lot of things that could go on at Amerock," said Mandala.
The challenge now is to find growing businesses that want to fill another vacant building in Rockford.