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Rockford City Council amends Amerock Hotel TIF to include Water Power Lofts

Urban Equities CEO plans to revitalize the Water Power District.
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford City Council hopes to bring in more restaurants and businesses to the area near the Embassy Suites Hotel. Council members originally created the Amerock TIF to include the Embassy Suites Hotel, formerly known as the Amerock building. Tuesday night council made a change to that tax increment financing agreement that will expand the city’s reach and allow for even more investment on Main Street.

“TIFs are powerful tools for redevelopment,” said Rockford Community and Economic Development Director Karl Franzen. “The redevelopment that we’ve seen downtown, we’ve been utilizing the TIF to drive these kinds of mixed use projects.”

Urban Equity Properties owns the building on South Main. CEO & Founder Justin Fern said the planned “Water Power Lofts” will have sixty four living spaces, gyms, and restaurants. However, he said this building is only the beginning.

“We really want this to be one of the greatest neighborhoods in the city, when we’re all said and done,” said Fern.

Fern said re-vamping the vacant warehouse and transforming it into a living space is the first step to revitalizing the Water Power District.

“So, we want this to be this new cool hip district with the coolest housing in the city, some of the greatest entertainment,” he said.

Franzen said the apartment building is exactly the kind of project Rockford needs.

“This really aligns with our strategy of reinvestment,” said Franzen.

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