ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Rockford City Market has brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to downtown throughout the past 8 years. Its success has now led to the expansion of a year-round indoor city market.
“This offers another venue for guests and shines really positively on the city of Rockford,” said Board Chairman for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau David Anderson.
After years of success with the Rockford City Market, The Rock River Development Partnership kicked off the start of construction of the new year-round indoor city market location.
“The indoor is that same kind of experience where you don't really need to think too hard about a plan, but there's just a place where you could go,” said Board Chairman of the Rock River Development Partnership Peter Provenzano.
The Madison Street location backs up to where the outdoor market takes place. It will house at least five permanent vendors while several others will be able to set up shop temporarily throughout the year.
"When the indoor market came up I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be a part of it, that I could maybe open up another concept that I wanted to try out,” said new owner of Curry Bowls! Aakash Patel.
Patel was a previous vendor for the outdoor market. He's now expanding by becoming a permanent vendor with his new business Curry Bowls!
“I think it's a great spot, great design and location for it as well, and I think it'll do really well. The outdoor market's definitely been a blessing in disguise for us and we really hope to continue with Curry Bowls!" said Patel.
City leaders hope the year round market will keep bringing more visitors to Rockford’s downtown.
“My hope for the indoor city market is that Rockford really embraces it and supports these entrepreneurs that are pouring their hearts and souls into creating something amazing,” said Anderson.
“I'm a big believer in Rockford's future, it's up from here,” said Provenzano.
The $8 million project is expected to be up and running around the time the outdoor market wraps up later this year.