Existing Building Task Force gets green light from Rockford city council

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A task force dedicated to developing Rockford gets the green light from city council tonight.

The Existing Building Task Force is a branch off of the Doing Business in Rockford Committee - a committee created to taking a look at the way the city works with business members.

This task force will focus more specifically on existing business - mainly historic or vacant buildings - and attracting developers to those sites.

Supporters say there are a lot of federal and state-wide codes and regulations that already make it difficult and too expensive for developers. While city leaders say they can't change those policies, they want to make the process simpler on a city level.

"We're gonna take a look at what we do have the authority to change, and make sure that the public is protected, of course, at all times, but we wanna spur development and see what's causing development to be haulted at this time. That's a perception that a lot of buildings are not being developed, but that's one of the concerns we get from a lot of developers," said alderman Joseph Chiarelli.

The task force will be made up of about six to eight people who have knowledge about owning a business. Chiarelli made a point to add that there will be small-business owners on this task force.

Some examples of sites that might benefit from this task force are the two recently empty Schnucks locations, as well as the old Chick hotel in downtown Rockford and the old watch factory.