Rockford City Council approves $22 million project along Rock River

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Rockford City Council approved a $22 million project that would develop along Rockford’s riverfront Monday night.

“It’ll be a building that will bring more people downtown,” Paul Logli, the board president for the Rockford Public Library says.

The Rockford Public Library says that building would pop up next to the space where the new library is set to go on Wyman Street. Logli says that development project would bring more apartment units and retail space to downtown Rockford.

“The plan is that it will have a restaurant overlooking the river,” he says. “It will be a building that will be really complimentary to the new library.”

Library leaders say the developer is set to pour in $16 million to that space along the river. It’s also hoping to capture another $6 million from a TIF district. But, it’s going to have to come back to council at a later date to get those TIF dollars.

Aldermen widely approved the idea monday, except for one. Ald. Venita Hervey, D-5th Ward, thought there were better uses for this space.

“We want to have street festivals, we want people to just enjoy walking around downtown and seeing just the back of buildings just doesn’t add much,” Hervey says.

Hervey also says she doesn’t think she has all the information in front of her to approve the project.

“This is so preliminary that I don’t know what this is going to look like other than that there’s going to be a request for TIF funds,”

The full city council voted to approve that project 10-1. Library leaders say construction will likely happen at the same time as the new library.

Andi TenBarge

Andi TenBarge

Reporter

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