ROCKFORD (WREX) — After years of waiting, the city of Rockford is trying to move forward with getting an old downtown building renovated.
Its taken the better part of a decade, but tonight, the City Council voted on a developer to take on the project and transform the former Trekk building.
“This building has been vacant for years,” 3rd ward Alderman Chad Tuneberg said.
Now in just weeks, that could change.
“Myself, members of the administration and the developer all agreed that a pretty stringent timeline be put together to make sure this project, number 1, is completed, and number 2, completed in a reasonable amount of time,” Tuneberg said.
City Council is giving developer Joseph and James LLC. 30 days to agree to take over the building. Then construction would start 45 days later, work that plans to bring a new campus for SupplyCore, office space, and potentially a hotel and restaurant.
“SupplyCore’s intention is to build a campus-like atmosphere,” Tuneberg explained. “This’ll be, I think, their third building downtown.”
Alderman Tuneberg says that means more activity, and more foot-traffic downtown.
“SupplyCore has said that they’re only one contract away from hiring many more people, at times, so this will create more opportunities for them to provide that space to their employees,” Tuneberg said.
But before any of this can happen there’s one problem that needs to be addressed.
“The asbestos removal that we have is going to cost approximately $69,000.00,” economic development coordinator Karl Franzen said.
Money a grant from the U.S. EPA is covering, but the developer can’t take over the building until that asbestos is gone. But after all these years of waiting, leaders say this timeline will stay on track.