It has taken more than two decades for a deal to be finalized, but it appears that the rundown site of a former Illinois textile company is finally going to be revitalized.

26-Acres Near Riverfront Will Be Redeveloped Over the Next 10 Years

According to a press release from the City of Rockford, an agreement for a $430 million redevelopment of the former Barber-Colman Company campus has been approved.

In the agreement, J. Jeffers & Co, LLC will renovate the 26-acre complex that's been sitting vacant for 22 years off Rock Street and Loomis Street on the city's southwest side.

Phase 1 of the Redevelopment Project Begins This Summer

The $100 million first phase of construction at the Barber-Colman site will renovate the 3 existing buildings on the property into:

  • 215 apartments
  • a roof deck
  • co-working space
  • creation of a parking garage with 336 spaces

Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by "late 2024," according to the press release.

Restaurants and Retail are Part of Phase 1B

Expected to begin in January 2025 and cost $70 million, when this phase is complete there will be another 119 apartments, along with "space for a restaurant, events and other retail."

No expected start date for Phase 2 was given and completion of phases will be "dependent on market factors," according to the press release.

Phase 2 completion will bring 43 flats and 74 townhouses plus "new construction and parking."

We have many lofty goals for this enormous project. We want to remove blight, support our neighborhoods, engage our women- and minority-owned workforces and increase market-rate housing unit. I’m proud to say that this project accomplishes all of those goals. -Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara

Certain obligations for this project will fall on the City of Rockford, according to the press release. "The maximum out-of-pocket cost for the City would be $6.5 million.

If the site is not redeveloped, cleanup of the site would cost the City of Rockford between $16 and $19 million, according to the press release.

The redevelopment agreement now goes to the full City Council for approval.

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