There are fears that plans for a major downtown Rockford hotel will fall through. In an email to the City of Rockford, developers say they're committed to this project and are working to make it happen, but there are possible roadblocks.
Last week, Rockford aldermen got the good and the potentially not-so-good news about the downtown Amerock building from developer Gorman & Company, Inc. Gorman wants to turn it into an Embassy Suites. To do that, developers are banking on getting funding from a program called EB-5. In an email to city staff, Gorman Director of Operations Laura Narduzzi says that program was extended another year, so fund raising efforts will continue. But, one alderman says there are important details missing from this update.
"Especially a timeline, projections, dates, what are the projections on the EB-5, how many investors are out there? Rather than just 'Things are going well,'" says 5th Ward Alderman Venita Hervey.
Also in the update, Gorman acknowledges a potential hangup ahead. Some state tax credits it factored into its financing are about to expire. Keeping those credits going seems like a low priority in Springfield, with large issues like the budget impasse on legislators' plate. With all of this in mind, Ald. Hervey says she's nervous about further supporting this project financially. The city has turned S. Main Street into a two-way near of the Amerock building and could create more parking downtown for the hotel.
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