It's been a blemish in downtown Rockford for years, but the Amerock building may soon get a major makeover.
Mathis Development wants to transform the 13-story building into a mix of upscale residential and commercial developments. The project could begin in 30 days if it gets City Council approval at Tuesday night’s meeting.
It's an old, vacant factory now, but if Bill Mathis gets his way, he says the Amerock building will be transformed into something spectacular.
"It will be the gem of the downtown Rockford area," says the president of Mathis development.
Mathis' vision: more than 70 luxury loft condominiums, a 24-hour fitness center, a grocery store, a spa, even a coffee shop. The price tag on the lofts will range from $135,000 to $750,000.
As for interested buyers, all units on the 10th floor already have sales pending. Mathis says the market for upscale downtown living is phenomenal.
"We feel the downtown Rockford area has the potential to be on par with places such as Chicago," says Mathis.
Now, Mathis says the project needs the backing of the city. Financial support would be a plus, but support for infrastructure projects is a must, specifically widening South Main.
"Those will be part of the discussions, but we want the development company to know that downtown is supportive of their project," says Alderman Doug Mark.
Mark says Amerock's redevelopment could be the catalyst for even more residential, retail and commercial projects. He says after this the sky could very well be the limit.
The council is expected to approve the project at Tuesday’s meeting.
Mathis will close on the sale of the property in the next 10 days. Renovations could start 30 days after that closing. If all goes well, Mathis expects residents to occupy the building in about a year.