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By Kevin  Haas, Rockford Register Star, Mar. 17, 2014

ROCKFORD — Aldermen want to know what infrastructure improvements  and other capital projects they may have to sacrifice to help redevelop the  city’s first skyscraper into a hotel  and convention center.

Wisconsin-based Gorman & Co., an architectural firm that specializes in  reusing historic buildings, wants to undertake a $52.7 million  transformation of the 13-story former industrial manufacturing facility at 416  S. Main St. The century-old Ziock building, also known as the Amerock building,  would become a 150-room hotel complex and about 20,000 square-foot conference  center if the city agrees to share responsibility for redeveloping the area  around the building.

A proposed development agreement was delayed Monday by aldermen in  the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee. They asked city staff for  more details on how financing the redevelopment plan will affect future capital  improvements.

Part of the agreement requires the city to construct a 500-space  parking deck and a surface parking lot by October 2016. It must also address  several traffic-flow issues, including converting South Main Street into a  two-way between Cedar and State streets. There are also improvements required to  enhance Davis Park and make the Chestnut Street bridge more pedestrian friendly  for visitors who walk from the hotel to the proposed downtown sports  complex.

“I can vote for it in 2014, but when it’s time to pay up in 2016 I  want to know where the money’s coming from,” Ald. Ann Thompson-Kelly said. “Right now, it looks like the aldermen better be very much aware that they’re  going to have to give up some streets.”

The city’s capital improvement plan has monies set aside for  downtown parking and traffic improvements. It would also look to obtain new  market tax credits and use parking fees to help pay for the upgrades. The  proposal will go back before the City Council committee next week.