By Phillip Reed, MyState.com, May 19, 2015
Rockford-The vacant dilapidated Amerock building sits with broken windows in downtown Rockford waiting on aldermen and developer Gary Gorman to reach an agreement on a purchase of the property to turn it into a hotel.
Gorman says “(The Amerock) project is going to happen. We have to explore the risk, we have to explore the ‘what if’ scenarios.”
That’s why Gorman asked for some amendments to the proposed deal with Rockford. The developer wants more then 500,000 dollars waived in fees for permits and utilities, in exchange for hiring local contractors. Aldermen voted yes on that proposal during Monday night’s city council.
Gorman says “We will do that. That’s part of the trade off, for the waiver of the fees. But the bigger point in the waiver of the fees is we want to put money in the quality of the hotel.”
Gorman also wanted an option to sell the Amerock back to Rockford for 250,000 dollars. Aldermen were not in favor of that, saying that would be unfair to taxpayers. They changed the amendment to make any sale back to the city cost one dollar. Gorman did not have any objections to the decision.
He says “Worse case scenario for the city of Rockford, they keep my 250,000 dollars, they will have the building back that they own now, and it will at least be partially remediated because we’re going to start work on it with the month of June.”
Gorman says he’s confident in the city of Rockford and the Amerock project. He adds, “On 31 years (my company has) never started a project and not completed it, so that’s just not gonna happen.”