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Would a 2-Acre Gas Station in Downtown Rockford Make Sense?

Here is some “proposed” downtown development that has people freaking out.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Think about this for a moment.  A huge 2-acre, 28 pump Mobil gas station in downtown Rockford. The location is at Jefferson, North 3rd and 2nd Streets.

I was reading an opinion piece in the RRSTAR by Gary W. Anderson who opposes the “mega-gas station”.

Basically, Mr. Anderson disagrees with this giant gas station in downtown Rockford because it doesn’t fit into the “character” and the proper growth structure of downtown Rockford. So essentially the friendly “neighborhood” vibe of downtown Rockford doesn’t need a giant corporate structure.

While this is a well-written piece, let’s jump on the other side of this. Rockford wants to create more traffic, more visitors, more money spent in the downtown area, correct? Fueling up is must when traveling, and providing a large, clean, inviting structure to fuel up and get what you need will bring people.

Maybe this is the future of downtown Rockford. Maybe the future of our beloved downtown is chain stores, the big box locations, and name brand outlets to bring those dollars into the city.

Last winter I was in downtown La Grange, Illinois and was amazed by the options. There were plenty of “mom and pop” local stores and restaurants. But, there was also a Best Buy and a few chain-restaurants sprinkled in. It was a beautiful downtown that kept the local vibe, just with something for everyone.

So what is your thought on this? Is it o.k. with you for downtown Rockford to have a 2-acre large, 28 pump Mobil gas station?


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