Downtown Rockford Hotel Approved, Another New Business Announced
Last night a "yes" vote changed Rockford for years to come. Shortly after, another new business was announced for the downtown area.
A narrow victory is still a win and Rockford is getting downtown hotel. The 160 room hotel and conference center construction will officially begin this summer, according to WREX, and could be a much needed face-lift for the Davis Park area. But there's a price tag attached.
The biggest concern about this new venture is not parking, it's cost. The city of Rockford will pay a whopping $12.5 million dollars for the conference center, down from the $13mil and change from the initial proposal. There is a glimmer of hope though because food solves all problems and more of it is coming along with the hotel.
WREX says almost immediately after city officials approved the multi-million dollar construction project a group of business owners announced they will be bringing more new life to downtown Rockford. How about food, fresh and restaurant style?
Ok, so we already heard about the new coffee house and bistro, called Capital House, taking over Kryptonite's old location. Well the same owners have announced an urban fresh market AND a steakhouse. Chef Carl Murphy told WREX it would be a challenge and described the new steakhouse.
Murphy said while opening two restaurants and a grocery store in downtown is a big commitment, they see promise in the future downtown.
"So it's going to be a lot of flare of Italian, Mediterranean, eclectic food all put together, almost like a big melting pot." (WREX)
There's a big price tag and equally big risk involved in the soon-to-be Embassy Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Rockford but if there we ever a chance to that area to evolve over the next decade - this is the time. What's done is done and the best bet is to support the updates and continue hoping for the best possibilities for the Forest City.