What is a Brownfield? A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. A 2012 County-wide inventory identified approximately 970 brownfield properties within the City of Rockford. The City recognizes that clean-up and redevelopment of these underutilized and potentially contaminated properties is a key component in improving multiple variables that contribute to economic growth and blight reduction. The City of Rockford has been very successful in applying for and using Federal and State Brownfields Grant Funds dating back to 2000, when the City was selected as one of the original United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Pilot Programs.
For almost 20 years, the City of Rockford, its community stakeholders, and engaged constituents have worked closely together to assess and clean-up perceived and confirmed environmental hazards present at several valuable redevelopment sites in our community. A few of our project successes are featured below.
- Former TAPCO Warehouse Project Profile
- Stanley J. Rozkowski United States Courthouse Project Profile
- Save-A-Lot Grocery Store Project Profile
Active Brownfields Planning, Assessment, Cleanup, and Redevelopment Projects
Due to our extensive industrial heritage and our proactive approach at brownfields revitalization, it is common for the City of Rockford to have several concurrent brownfields projects occurring at various stages. Current active projects include:
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront & Rockford Conference Center Project Web Page
- Rockford Watch Factory Asbestos Abatement Cleanup Grant Application Project Narrative
- Lloyd’s Hearing Building Contaminated Soil Removal Cleanup Grant Application Project Narrative
- Southwest Rockford Revitalization Planning Press Release
Brownfield Redevelopment Opportunities
The City of Rockford is actively seeking interested parties to partner with on redeveloping City acquired brownfield properties. With a variety of local development incentives available and our ability to secure and leverage several State and Federal funding sources, the City of Rockford has established itself nationally as a model community in the brownfields redevelopment market. To inquire about the following City-owned brownfields properties and available economic incentives, please contact Karl Franzen, Community and Economic Development Manager, 779-348-7424 or Karl.Franzen@Rockfordil.gov.
- Former Rockford Watch Company Factory Virtual Tour
- Historic Walgreen’s/Trek Media Building Virtual Tour
- Chick House Hotel Virtual Tour
- Barber Colman Campus 1200 Rock Street
- S. Main Rail Yards Parcels 725 – 801 South Main Street
- Historic Rockford Armory 605 North Main Street
- Lloyd’s Hearing Building 128 Kishwaukee Street
- Church School 1419 Blaisdell Street
Community Engagement & Pending Applications
The City of Rockford strongly recognizes that community participation and stakeholder involvement play an essential role in successful brownfields redevelopment. There are numerous success stories across the nation that can attest. It is the ideas and needs of our community that helps us prioritize the brownfields in our community and seek out the necessary resources to transform blight into an asset that contributes to improvement in our citizens quality of life and our economic state. To inquire or provide comments on the City’s brownfields revitalization efforts, please contact Rob Wilhelmi, Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist, at 779-348-7162 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FY2021 Innovative Readiness Training Program Grant Application
The City of Rockford has requested assistance from the Innovative Readiness Training Program under the Military Assistance program in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. The program is exclusive to the United States and its territories and delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness. The requested assistance will support the City’s ongoing blight removal and redevelopment efforts by demolishing a vacant and deteriorating structure located at 128 Kishwaukee Street, known as the Lloyd’s Hearing Building. Additionally, build-out assistance of the Family Peace Center was also requested for a location to be named at a later time.
Local Brownfields in the News
City Presents Brownfields Revitalization Updates to Haight Village Neighborhood Association (9/19/2019)
EPA Announces the Selection of 2 communities to Receive $600,000 in Funding for Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants to Address Contaminated Properties in the Rockford, Ill. Area (6/5/2019)
City Presents Brownfields Program Updates to Signal Hill Neighborhood Group (4/11/2019)
City Meets with Auburn West Side Business Group to Discuss Brownfields and Other Revitalization Programs (3/21/2019)