Downtown Rockford

Why Downtown is Important to the Community!

Symbolic Value of Downtown

  • Community economic health
  • Local quality of life
  • Local pride
  • Partnership between private and public sectors
  • Physical, historical and cultural heritage
  • Community identity

Downtown is an important community symbol– the traditional center of government, finance, commercial activity and civic life. But the value of downtown to the entire community is more than just symbolic. Everyone– not just downtown business and property owners, but every segment of the community — has a real stake in the economic health of the downtown.

River District Map

What’s in it for Me?

Downtown Property Owners Enjoy

  • Increased occupancy rates
  • Stable or higher rents
  • Opportunity to turn undeveloped space into income-producing property
  • Greater return on initial property investment
  • Less risk of vandalism and fire
  • Improved municipal services
  • Improved marketability of property
  • Access to grants, loan programs and tax credits

Downtown Professionals Reap Rewards From

  • Location with improved, higher quality image
  • Location near government buildings and other institutions
  • Increased exposure to potential new clients
  • Opportunities for shared promotion

Downtown Service Businesses Experience

  • “Ready-made” customer base

Businesses Outside the Downtown Enjoy

  • Increased visitor traffic to the community
  • Increased business through an overall healthier economy
  • More dollars circulating longer from locally owned businesses
  • Improved municipal services throughout the community
  • Opportunity for cross promotion
  • Jobs created and additional business from local rehabilitation projects

County Government Experiences

  • Increased property tax base
  • Protection of property values

Ripple Effect To Other Communities

  • Healthier overall economy
  • Enhanced community and country pride
  • Improved job market and business opportunities

Civic Organizations Enjoy

  • Appropriate venue for civic projects

Financial Institutions Benefit

  • Expanded business customer base
  • More business from overall healthier economy
  • Potential customers from new residents attracted to community
  • Protection of property values
  • Improved public image and goodwill

Utilities Receive

  • Expanded customer base
  • Longer service hours and increased utility usage
  • Community stabilization and growth
  • Protection of prior infrastructure investment
  • More public improvements

Economic Development Officials Can Promote

  • Business/industry location decisions

Preservationists Enjoy

  • Increased awareness and credibility for commercial district preservation
  • Link between preservation and economic development
  • Increased educational and partnership opportunities

Industries Experience

  • Improved environment for employees
  • Easier recruitment of key personnel
  • Increased local availability of materials and services

Schools Benefit

  • More opportunities for youth involvement in civic projects
  • Potential for “downtown as a classroom” project
  • Preservation of downtown neighborhoods

Churches Receive

  • New Membership potential
  • Improved overall quality of life in the community
  • Opportunities for partnership
  • Protection of property values

Media Enjoy

  • More opportunities for coverage of positive local news
  • Opportunities for public service

Youth Experience

  • Local employment and business opportunities
  • More happening in the community, more places to go and things to do
  • Sense of “having roots” and “belonging” to a place

Senior Citizens Enjoy

  • Convenient location for goods and services
  • Safer, more secure environment
  • Preservation of community history and personal memories

Downtown Retail Merchants Enjoy

  • Expanded customer base
  • More sales
  • Upgraded retail environment
  • More opportunities for business growth and expansion
  • More opportunities for locally owned, independent businesses
  • Less financial risk
  • Incubator for new businesses
  • Shared responsibility for retail success

Residents of the Community

  • Protection of property values
  • Overall economy
  • Local accessibility to goods and services
  • Reduced loss of youth and “brain drain”
  • More employment opportunities
  • Increased opportunity for social interaction
  • Preservation of civic gathering space for public functions
  • More opportunities for volunteerism