Brownfields Revitalization


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.

Brownfield Accomplishments 

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.

UW Health Sports Factory Campus (Project Summary)  (Virtual Facility Tour!)

Former TAPCO Warehouse (Project Summary)

Stanley J. Rozkowski United States Courthouse (Project Summary)

Save-A-Lot Grocery Store (Project Summary)

Active 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:

Rockford Embassy Suites and Conference Center

134 North Main Street

Rock Valley College Advanced Technology Center (Barber Colman Campus)

Community Engagement

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 brownfields revitalization in the City of Rockford, please call the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7162 or email us at CD_Internet_Requests@rockfordil.gov.

2019 Grant Applications to USEPA

The City of Rockford will be applying for a Cleanup Grant for two sites near downtown Rockford. These sites are the former Rockford Watch Factory at 325 S. Madison Street and the former Lloyd’s Hearing Building at 128 Kishwaukee Street. The City has requested a Cleanup Grant of $400,000 to cover asbestos removal at both sites and soil clean up at the 128 Kishwaukee Street site. The City Council has approved a Resolution to provide the local match of 20% if the grant applications are successful.

The City will conduct a Public Meeting on January 22, 2019 at 4:30 PM in City Council Chambers to review the grant applications to USEPA and answer any questions. Comments and questions will be accepted until 5:00 PM on January 28, 2019 by Wayne Dust at 779-348-7415 or Wayne.Dust@Rockfordil.gov.

2019 Narrative Information Sheet

Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives

Cleanup Grant Application 2019

Brownfields in the News

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)

Barber Colman TIF District approval nears final hurdle (1/7/2019)

City puts Rockford Watch Co. Factory on the Market (12/20/2018)

ANNOUNCING New Request for Proposals – FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines (11/29/2018)

Deal Paves Path for Revitalized Rockford Factory Campus (10/2/2018)

Agreement Could Spark $32M RVC Project (9/24/2018)

Rockford’s Barber-Colman Makeover Inching Toward Reality (9/17/2018)

EPA Provides Rockford with $500,000 to Fund Brownfield Cleanups (7/7/2018)