Home Architecture/planning Rockford approves Barber Colman agreement

Rockford approves Barber Colman agreement


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Rockford city council has approved a redevelopment agreement with developer J. Jeffers for the Barber Colman campus, reversing a vote to demand a project labor agreement that would be “acceptable to the Northwestern Illinois Building Trades Development.” The motion failed in a tie vote on July 14.

“I’d like to thank staff for their hard work in putting this development agreement together, and council for ultimately supporting this historic project,” said Mayor Tom McNamara, after casting the tie-breaking vote that allowed the development to go ahead. “I have been invigorated in the last week seeing all of our residents and organizations come together to show their support for this project and this City.”

The $430 million plan, which is expected to be completed over 10 years, includes 500,000 square feet of historical rehabilitation, 1.5 million square feet of new construction, 900 multi-family units and 130,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as public green space and an activated riverfront.

“The approval of the agreement officially begins the redevelopment and catalytic transformation of this master plan, mutli-year, multi-phase development that will encompass the historic rehabilitation of the nine existing (blighted) factory buildings along with additional new construction which will create a new mixed-use residential, commercial, retail, and public greenspace neighborhood for the community and its residents to enjoy,” J. Jeffers & Co. said in a statement after the council vote.

Phase 1A of construction will begin this summer and is expected to be completed in late 2024. The $100 million phase includes the renovation of three existing buildings into 215 apartments, a roof deck, co-working space and the creation of a parking garage with 336 spaces.

Phase 1B, which is scheduled to begin in January 2025 and cost $70 million, includes rehabilitation of all of the remaining historic buildings. When complete, it will house an additional 119 apartments, as well as space for a restaurant, events and other retail.

Phase 2 consists of new construction on the remainder of the property and will be completed in multiple phases. The timing of these phases is dependent on market factors.  It will include new construction and parking, as well as 43 three-flats and 74 townhomes.


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