City gets riverfront blueprint
Council hears architect's $67 million, 10-year proposal
STERLING – It would take $67 million and a decade of work, but the Lawrence Brothers and National sites along the Rock River could be transformed into hotel, apartment and retail space, including a museum, a farmer's market and a microbrewery, an architect told council members Monday.
Getting historic designation for the site would bring tax credits that could help pay for the rehab, Gary Anderson of Gary W. Anderson Architects of Rockford said.
Buildings along the city's riverfront are "exceptional" and possess unique qualities many other cities don't have, said Anderson, who was hired to determine the fate of the buildings and the potential for new development on the more than 30 acres of land once occupied by Northwestern Steel & Wire, Lawrence Brothers and National Manufacturing.
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