K & K Associates plans to redevelop this former industrial building at Madison and Prairie streets in downtown Rockford. The ultimate use isn’t finalized, but the goal is for family friendly activities. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — City Council members on Monday approved a deal that paves the way for new use at the former Coca-Cola bottling plant in downtown.

Aldermen voted 13-0 to approve an agreement with K & K Associates, the family-run development group that owns the site. The group plans to invest $5 million to renovate the 54,000-square-foot building and construct a 100-space parking pavilion south of Madison and Prairie streets that will be covered with solar panels.

The final use of the building, 505 N. Madison St., hasn’t been determined, but developers say the goal is to create a space for family-friendly activities.

“This is really going to be a big thing for the Madison Street corridor,” said Alderman Chad Tuneberg, who represents the 3rd Ward where the development is located.

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He said the Koch family, which is behind the development, wants to improve the city and is “putting their money where their mouth is.”

“This is really going to be a great thing for that Prairie Street neighborhood,” he said.

Under the terms of a proposed redevelopment agreement, the city would provide a 100% reimbursement of property taxes generated by improvements to the building on a pay-as-you-go basis. That money would come from a tax increment finance district, which works by capturing increased property tax revenue that results from property improvements into a special fund that can be used for redevelopment and infrastructure.

The city estimates a total of $600,000 will be generated from the TIF for reimbursement over the life of the deal.

The city would also provided $250,000 for parking lot improvements, which is part of a previous commitment the city made for infrastructure improvements along Madison Street.

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at khaas@rockrivercurrent.com or follow him on X at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas and Threads @thekevinhaas

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