Downtown developer hopes to transform a rockford building -- into a hotel ((mimi)) a city council committee agrees to help with the financing... but eyewitness news reporter emily waldron explains... this isn't the first hotel proposal in the works by joseph james emily... that's raising a few questions.
((emily)) yeah, eric and christie, most of the planning and development committee members were in support of this new hotel project... but a couple did raise concerns about the developer -- which they say has unfinished business in rockford.
((emily)) rockford developer joseph james partners gaining ground monday night... toward its goal to transform the millenium center on madison street from this...to this... a 45-50 room hotel.
It's a 4.8 million project.
The city's planning and development committee agreeing to reimburse up to 768-thousand dollars of that over the course of the next 16 years.
Tim durkee/planning & development committee chairman "the overall scope of the project is an excellent project.
It's a little bit unique in rockford.
And it's tailored to the families that would use the sport factory."
While most committee members voiced their support for the project -- there were concerns as well.
Alderman jeanne oddo pointing out that the same developer is also heading the trekk hotel project in downtown... which still hasn't been completed after more than a year of talks.
Oddo says it's for that reason she remains skeptical of their new project.
Jeanne oddo/8th ward "and i hear of all the challenges, then why do we have developers taking on these buildings that are challenging if they can't accomplish getting it done?"
Vice president of joseph james mark robinson says the trekk hotel hit some road blocks when it comes to funding.
Mark robinson/vp of joseph james "one of the hurdles for us in terms of funding was the city granted us some hud section 108 funding.
In order to meet the criteria for that, there's a number of items on the checklist."
Robinson says those challenges don't exist for the millenium center hotel project.
He says his end- goal is to help make rockford more of a destination city.
Mark robinson/vp of joseph james "that's what we're hoping for.
It's not a stretch to think that rockford could be that."
((emily)) the hotel would complete by late spring or early summer of 20-17.
Full city council will vote on the project next week.