Downtown Madison Street is fast becoming a destination in this community. From our renovated brewhouse to our redeveloped Sports Factory, visitors from across the region come to Madison Street to seep in what Rockford has to offer. Soon it'll boast downtown's first hotel in 30 years when the Millennium Center Boutique Hotel opens in the near future as well as the hotly-anticipated Indoor City Market in a year or two. Now, there's even talk of adding onto the Riverview Ice House (or replacing it completely) so that Rockford can hold hockey tournaments. To anyone watching these trends, its evident that Madison Street is attracting a lot of business and needs to appear more welcoming to our thousands of sporting visitors.
Currently, the street still marks its industrial, yet-disinvested past with many unsightly, blank storage buildings, flimsily hanging power-lines, and underutilized riverfront spaces. However, it's also a really unique street. It has part of the east side railway running directly through it for many blocks, which, when actual trains aren't using it, the Rockford Park District runs its trolley car on—a memorable ride for any visitor. Now, we as citizens have the opportunity to voice what we'd like to see done to improve Madison Street.
The City of Rockford held a design and development meeting last week with the community to spitball ideas of how to improve this corridor, but would like more input on what we envision for this section of our riverfront. Below are three drawings that came out of the community meeting last week. Know that none of this is set in stone. These are just conceptual drawings that can morph as more input comes to the City. Some ideas can be combined, some thrown out, and even some new ones can come out of your input.
Conceptual Drawing #1 demolishes the current Riverview Ice House and replaces it with riverfront apartments. The ice house would move just a block north and across the street from its original location, and take advantage of open lots and underused storage buildings for its new location. Water Street would be extended, which would give the brewhouse another access point and an easier connection to downtown.
Conceptual Drawing #2 keeps the ice house at its current location, but expands it onto what is now a parking lot. Other residential and commercial infill is expected in this concept, but Water Street would be unable to connect to the brewhouse.
Conceptual Drawing #3 demolishes the current ice house and moves it south past the Sports Factory. A new park would go in its place and, like Concept Drawing #1, Water Street would be extended up to the brewhouse—adding another connection for that asset.
If you have any input you'd like to give on this project, please contact Scott Capovilla at email@example.com.