SCORE allocated $8.0MM of federal NMTC allocation to the Rockford Indoor Market for construction of a 24,000 square foot, multi-tenant indoor market that houses permanent food-related businesses, winter and specialty markets, and includes a shared-use incubator kitchen. The Project is operated by Rock River Development Partners (RRDP), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and located in downtown Rockford adjacent to the Rockford Outdoor Public Market, also operated by RRDP. Together, the markets establish a year-round anchor for access to fresh food while also creating jobs in a low-income, low-food access neighborhood, increasing commercial and economic activity within the severely distressed census tract, and providing exposure opportunities for seasonal vendors. Additionally, a critical feature of the Project is expanding small business incubation through the development of a shared commercial culinary kitchen. The new Indoor Market provides a USDA-Designated Food Desert access to locally grown, healthy and affordable fresh food and initially created 25 new direct jobs and an additional 10 jobs upon stabilization.
The Project is aligned with the community’s broader community development goals as outlined in The City of Rockford 2020 Comprehensive Plan which provides a vision for the future of Rockford which guides the physical development of the City. The Plan aims to increase the number of employment opportunities for residents, boost infill development and redevelopment, and support traditional and non-traditional approaches to producing, distributing and retailing food products. The Project directly addressed these initiatives through the redevelopment of a vacant, historic building in downtown Rockford and increasing access to both quality employment and fresh food options for the residents of the City.