AURORA – October 8, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state is providing an $8 million River Edge Redevelopment grant to the City of Aurora to enable the city to continue moving forward with the long-planned revitalization of Aurora’s riverfront. The project to create RiverEdge Park along the Fox River is funded through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and will create an estimated 150 construction jobs, 34 full-time jobs at the park and between 450 to 600 private-sector and non-retail jobs.
“We are giving Aurora a tremendous opportunity to put more people back to work in the heart of the city and continue our state’s economic recovery,” said Governor Quinn. “The River Edge program allows us to clean up waterfront areas that have suffered from years of neglect, create jobs, and set the stage for more economic revitalization and a better quality of life.”
The City of Aurora is receiving $8 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), for the development of RiverEdge Park. The funding will be used for design/engineering, grading, storm water retention, utility work, landscaping and the construction of public facilities. Additionally, this funding will cover the costs associated with restoring shoreline on Blue Island and other city shoreline in the zone associated with the park.
“This investment in Aurora’s riverfront will not only transform our city’s greatest asset and create more than 150 new construction jobs; it will also spur private investment, mixed-use development, hundreds of permanent jobs and a stronger economy for Aurora. Governor Quinn has once again demonstrated his unwavering commitment to reclaiming our polluted riverfronts, breathing new life into former industrial areas, and creating jobs and opportunities in Illinois,” Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said.
RiverEdge Park is the centerpiece of a 10-year master plan for the City of Aurora. Located adjacent to public transportation, the park will attract private developers to purchase, rehabilitate and construct mixed-use developments, clean up polluted lands and create valuable open space. Economic development officials project that the project will attract $700 million in private sector investment.
“The River Edge Redevelopment program was designed to target resources to waterfront areas that have tremendous economic development potential, but are saddled with clean-up costs that put redevelopment out of reach,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “Thanks to Illinois Jobs Now!, Aurora can move forward with its ambitious plans to improve its downtown and create hundreds of jobs.”
The River Edge Redevelopment Zone program was created by the Illinois General Assembly to stimulate the safe and cost-effective redevelopment of environmentally challenged areas near rivers through a variety of grants and tax incentives. Aurora, Elgin, Rockford and East St. Louis have all been approved as River Edge Redevelopment Zones.