ELGIN – October 8, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state is providing an $8 million River Edge Redevelopment grant to the City of Elgin to enable the city to continue moving forward with the long-planned revitalization of Elgin’s riverfront. The project to create an urban riverfront plaza, funded through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, will create an estimated 100 construction jobs and nearly 120 permanent, private-sector jobs.
“We are giving Elgin 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 Elgin is receiving $8 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), for the demolition of the existing Riverside Drive decking and the construction of a new, environmentally sensitive structure creating the Riverside Drive Promenade.
“Improving the city’s infrastructure and enhancing its riverfront is a sound investment that will directly benefit Elgin’s residents and businesses. The redevelopment of the Riverside Drive Promenade will continue the revitalization of one of the greatest assets to the citizens of Elgin - the Fox River. Governor Quinn’s continuing commitment to the economic and environmental vitality of the cities and villages of this state is deeply appreciated,” said Elgin Mayor Ed Schock.
Constructing Riverside Drive Promenade, along the Fox River, is a critical component of Elgin’s master plan to revitalize the riverfront by encouraging more redevelopment, public space and transportation projects. Riverside Drive Promenade involves the complete redevelopment of the Riverside Drive right-of-way and the adjacent parking deck into an urban riverfront plaza connected to Elgin’s Festival Park. It will create a large, urban park right next to the downtown retail corridor with the goal of adding new commercial buildings to nearby empty lots.
“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!, Elgin 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. Elgin, Rockford, Aurora and East St. Louis have all been approved as River Edge Redevelopment Zones.