From Amerock factory to Embassy Suites: Redevelopment a boon in downtown Rockford




$87.5 million

For years, the vacant Amerock building was an eyesore along the western banks of the Rock River in downtown Rockford, Illinois. In April 2008, the City of Rockford hired Fehr Graham to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment money. The Phase I ESA prompted the need for a Phase II investigation.

Fehr Graham worked with the City to enroll the site in the Illinois EPA Voluntary Site Remediation Program. Gorman & Company, a private developer, bought the Amerock building in 2015. Fehr Graham helped with remedial planning as part of an $87.5 million redevelopment of the site into a hotel and convention center.

We worked with Gorman & Company to complete 3D laser scanning of the building interior and exterior. Fehr Graham provided survey services to produce a base drawing for the site design. Our team designed the sidewalk and drive-up and drop-off lanes to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. We also designed the grading, pavilion and utilities, including sanitary and storm sewer.

Part of the drive that runs along the hotel is on top of the north portion of the building, which houses the conference center. We coordinated with the architect to ensure the drive was at the right elevation and there was enough structural security to handle the additional weight of vehicles. We also worked with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to ensure the drive complied with regulations.

We helped Gorman with construction staking for the project. We also completed a Soil Vapor Study and Health and Safety Plan for Gorman to satisfy the requirements set by tax credit investors. 

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront opened July 2020.