Last week reporter Melissa Westphal wrote about Rosecrance Health Network moving it’s community mental health services currently offered at the Ware Center in downtown Rockford, to the former Sun View Market on North Main Street.
The agency is buying the old grocery store, 2704 N. Main St., and plans to spend upward of $3 million on the purchase and remodel of the property. The move was made possible because Winnebago County officials plan to buy the Ware Center at 526 W. State St.
The grocery store closed in 2007, and the building has been vacant ever since. The 42,000-square-foot space appealed to Rosecrance because it’s one floor, it’s bigger than the Ware Center and it has plenty of parking.
There’s limited parking downtown for the 25,000-square-foot Ware Center. The market has more than 250 parking spaces, though landscaping work will take the place of some of those spaces.
The space is zoned commercial, and medical office use is permitted as part of that, Rosecrance President and CEO Phil Eaton said. Rosecrance has to be out of the Ware Center in the next year.
About 75 staff members will move to the new building. Eaton said health care reform, and the expansion of coverage for mental health services that comes along with the new law, could necessitate the hiring of about 25 more people.