BELVIDERE — A longtime eyesore in the heart of the city’s downtown is being transformed into a center for live entertainment and small businesses.
CCSIP Properties of Garden Prairie is requesting a special use permit to convert a former salvage yard at 300 South Main Street into a container park.
Container parks are comprised of large metal shipping containers that have been retrofitted to house a variety of uses including retail, farmer’s markets and festivals.
“There will be a central pavilion, an entertainment stage area, restrooms and areas available for pop-up retail spaces including restaurants,” CCSIP Properties Executive Vice President Heather Steines said. “We anticipate the space will be used in a rental capacity as well as an extension of Belvidere’s festivals and any new events.”
Container parks are becoming popular as pop-up activity centers that can be easily removed and redeveloped into permanent storefronts, according to Belvidere Community Development Planner Gina DelRose.
“It’s nice to give people who want to start a business but can’t make an investment of renting a storefront and remodeling a whole storefront, there’s a lot of upfront costs,” DelRose said. “This gives them the option of testing their business with little upfront costs to see if it will work or not and then move into a storefront. It could be almost like a business incubator.”
The property is approximately four tenths of an acre and contains a metal building and concrete walls.
CCSIP’s application for a special use permit for the site will be considered by the Belvidere City Council Nov. 4.
The park’s target date for opening will be in the spring.
“It’s an innovative idea that will develop as it goes along and it ties in with further development in this part of the city on a couple of other ideas that we have going forward for entertainment, dining and so forth,“ Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain said.
CCSIP Properties encompasses several different family-owned business ventures in Belvidere including The Shortline Sushi Bar, Sips & Sprinkles Ice Cream Parlor and Locust Street Press.
In 2017, CCSIP Properties proposed a multiuse dining and entertainment complex along 300 South Main Street but the project stalled “due to various site conditions,” according to Belvidere’s Community Development Department.
Ken DeCoster: 815-987-1391; email@example.com; @DeCosterKen
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