Wolverine pulls the plug on new Rockford Footwear Depot | Business
Wolverine World Wide is pulling the plug on a multimillion dollar development plan in Rockford. The plan called for a new retail center on the old tannery site near the Rogue River.
In just two weeks Wolverine was supposed to demolish the current shoe store and start building a large retail center closer to downtown. It was going to be a huge financial boost for Rockford, until the plans were pulled.
Rockford City Manager Michael Young says the company pulled out of $8 million project because of the economy, and because the current store is profitable.
The new 15,000 square foot building would have been in the downtown development district, allowing Rockford to reinvest the revenue to upgrade roads and sidewalks. The city manager says hearing the news was a tough pill to swallow.
Michael Young says, "We've got a great downtown here but you look through the landscape in Michigan, small downtowns are dying this was going to be wonderful momentum to keep a good thing going here. Although we're disappointed we're optimistic something will happen here in the future."
With the exception of the shoe store, the tannery grounds are empty. The city manager says Wolverine will likely keep the property, but in the past, expressed interest in being a landlord.
The city would like to see the property have a mixed use- like a hotel with public greenways.
WZZM13 contacted Wolverine World Wide for comment, but we have not received a response.