After more than a year planning to construct an event center in Riverside Park the costs continued to increase so the city council decided to take a new direction to keep costs down and revitalize the west side of town. The Rockford Mall owners, Welsh, contacted staff in the summer of 2013 and asked if the city was interested in purchasing the mall property. This was an idea previously discussed in 2007, but the cost was too high at the time. After looking at the space available at the mall the city council determined it would be a good location for redeveloping of an event center, and city hall offices. The city ordered an appraisal and inspections were completed of the roof, HVAC system, parking lot, etc. and an offer was made. The offers were countered a few times until both sides agreed upon a price. The city has scheduled two public hearings at 5:00 p.m. on February 20th to discuss the bond issues that will finance the project.