ROCKFORD - What started as a $3 million redevelopment endeavor for Justin Fern's Urban Equity Properties became a two-year, $5 million passion project.

The results--from the custom oak doors and refurbished neon sign to the spiral downspouts and restored garages -- speak for themselves.

An emblem of crime, blight and desperation a decade ago, the historic Valencia Apartments built in 1927 and 1928 at the corner of Court Street and Fisher Avenue have been reborn. Renovation of the last of four buildings is complete, aside from exterior touch-ups and landscaping. Twenty of 32 units, a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, have tenants.

Read the full article...