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Introducing Hotel Kate: Rockford’s First Boutique Hotel

Joseph James Partners announces $14 million project to redevelop historic downtown building

Rockford, IL, Dec. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Joseph James Partners announced earlier today specific plans to redevelop an historic building along the Madison Street corridor in downtown Rockford. Officially unveiled as “Hotel Kate” at today’s groundbreaking event, this boutique hotel, located at 220 S. Madison Street, represents the first of its kind in the Rockford region and promises to offer visitors and families a place to stay, gather, dine, play, and connect with Rockford’s urban center just footsteps away.

The property, originally built for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), opened in 1958. For the decades that followed, the location served as a vital community center, providing safe, recreational resources, housing, and health and family education to many generations of women and families. A refuge for some and a community center for many, this property symbolizes the important work of many generations who built community and fought for social reform.

In honor of this history, Joseph James Partners has named the hotel after Rockford’s own activist, Kate O’Connor. Born in Rockford in 1863, Kate F. O’Connor was the youngest of eight children, a graduate of Rockford High School, and an early supporter and member of Rockford’s YWCA, among many other community organizations. Kate fought against social inequities, while advocating for Rockford, the families who lived there, and the businesses that operated there.

“An advocate, suffragist, businesswoman and community builder, Kate dedicated her life’s work to helping and fighting for our community and the people who lived and worked in it,” said Peter Provenzano, President of Joseph James Partners. “Through Kate’s memory and in honor of her commitment to Rockford and contributions to humanity, we hope to create a space that continues to build community and connects people to one another fostering stronger associations.”

Hotel Kate will offer European-inspired boutique lodging with comfortable and modern amenities. Featuring 47 rooms; hospitality areas for business meetings and private events; recreational areas that include a gym, pool, and fitness center; and outdoor spaces offering a spacious and inviting garden and patio; the hotel will be a destination for programming throughout the year. Locally-sourced food offered in a fast casual environment will serve guests with unique, seasonal menus. The hotel will also rely on energy-efficient features. Just footsteps away from local businesses, retailers, and sports facilities, Hotel Kate will have close proximitand walkability to downtown venues. Joseph James Properties has engaged the services of IDM Hospitality Management to manage the hotel.

“At our core, IDM Hospitality Management develops and manages independent, boutique hotels that enrich communities,” said Craig “Nedd” Neddersen, President of IDM. “We’re excited to partner with Joseph James Partners to bring their vision to life through Hotel Kate.”

Joseph James Partners has been working with various partners behind the scenes to prepare for the property’s redevelopment as well as preserve the building’s historic features. This $14 million project is expected to be completed and open to the public in late summer 2020. Funding includes a combination of traditional financing, historic tax credits, TIF, and sales tax credits. Construction by WM. A. Randolph will begin in January. Other hotel project partners include Larson & Darby Group, Stillman Bank, Holcomb Bank, Hardin County Savings Bank, Fehr Graham, Element Energy Consulting, and Strateligent.

In honor of Hotel Kate and in the spirit of Kate’s work, Mr. & Mrs. Provenzano also announced Hotel Kate’s support of two charitable contributions. The first contribution supports The Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020 Northern Illinois Celebration steering committee’s mosaic sculpture project commissioned in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. One of the figures represented in the sculpture will be Kate O’Connor in honor of her pioneering contributions to the women’s suffrage movement. On behalf of Hotel Kate, Mr. and Mrs. Provenzano announced a donation of $5,000 towards the group’s fundraising efforts. Additionally, they also shared Hotel Kate’s support to the Rockford Public Library’s Career Online High School, an online high school completion program for adults seeking to complete their high school diploma. Hotel Kate has already supported a cohort of 5 students through a $7,500 contribution and will pledge to help fundraise and recruit volunteers to raise $75,000 for fifty more students with the intention of scaling this program to eventually 150 adult learners.

For more information about Hotel Kate, visit www.hotelkate.com, @HotelKate on Facebook, @Hotel_Kate on Instagram, and @HotelKate on Twitter.

About Kate O’Connor

An advocate on the local, state, and national stage, “Kate the Advocate” was appointed to several important positions throughout her career, including Deputy to the Winnebago County Clerk, member of the Board of Education, Vice Chairman of the 12th Congressional District for the Illinois Democratic Women’s Congressional Committee, Supervisor of the New Minimum Wage Law for Women and Children in Illinois by Governor Horner, member of the Advisory Committee of the Illinois Democratic Women’s Division, and Assistant to Thomas F. O’Malley—Regional Director of the Federal Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Not only recognized for her work to fight for fair wages for women and children, she was also honored for her work in the national suffrage movement.

A passionate entrepreneur, she opened her own office in Rockford, providing services related to business, probate law, government claims, and real estate. She was a member of the first jury in Winnebago County to have both men and women serve and started the Rockford Riding Club. Kate spent her time as a member of many organizations, including the Hospital Association, the YWCA, the League of Women Voters on both the state and national level, the Business & Professional Woman’s Club, Girl Scouts, the Rockford High School Alumni Association, the Winnebago County Home for the Aged, the Library Board, the Illinois Women’s Press Association, and the first Chamber of Commerce.

About Joseph James Partners

Joseph James Partners (JJP) was founded in 2005 as a result of President & CEO Peter Provenzano's passion for the Rockford, IL community. Joseph James Partners desires to create an inviting sense of place and community through enhancement of the physical environment and transformational projects in Rockford's urban center. JJP’s developments include a mix of residential and commercial properties serving a variety of local businesses in the retail, restaurant, and entertainment industries. For more information about JJP, please visit www.josephjamespartners.com.

About IDM Hospitality Management

IDM Hospitality Management enriches communities by helping independent, boutique hotels deliver authentic and distinctive experiences that are personalized to each guest’s needs. We guide hotels to deliver the right mix of services, spaces, products, and relationships to earn the loyalty of travelers, and cement themselves as both a gathering place and point of pride for locals. To learn more about IDM Hospitality Management, its portfolio, and its services, visit https://www.idmhospitality.com

Nellie Miller
Joseph James Partners