09.19.05: Welcome Home Celebration Planned for Hope VI Homeowners

ROCKFORD, IL September 19, 2005 - Champion Park Partners, LLC (Star Development, LLC and the National Equity Fund, Inc.) and the Winnebago County Housing Authority will be hosting a "Welcome Home" Ceremony for the initial homeowners of the Champion Park HOPE VI Revitalization Development.

The HOPE VI Revitalization is a $40 million urban renewal project, which combines the resources of both the public and private sectors to build new homes and make significant improvements to the infrastructure of the Washington Park Neighborhood, on the western edge of Rockford. As part of the revitalization, the existing Champion Park Apartments will be replaced with new, single-family homes on scattered sites throughout the neighborhood. Improved roads, curbs, sidewalks, street lights and the extension of sanitary sewer and city water service through the area are some of the infrastructure enhancements that will be included in the development.
"This is the kind of project that benefits not only those families that will live in the new homes, but the community as well," said Mary Moore, a Star Development principal.

The development is made possible through an $18.8 million HOPE VI Grant received by the Winnebago County Housing Authority from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with additional state, local and federal resources. These additional fund sources include Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank, conventional bank financing and sponsored grants provided by AMCORE Bank, private equity from the National Equity Fund, and grants, donations and commitments from Winnebago County and the City of Rockford.
"This is exactly how a program like this should operate," said Illinois Congressman Don Manzullo. "It's taking federal money and using it to leverage other sources of funds at the local and state level. It is the partnership between the public and the private sectors that make this a truly community project, which will provide quality homes and neighborhood improvements to those who need them."

Expanding on the role of both the city of Rockford and AMCORE Bank, Star Development principal Michael Moore stated, "Our business operates in over 100 cities, and we have been very impressed with the level of commitment, efficiency and responsiveness this project has received from the city of Rockford through its personnel. AMCORE Bank's commitment to this community, and in particular to the west side of Rockford through this project, has been exceptional."

Honored guests at the celebration include the new homeowners, as well as public and business officials. The ceremony and press event is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., September 19th, in the 800 block of Newport Avenue in Rockford. Following remarks from Congressman Manzullo, HUD Chicago Regional Director Joseph Galvin, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen, AMCORE Bank CEO Ken Edge, Winnebago County Housing Authority Board President Fred Wescott and Michael Moore from Star Development, a ceremonial presentation will be made, presenting homeowners with the keys to their new homes. Upon completion of the ceremony, the Washington Park model home will be open for tours.

About Star-Holdings, LLC

Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, Star-Holdings is a recognized leader in the development, management and construction of affordable housing properties. One of the largest affordable housing managers in Illinois and Wisconsin, Star-Holdings owns or manages more than 200 properties in ten states.

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