As passionate industrial urban design developers, we take a great deal of pride in the work that we have done in the past, and we are always looking over the horizon for new challenges. We have the ability to assemble all of the important pieces that must fit together to bring an industrial urban design development project to life. Over the years that we have been in business, we have built strong relationships with government officials, investors, engineers, architects, many different types of contractors, and other building professionals. We also understand how to work with special interest groups and neighborhood associations that can be key players when an industrial urban design development project is being formulated.
To gain an understanding of the types of projects that the developers here at ReTown have been able to complete, you can take a look at our portfolio page. If you do visit this part of our website, you can learn about the W.T. Rawleigh Building. This structure is located in Freeport, Illinois, which is a very interesting and historic city. It is the county seat of Stephenson County, and it is known as “Pretzel City, USA” because of the preponderance of German immigrants who brought the tasty treat to the area back in the middle of the 19th century. The city is just over 100 miles west of Chicago.
W.T. Rawleigh was an individual who lived the American dream. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident early on when he concocted his own ink that he sold to people that he went to school with, and he was very successful. He went on to develop and market other products, including cough syrup and chewing gum. The building that bears his name in Freeport was built around the time of World War I, and his company ultimately attained international status with locations in Australia and other foreign countries.
Sadly, this historic 500,000 foot structure was all but forgotten after it was abandoned, but the brain trust at ReTown saw the potential that was there. Our President and Managing Director Jim Louthen had this to say when we decided to put our industrial urban design developers to work on the project: “We have developed a master plan for a new lifestyle center that includes residential lofts, a produce market, and professional offices. The development program also contemplated the headquarters for Freeport Hospital Network, the city’s largest employer and medical provider.”
Retown was retained by Lakeshore Investors to create the redevelopment plan. Lakeshore Investors negotiated a master lease with Freeport Hospital Network, the city’s largest employer, to serve as the anchor tenant. However, due to the depressed economy and the 2008 market crash, the investors, the city, and the hospital could not consummate the deal. Unfortunately, this iconic building remains vacant, and the City of Freeport and the people here at Retown hope that the building will be revitalized at some point in the future.
This endeavor tells you a lot about the type of work that we do, and our doors are open if you would like to discuss a similar project with us. We can be reached by phone at 708-442-4545, and you also have the option of sending us a message through our contact page.