Project Timeline

The following represents the timeline of City of Sterling actions to take the Riverfront project from business closings, through site assembly/acquisition, community planning and concepting, to where we are today.


  • Last year Lawrence pays full taxes


  • Stanley buys National


  • Lawrence Hardware formerly Lawrence Brothers, closes
  • City Code Enforcement puts pressure on Youngs to address the condition of the former NWSW Plant 1 site they bought out of bankruptcy


  • City files for a demolition order against Northwestern Acquisition Company/Jeff Young for the NWSW Plant 1 site


  • Youngs place NWSW plant 1 for sale for $1,900,000


  • City purchases the “NWSW Plant 1 site” from Northwest Acquisitions, Inc. (Young family) Purchase
    price net was $85,000
  • City engages ELM to begin the testing of the “NWSW Plant 1 site”


  • City files suit against LB Acquisitions in June
  • Black & Decker buys Stanley
  • $1million revolving loan fund money used for demolition of HR Building, Safety Building, Shipping
    Building, Triangle Building for asbestos abatement.
  • Begin the community Riverfront Planning Process.
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment completed at Lawrence Brothers


  • Demolition of the large mill production buildings and power line to Lawrence Park.
  • Finish Riverfront Plan
  • City acquires Lawrence Brothers facility
  • First Brownfield Assessment Grant App for Lawrence using Fehr Graham


  • Grant Application coordination with Hummel/Ohm and Cardno to apply for IL Green Infrastructure Grant and Mud to Parks grant
  • Gary W Anderson Architects engaged for Adaptive Reuse Study for Lawrence Brothers and Stanley/National properties
  • Remedial Action Plan approved for NWSW Plant 1 by IEPA


  • Remedial Objectives Report completed for NWSW Plant 1
  • Coordinate Plant 1 site remediation with ComEd inherited Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site
    remediation (Stantec)
  • $1.3m IL Green Infrastructure Grant and $900,000 Mud to Parks grant awarded.
  • Begin construction design and engineering for awarded grants.
  • City requests IEPA contact USEPA to initiate Emergency Removal Action following an arson which led to discovery of various pollutants


  • Engineer environmental barrier grading using best management practices, including restoring most of the site with deep-rooted native plants to build carbon and ensure that any PCBs and mercury stay sequestered in the ground (both mercury and PCBs tend to sorb strongly to soil organic matter), landscape for nearly 13 acres, plus get IEPA approval of plan and send out to bid. This also had to be coordinated with a ComEd MGP site within the old NWSW site that was being cleaned at the same time
  • Contracted with ELM to do soil assessments for all incoming fill (Meadowlands, Thomas Park
  • USEPA completes Emergency Removal Action at Lawrence Brothers


  • Concrete Deck demolished, crushed and hauled out
  • over 30,000 cubic yards of fill hauled in, compacted and graded, then seeded.
  • Plaza constructed


  • State stops reimbursing grants with no budget
  • Finished grant construction of above.
  • Fencing Installed
  • 1st Phase of realigned Wallace Street built.
  • Lots north of Wallace Street sealed in compliance with the Remedial Action Plan.
  • Begin Draft Remedial Action Completion Report.
  • Houseal Lavigne brought back to update Riverfront Plan to take into account the work done through the IGIG and Mud grants.
  • Gary W Anderson Architects consulted fore estimates to address the roof and windows at Lawrence Brothers


  • Complete Remedial Action Completion Report. Receive No Further Remediation Letter.
  • Temporary roof place on 5 story section of Lawrence Brothers
  • City staff remove remaining windows from river facing sections of Lawrence Brothers except for the 5 story
  • Clear out unwanted weeds.
  • End lease with Best Cob for use of the warehouse.
  • Find engineer to reverse engineer the warehouse for re-use in the Meadowlands.
  • On site council meeting at Lawrence Brothers


  • Budget to begin a trail through the site.
  • City turns the warehouse over to the GSDC to disassemble and re-erect as a business incubator in the Meadowlands
  • RFQ issued for Lawrence underground testing
  • City applies for $125,000 in grants for continued trail work at former NWSW site


  • Last warehouse to come down on NWSW site
  • Contract to begin soil borings at Lawrence Brothers Site using former RLF funds from SIDC
  • Continue coordinating with Stanley on environmental clean up of former National Manufacturing site
  • Haul fill to the site of the last building torn down
  • Public Works to lay brick along new riverfront path and install waste receptacles


  • July 2021, City of Sterling issues Master Developer RFP (8/27/2021)
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