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Council Members Like First Alliance's Vision for Rockville

Four react to Tuesday's presentation.

Some of the early project renderings. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Some of the early project renderings. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Four Town Council members on Wednesday reacted to Tuesday's announcement that First Alliance Lending, a national firm specializing in loss mitigation refinancing, laid out a massive plan to revitalize - and essentially rebuild - the commercial  district of Downtown Rockville along West Main Street. 

Here is what they had to say: 

Democrat Thomas DiDio

"The presentation last night by First Alliance lending is an absolute game-changer for Vernon. 

"A project of this magnitude will require us, as a community, to join together to ensure success. There is no doubt that there will be bumps along the way and that there are many details to be worked out but we stand united with Mayor Apel in embracing this opportunity as one in which we all need to work together to do everything in our power to make it succeed. 

"The economic value alone to Vernon will go a long way in expanding our tax base and make the Rockville section of Vernon an exciting place to be."

Republican Adam Weissberger

"The presentation given by First Alliance Lending to the Town Council last night about expanding their business to downtown Rockville, and the economic development they will put in to the center of town could only be classified as historic.  

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring back the vibrancy that existed when this was a mill town, but with a 21st century business and a look to the future, while not forgetting the past. 

"Mr. DiIorio deftly addressed his vision, and I encourage all residents, as the week, months and years go by, to attend additional meetings about this tremendous project. I think when you talk to his team, and see the renderings and vision, you will be as impressed as I am. 

"This project is the culmination of many months of meetings and planning by Mayor Apel and his administration. His leadership has brought us to where we are today; looking at the biggest economic expansion in the history of this town, brining over 1,100 high-paying finance jobs to downtown Rockville, helping all surrounding businesses by bringing in new people for their products and services, and developing an infrastructure that will benefit the town for decades to come. 
"It is imperative that all of us work together to welcome Mr. DiIorio and his business to this town, and to help him with this project in any way that we can. This project is too big and too important to allow politics to creep in. Any short-term obstacles are far outweighed by the long term benefits this will have for our town.  

"This is a great day for our town, and I am excited for the possibilities, and seeing this vision come to fruition and become a reality.


Democrat Marie Herbst

"One of the questions I asked, I think, is most important - 'Are the property owners on board to sell?' Because in the last 30 years, every time we tried to do something across the street from Town Hall, we ran into problems with the property owners. 

"I was pleased to hear they are negotiating and it looked more positive than I had seen in the past. If that statement is  true, then I think thew project goes through - and if goes through it's a big boost to Rockville. 

"I have a very strong feeling when it comes to retail and I was happy top hear the comment that the community has to be extremely heavily involved. 

"This is something that has to be done. It can no longer be the Rockville people have known it to be for years." 

Republican Brian Motola, Deputy Mayor

“When you see this proposal all you can say is 'WOW!'  

"Many people who live in and love Downtown Rockville realize it has the potential to be so much more and First Alliance’s proposal goes far in support of that notion.

"CEO John DiIorio has seen the untapped potential and brought his amazing vision of the future for all to see. 

"When this project is complete, Downtown Rockville will become a destination and not just a place to drive through. The renderings exhibited buildings that captured the architectural components of buildings that are and were prominent in Rockville. And this project incorporates modern features, solar panels, heat pumps, green space, outdoor dining, which make the project acceptable in these modern times and will be a showcase for similar development in other locales.

"I hope we all pull together and do what has to be done as a community to support Mr. DiIorio’s vision and see this project to fruition.  And see our dreams come true!

"Good luck to all of us.”
Bob Felber June 20, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Happy to see there are no politics yet. Please keep it that way. Not only does the town council need to get completely behind this project, the entire town needs to show their support. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Rockville area. Take full advantage of it.
cmmj June 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I was driving by thinking "how dumpy that property looked and how they really needed to paint it".
cmmj June 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM
they should sell it because they are not keeping the property in decent shape
Danno June 20, 2013 at 03:17 PM
I can't wait to see the sale of the property and buildings complete. Then we know the deal is serious. Knowing what is at stake, does that mean the current owner(s) inflates the price? OR Are they really ready to close the deal for a fair price and let Rockville prosper?? This is very exciting and I wish for a successful outcome.
Bert June 20, 2013 at 08:00 PM
The current owners are longtime well-respected business people in Rockville. They have always been known for their fair and honest dealings with their customers and are dedicated to the well-being of Rockville. I have no doubt that they will negotiate in good faith.
Johnny Habanero June 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Living out of the area now, but still keeping up with the Vernon News, I am amazed at how often crime is being reported. Maybe it is a reality or maybe it is just a police department pumping out press releases for their own self-fulfilling satisfaction, but do you really think people will flock to downtown Rockville? I think not. You can polish a turd, but in the end you only have a pretty turd.

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