Amtrak Station Progress

November  13, 2013

     The Quad Cities is one small step closer to getting Amtrak service to Chicago. Last night the Moline city council approved an agreement with a private developer to renovate part of the future train station building, downtown.

     Planning and Development director, Ray Forsythe, says the new agreement allows the city to start spending grant money on the project - 10 million from the federal Department of Transportation, and 5 million from Illinois.

     "We needed to get the private development agreement signed so we can show the federal government how we're going to make this train station happen. So now that this is signed, we will be able to get the sign-off from the federal transit administration and then be able to start construction."

     The private developer is Moline Promenade Investors LLC, and one of the partners is the Amin Group, owner of the nearby Radisson Hotel. Forsythe says it plans to put an 80-unit, extended stay hotel in the upper floors of the O'Rourke Building, plus shops and a restaurant. And the city will be responsible for turning the ground floor into an Amtrak station with a ticket booth and waiting area.

     To help the private developer, Moline has included the building in an enterprise zone and newly-created tax increment financing district.

     "The development agreement provides the mechanism for the city to capture the increment from the project to help support it and build parking for the hotel and Amtrak passengers. "

     Forsythe says the government grants have to be spent by the end of next year (2014), so the new train station and hotel should be finished by then. And if all goes according to plan, Amtrak service between here and Chicago will start in the spring of 20-15.