New Downtown Davenport Project

December  04, 2013

      A major re-development project is in the works for downtown Davenport. Tonight the city council will hold a public hearing on the plan to renovate and re-use several buildings in the block between 2nd and 3rd streets, and from Brady to Main.

      Amrit Gill is president of an organization called Restoration Iowa, and co-owner with his wife of the Hotel Blackhawk. Their plan calls for opening an annex to the hotel featuring suites in one of the buildings, plus office space, retail, and even a grocery store. And the block includes the Putnam and Parker buildings plus the former First Midwest Bank.

      "This is the core of downtown and it needed a big impact project, in our opinion, to complete the work we were brought to Davenport to do."

      The project will cost an estimated 60 million dollars and Gill would like to use tax increment financing to help pay for it. But instead of the city setting up a tif district before work begins, Gill is only asking the city to issue a "tif note." 

      "We take the tif note and we sell the tif note and the stream of taxes that's generated, the increment above whatever the taxes are today, the increment is used to service those bonds."

      Gill says this way there is no liability for the city. And Restoration Iowa will only have to pay the investors if the project is completed.  After tonight's public hearing the city council may take a final vote on the project at next week's meeting.