WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront Expansion

April  25, 2013

More detailed plans were presented Wednesday for the new addition to the Western Illinois University Riverfront campus in Moline. Developers showed drawings of phase two of campus construction, which includes classrooms and administrative offices. They also showcased plans for the adjacent development, called Riverbend Commons, which will include housing and retail space.

Noel Davis from the design firm, Holabird and Root, emphasizes the buildings will compliment the river.

"We knew that the river was an asset to the site, but we knew that the river was a potential challenge to the site," said Davis. "And I think the last week has really shown how that can be. The river is a living, moving, breathing entity. It's a member of the community and it does what it wishes sometimes. And so we wanted to be sure to design the campus in a way, the river is allowed to swell, to ebb and flow without disrupting the day-to-day function of the campus."

Three Corners Development Services is overseeing the construction of both projects. Three Corners president, Christopher Woods, says new market research tells him to build student housing before bringing in businesses.

"To actually anchor the project without residential life wasn't the best opportunity to attract commercial ammenities," said Woods. "Convincing retailers in this environment to come to a site that didn't necessarily have the residential component yet, or the bodies and activit y going on, is a difficult sell."

Phase two of the Western Illinois University Riverfront campus is expected to be finish by the fall of next year.