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Major Investment in Downtown Rock Island Housing


Major improvements are underway at one of the first residential developments in downtown Rock Island. Economic Growth Corporation opened the Renaissance Lofts and Goldman Lofts nearly 20 years ago.

President and CEO Brian Hollenback says 1 1/2 million dollars will be spent on new roofs, h-v-a-c systems, tuck-pointing, and windows in the two buildings on 2nd Avenue. There's commercial space on the ground floors, and 52 loft apartments upstairs.

 "It was a big deal 20 years ago when you took a vacant, blighted structure and turned it into the 52 apartments and made that significant investment. It's equally as important that a project, when its tax credit period expires, that it remains affordable." 

Tax credits helped make the projects possible, but now that they've expired, Economic Growth has bought out the other investors, and is the sole owner.

Hollenback says despite the many challenges caused by the pandemic, it's vitally important to continue investing in these buildings, and affordable housing.

"Starting this week, people are working on that project, and obviously the construction trades are part of the essential businesses, building permit fees, sales tax being generated, real estate taxes of course is always an important piece here."  

Economic Growth Corporation was able to become the sole owner of the Renaissance and Goldman lofts, and pay for the renovations, thanks to funding help from the city of Rock Island and the Illinois Housing Development Authority. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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