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I-74 bridge work to alter traffic in downtown Moline

Moline continues to build on its reputation as a city on the move with recent news of a multi-use development in the works for the former Mills Chevrolet.

The $6.5 million development includes remodeling the existing building to add five retail tenants to the Mills Chevrolet body shop that remains on the site. Two other buildings are planned for a location that once housed a car dealership, which brought significant sales tax revenue to the city.

So it’s especially good news that interest in the new project is high. Ray Forsythe, Moline’s planning and development director, told the council last week that the developer “has more letters of interest than he has space in the building so we are really excited. There will be some national restaurants and retail going in there, the majority of which will be new to Moline, and a couple new to the Quad-Cities.”

If there are no costly surprises in the fine print for a development expected to include a TIF district, it should prove to be a boon to Moline and an Illinois Quad-Cities, which has watched retail tax dollars flee across the river.

Moline is working to help level the playing field with that and other projects including:

-- The Dolan Commons mixed-use redevelopment under construction at the site of the former Aldi’s on the corner of 27th Street and Avenue of the Cities.

-- An Olive Garden restaurant expected to open in November outside of SouthPark Mall.

-- A Panda Express and Popeyes in the works on the site of former Ryan’s Steakhouse on John Deere Road.

-- A restaurant is negotiating to move to the former Ducky’s Formal Wear, which relocated from River Drive to a new location at 1721 5th Ave.

-- A new restaurant inside the LeClaire Apartments continues to progress.

-- SouthPark owner Macerich is in final negotiations with new tenants inside and outside the mall thanks to its investment in the shopping center. “Their redevelopment is actually paying off now,” Mr. Forsythe said. “It’s just taking awhile to show that retail sales have increased in the mall since they did their multi-million dollar remodel. That’s really good news.”

It is indeed, especially for those of us who had despaired under the mall’s old owner that it would one day sit empty. Times aren’t going to get any less challenging for retail centers, as they seek to compete in a digital age. That doesn’t happen by standing still. Macerich understands that.

Moline leaders appear to understand that as well. That’s fortunate because there is no time for complacency as the city prepares for the future arrival of passenger rail, and the opening later this year of The Q -- the combined hotel/passenger train station in downtown Moline. Then there are the new possibilities created by the new footprint of the Interstate 74 bridge and expansion near the airport.


Welcome to Moline

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