Local Developer Eyes Rock Island's Watchtower Plaza - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Developer Eyes Rock Island's Watchtower Plaza

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     You could soon be seeing changes around the 11th Street corridor in Rock Island.  The Watchtower Plaza houses several businesses now, but a local developer has options to buy both that property and the VFW right next door. While the exact plans aren't being released, a big box grocer or hardware store have been mentioned. Those located there currently are thinking about what's next for them.
     Jaded Gypsy Tattoo is one of several businesses to move into the Watchtower Plaza in the last few years. Now, owner Dan Bonowski is facing an uncertain future. "We're dealing with the uncertainty of it all right now. We're getting a lot of information from places like the city as far as contingency plans as far as stuff we can do," said Bonowski.
     One of the neighboring business owners, who did not want to be identified, says he met with city staff on Monday about just that.  He tells KWQC that he was told to prepare to be out early next year, and that he and other tenants are likely making way for a big box retailer. 
     Bonowski says he's on the list of business owners to have a similar meeting. "Hopefully it's timed just right so we can get things going or switched over without a hitch."
     City officials will not discuss the possible plans, saying it's in the developer's hands right now. Ted Rebitzer of Quad Cities Iowa Realty says nothing is signed at this point, but that possibilities could include a grocery store or hardware store. Bonowski sees something like that as a good thing for the area. "I think anything that's going to bring jobs to the area can only be a positive thing. We can definitely get all the help we can get especially down here."
     Though he's hoping that if it comes to that there will be other options for him and his current neighbors. "It would be nice to know one way or the other so we can get a solid business plan for the next year going," added Bonowski.
     Both Rock Island's city manager and the developer say there should be an announcement on the Watchtower Plaza area in the next few weeks.