Rock Island's Big Payday - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island's Big Payday

Updated: Dec 2, 2012 10:10 PM CST

Tomorrow is the big day.

Rock Island's City Council will be voting on whether to accept the $4.5 million buyout of the Watch Tower Plaza from a company representing Wal-Mart.

If it is accepted, current tenants of the plaza would begin to move to other locations, most of them staying some where in the 11 Street corridor.

"I'm excited about it and I know a lot of people in Rock Island are. I think we are just going to see 11h Street retail in Rock Island come roaring back," said Rock Island Alderman Joy Murphy

If history suggests anything, the citizens of Rock Island will be gaining more than just a big box store. The Wal-Mart is Silvis, also in Rock Island County, paid the eighth highest property taxes in the entire county, nearly $425,000.

The city of Rock Island is hoping the new store on 11th Street will generate similar kinds of income for the city.

"Ultimately the citizens of Rock Island will benefit because it will help us keep the property tax rate level or lower it, it will help us with different city programs we try to provide," added Alderman Paul Foley.

If the council votes yes tomorrow, then one big question remains: What to do with Chief Blackhawk, who keeps watch over Watch Tower Plaza?

City officials say they would like to convince Wal-Mart to keep it there but if they decline, a search will begin for another location for him to go within Rock Island.


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