Big Plans For Rock Island's Stern Center - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Big Plans For Rock Island's Stern Center

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It's a piece of Rock Island history with a whole new lease on life.

In the past year, the old Hyman's Furniture store has transformed from the place to buy your first couch to a place where couples can have a first dance.

Michael Stern, the owner of the Stern Center, is aware of the significance.

"I consider that a real honor that people are starting their life here, one of their most special days of their life is starting right here in Rock Island."

When Stern bought this building, which was originally McCabes Department Store, he says he knew it would be the perfect place for weddings and celebrations.

Several coats of paint and $2.3 million later, you can see why.

"I have a sense of pride in Rock Island and building onto this building once again and making it viable and a place of interest makes me feel wonderful."

The sales floor looks like a ballroom fit for a princess and the mezzanine has become the perfect place for cocktail hour, but stern says while the building has come a long way, this is just the beginning.

"Right now we are building a bridal suite downstairs and a grooms room. The bridal suite will have four vanities for the bride and her attendants."

Meanwhile, the second floor will be filled with wedding vendors.

Avenue Studios, a photography and videography business is the first to move in. A linen company is on the way.

"We looked at several properties around the downtown Rock Island area and none of them were quite suited for the photography," says Carrie Meumann, owner of Avenue Studios

"And when we came into the Stern Center and he brought me up here, it was just an empty palette and we are very excited to be one of the first ones to choose a space."

Meumann says she loves the concept of a one stop wedding shop. She says it will be a first for the Quad Cities and she is glad it will be here, a place already filled with so many memories.

"We are very excited be a part of this historic building."

Stern says the venue is already booked every Saturday but one for 2013, with weddings and other special events.