Rock Island Adopts Arsenal Gateway Revitalization Plan - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Adopts Arsenal Gateway Revitalization Plan



     Revamping one area in Rock Island that hasn't had a lot of attention in decades. On Monday city leaders approve adoption of the Arsenal Gateway Revitalization Plan. The area is between 5th Avenue and the riverfront near the arsenal island bridge.
     Many of the improvements are to encourage private investment down the road. The idea is to spruce things up and make better use of existing properties because several in the area are empty. It is a heavily traveled area of people going to and from the Rock Island arsenal. The plan is to use that as an advantage to get more business connections going.
    The Jackson Square apartments and Bent River Brewing Company are some of the newest additions where vacant buildings were put to use and businesses are taking advantage of a busy area.  
     "I think it's true of any of the lots on this corridor, just a little bit of attention goes a long way," said Joel Krogman, President of Bent River Brewing Company.
      More attention is exactly what Krogman, who was on the steering committee for the Arsenal Gateway Revitalization Plan, wants to see more of. There are dozens of ideas in the works including: better signage for businesses and pedestrians, new lighting fixtures and landscaping, fixing some parking areas, also sidewalks for those who commute on foot.
      "There's a couple areas we need to improve on in sidewalk coverage that are a little uncomfortable if you're actually walking to the main bridge," said Jeff Eder, Director of Community and Economic Development. 
     Other improvements are living alleys, more river access with a canoe and kayak launch point, and an extension of Schwiebert Park toward the arsenal bridge that could include a dog park. All of this is geared toward bringing in new neighbors.
     "A lot of them wanted us to promote additional business, promote the area to businesses that support the rock island arsenal," added Eder.
     Many of the ideas need a funding source down the road but city leaders can budget from the Downtown TIF District funds to make some of the enhancements happen. We're told there has been interest shown in a couple of buildings in the Arsenal Gateway area, which could be reverted to more housing in the future.


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