Davenport Council Moves K's, Dock Projects Forward to Vote - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Council Moves K's, Dock Projects Forward to Vote

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It has been a long time since we have seen so many people at council, so concerned about a specific issue. But Wednesday night, it was standing room only, and people were standing several deep.

Most of them at the meeting to hear about the old K's Merchandise site. Nearly two-dozen of them, getting up to speak. They were either concerned about big, loud trucks in their neighborhood, or ready to see something move into the building that has been empty for seven years.

Many of these neighbors have lived here longer than that, some longer than K's itself. And many of them say while it would be nice to see a business move in -- the warehouse project doesn't fit. They say there are too many kids and bicycles for semis to regularly roll through the neighborhood. And they say there will be too many semis rolling through too often.

And while some Alderman said they understood those concerns, like Mike Matson, who also lives in the neighborhood, and Ray Ambrose and Jason Gordon; others like Barney Barnhill, say they were swayed by filling a building that's been empty for so long.

After seven, years, bringing property taxes and jobs to the city. The last numbers we have from the Chamber of Commerce show more than 10 million dollars coming into the city over three years, along with almost 40 jobs.

At the same time, some said neighbors made a compelling argument, and pushed for a vote to delete this item from the agenda. But by a 3-2 vote, that did not pass. So this will be up for consideration again next week.

And so will the Dock restaurant plan. That has been in the works for months, and controversial for about that long. Many residents and city leaders have said they'd like to see something replace the old Dock restaurant that was lost to fire years ago. But while they expected a new restaurant, they didn't necessarily expect the restaurant and office complex under consideration now. It is a proposed 85-thousand square foot building with retail and restaurants on the first floor, office space on 2 and 3, and banquet space on four.

We heard a lot this night about what that would to do our river views and what would happen when it floods. But after a lot of back and forth, aldermen agreed to move this project forward as well, with stipulations. It is a 24-million dollar project, and the city is expecting to TIF nearly 6-million dollars over 15 years. So aldermen decided they wanted to have final approval on height and building materials.

We will hear more about this next Wednesday.

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