Davenport Leaders Plan for YMCA Property - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Leaders Plan for YMCA Property

Posted: Updated: Jan 29, 2014 10:17 PM

It is prime real estate on the eastern edge of Davenport, but city leaders say it has sat neglected for too long. There is a plan in place to develop part of the property along 4th Street, between Iowa and River Drive. But what could sit on the rest of it could be almost anything.

In a part of town that's been industrial for years, city leaders hope to see children playing here in the next two. And they say, along with an Early Learning Center and a new YMCA, they are open to what else could sit on the 13-acre site, exploring the possibilities at a master plan meeting Wednesday night. "Really we looked at all kinds of development," says Patrick Dunn, Senior Partner with RDG Planning & Design. "From residential to office to mixed use, anything that can be complimentary, not only to the existing residential development, but also to the future YMCA and the other components on site."

"Any type of residential area. A grocery store has been thrown out for that area," says Brad Martell, CEO of Scott County Family YMCA. Potentially more residential to join nearby warehouses that have already been converted to loft apartments, or office space, or even a college campus.

Mayor Bill Gluba says we could see an expansion of Eastern Iowa Community College already in Davenport, or another school in Iowa City. "I know University of Iowa wants to expand," Gluba tells us. "They've finally discovered the Quad Cities. Because I think they're afraid Western Illinois is gonna keep taking students." Those plans will be coming in the next few years. The new Y, not for the next ten.

But ground will be broken for the Early Learning Center this Fall. And by then, we could see two-way traffic on Fourth Street from River to Iowa. Alderman and planners say that's good for parents picking up kids and other businesses that could move in to the area. "It's clear businesses benefit when there's two-way traffic," Gluba says. "One way discourages business."

Everyone involved says they're encouraged to see development at the city's eastern gate. "It'll clean up a terrible ugly eyesore," the Mayor says. Revitalizing this property and helping refine a vision for the city. "I think this is fantastic," Mayor Gluba says. "Another part of continuing the process and renaissance of downtown Davenport. It's all good."

YMCA administrators are fundraising right now for the current downtown Y, and plan to refurbish it. They'll start working on plans for the new Y in 2019.

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