End of an Era For Decades-Old Davenport Antique Shop - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

End of an Era For Decades-Old Davenport Antique Shop

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     A set of historic buildings in downtown Davenport are about to get a new lease on life. A real estate deal closed Tuesday giving developers the go ahead to turn Hibernian Hall on the 400 block of Brady Street into high-end apartments. It also means the end of a era for a long-time antique store there.

      There are probably just as many memories as there are trinkets and treasures in Ron Bellomy's Riverbend Antiques store.

     "Like they say if you really love what you're doing you don't ever work. I never had a day where I had drudgery about coming down here," said Bellomy.

     It's been his life for nearly 43 years. Getting to appraise items like WWII German helmet and selling pieces from all over the world or right here in the Quad Cities area. The several buildings make up the complex are steeped in history and date back to 1830. All are on the National Register of Historic Places. 

     Now, developers plan to breathe new life into them, creating 17 loft apartments and two store fronts with project consultant Joe Erenberger who's worked on several downtown building renovations.

     "Something a little different we'll be doing up and down lofts so you'll get an off-set so you'll get all the light in here," said Erenberger.
     Because of the historic status of the buildings a big part of the restoration is to bring the facade back to its former glory.

    "Anything that can keep original, we'll go through and keep any plaster we can keep. any of the main features," added Erenberger.

     A yoga school and a beauty salon will likely remain as tenants and one front room may keep a small portion of the antiques. But for Bellomy, he knew it was time to move on. "I didn't sell it reluctantly, I didn't sell it with a heavy heart. I sold it with a lot of joy," he said.

     With the closing of his doors comes the closing of chapter in his life and for the community. But it's also a new beginning just like what he's given thousands of antiques off these shelves.

     The doors are closed at Riverbend Antiques now but the plan is to re-open for a big sale in the next couple of weeks. Then renovations will get underway and should be ready for renters in about a year.

 

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