What's Next for Audubon in Rock Island? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

What's Next for Audubon in Rock Island?

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 Since the Audubon School building in Rock Island was demolished, the property has been for sale.

Now, the Rock Island School District has an interested buyer.
Last night the school board voted to move forward with the sale of the land.

"Moline Acquisitions LLC" will buy the property where the school once stood, for $700,000, but this deal is leaving a lot of questions and concerns unanswered.

There is still a long road ahead for the city, the school district and now the buyer. 

Right now, there is a purchase agreement pending, but after speaking to city leaders, we're told the buyer has to fulfill some obligations before the property is sold.

Things like pitching to the Planning and Zoning Committee about what the buyer wants to do with the property.

Right now, we don't know what that plan is. 

Once a plan is submitted to the Planning and Zoning Committee, it would have to approve the plans and any zoning requests. Then it would go to the council for approval. 

Once all that happens, the sale could go through. 

As of now, we don't know a lot about the possible buyer. 

KWQC tried calling his office, but our calls were not returned. 

Now, residents near Audubon School aren't happy they haven't been consulted about what the new buyer may want to do around their homes. 

"When you're dealing with the city and the taxpayers and the residents, you have to take a better look at impact and what the history is of who's buying it," says Audubon neighbor Tom Taylor about the Rock Island School Board. 

"I understand they have fiscal responsibilities," adds neighbor Andrea Gaeta. "But I'm grossly concerned. I think they have a little community responsibility, they should." 

Today, KWQC did some digging into the possible buyer of the property - Thomas Morabito.

We have found information about his dealings under other company names--but the Moline Acquisition LLC appears to be a new company formed just for this projects. So there is nothing about that company out there.

The city it will do its own investigation once formal plans are submitted.


The issue of selling Audubon started back in 2012 when the district received an offer from Fareway. The company wanted to demolish the abandoned building to build a grocery store.

That sale fell through after challenges came up from the community.

Developer Joe Lemon offered to match the Fareway offer but that deal never took off.

Then, in the Fall, the school board voted to tear the building down.

In December, work began on tearing down the 90 year old building.

The property went for sale after the area was cleaned up.  

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