A common refrain from the againsters is "we're spending all this money downtown, and nothing is coming of it." I hear this said constantly on the blogs, on the QCTimes.comments, at Hamerlinck's meeting, etc.
Its not true.
Downtown is doing much, much better than it was before River Renaissance. Driving through it tonight, there were people walking on almost every block. A new coffee shop just opened up in the former Java Hut. A new restaurant/bar just opened next door to another new bar, Shenanigans. The Mode gallery recently opened up on 3rd, and I could see several people browsing in there this evening. Final Fridays brings out hundreds of artists and art fans to the Bucktown Center for the Arts every month. Centro is always busy, and I often see large crowds at Mojo's listening to live music. Ad Group relocated to downtown, Chenhalls Staffing moved from Brady down the hill to 2nd street, and Living Passions opened up a studio/coffee shop. Developers are suddenly interested in redeveloping new areas of downtown, including the proposed market district.
The Davenport Lofts project is bringing hundreds of new residents to downtown. Alexander Company has said that they got interested in downtown Davenport because of our commitment shown through River Renaissance. The second phase of their loft apartments is under construction now, bringing additional local construction jobs with it. Secondary effects from the Alexander development include redevelopment of the Courtland into luxury apartments overlooking downtown. Houses around the area are being renovated, or at least re-sided. There are plans to demolish the old cement plan that Bill Wundram gets so upset about. All the new downtown residents are increasing the chances for more downtown commercial activity, including the possibility of a grocery store. The future has potential for additional mixed use development in the area between 4th and Federal and Iowa and River Drive, including the Crossings project under discussion. The Mississippi Hotel renovation will bring even more residents downtown, increasing street life and commercial demand.
You folks who oppose everything can keep telling yourselves that downtown is all empty museums and bridges to nowhere, but you're fooling yourselves.
River Renaissance is working.