Thursday, May 18, 2006

Prairie Heights Commercial Development

Buried within this QCTimes article it was mentioned that the Request For Proposal for developers to purchase 17 acres along 53rd for commercial use did not get any proposals back from the 13 developers the RFP was submitted to. According to the article, it was only submitted to 13 local developers because the small size of the property wouldn't attract much interest from outside of the area. The entire RFP can be found here, about a page and a half down on the city's Latest News page.

Its been suggested that the next steps should involve contacting the 13 who did not show interest, and finding out what issues prevented them from submitting a proposal. This seems like a good idea to me, as the property is located at a pretty hot corner of the hottest street in Davenport real estate. Either the commercial market is getting saturated, or developers were turned off by some of the special requirements in the RFP. I didn't feel any of the parameters were that constraining, but I could see how developers would prefer no constraints at all.

Here are a couple of examples of general guidelines for this development (I believe they are subject to negotiation) from the RFP:
8) Structures that are located on, or adjacent to, a square or plaza shall be a minimum of two stories.
10) Buildings shall avoid long, monotonous, uninterrupted wall or roof planes. The facade of a building should be divided into distinct modules no longer than 100 feet.
11) Generally, structures shall align with build-to lines. In the case of long commercial rows or residential row houses, units may step back and forward returning to the build-to line to help articulate the facade.
Obviously, these kind of things are going to provide ammunition to the anti-Prairie Heights crowd, but the fact is that the new urbanism idea was agreed upon with a large amount of public process. The problem is that not much of the public got involved in the process, but now some of them want to criticize. Also, I don't know how many of these types of specific constraints are present in normal zoning laws, but I know there are some. It isn't completely out of the ordinary for the city to specify things like this.

Here's a site plan taken from the RFP. I have heard that the library will be located north of the church, but I'm not sure how far north. I put my guess at a possible location on the map, but one of the Aldermen that read this could provide a better pinpointing of where that will be. It was going to be located along 53rd, until Aldermen decided that a branch library doesn't need to have frontage on the hottest commercial street in Davenport. A logical decision, and one that I believe both "sides" of the council agreed on. Also, when viewing the image below, keep in mind that the commercial layout is just a possible design of the development.

(Click to enlarge)

16 Comments:

At 5/18/2006 11:56 AM, Blogger WindingHills said...

What a disgrace.

There are NO benches for the drunks and crack heads:( They are just going to have to sleep in the trees.

 
At 5/18/2006 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand what the rush is. Ok, nobody is interested today. Just sit on it for a while like any prudent investor would.

The reality is, the Federal Reserve is increasing interest rates to slow real estate and the spending consumer, so inflation stays in check.

If you have a great plan today, it will obviously be better tommorrow. In fact, most developers would allow the residential development to go for a few years before the commercial land is developed (which I believe is the real challange here). Potential tenants are willing to pay extra money when strong economic roof tops are two blocks north.

Calm down folks. Lets push the commercial corner to the side for a while. Lets spend all of our time on the Brady Street and Locust Street cooridors.

 
At 5/18/2006 2:21 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The problem is the city's holding onto expensive property during that time.

 
At 5/18/2006 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly we have some QCA developers that are short sited and lack vision.
I hope the city doesn't change the vision for Prairie Heights for people and aldermen that can't see further than next week.

 
At 5/18/2006 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the land for JLCS? It isn't fair that they don't get land to develop? Oh yeh - it is Praire Heights. No poor folk welcome. That wouldn't sell now.

 
At 5/18/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Actually it is mixed income, and I believe I heard that low income could be a part of it.

 
At 5/19/2006 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do us a favor and find out if that is true. The city has a habit of telling us on thing to make things happen and then later renig.

 
At 5/19/2006 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember that the planned development of Prairie Heights was done by a large number of people from the community that spent weeks developing a plan. All of the meetings were open to the public. The development that was presented was exactually what the people of Davenport (that actually cared enough to spend their time looking towards the future) wanted. Now the againsters jump up and complain about the development. If you can't be part of something positive why don't you move out and let those of us that want an exceptional community to live in work towards that goal.

 
At 5/19/2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you forgotten that the majority of people have consistently told their aldermen that they don't want the damn project? We have been outspoken about our opposition. Again, you all D1 crowd assume the majority of Davenport residents are stupid. PH is a plan to make the real estate community wealthier, it is a big huge waste of our resources and time of staff. I wish we would put as much time and energy into really revitalizing the central city. Talk about a gem if we would care just an little and put energy into its improvement. Instead of handing over to the agencies that house poverty.

 
At 5/20/2006 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that a few very vocal people constitute a majority; you might want to take a deep breath and step back before making any further accusations.

 
At 5/20/2006 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should take a vote now to see if there is support for PH.

 
At 5/21/2006 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The council should have just sold the whole development to Niki, she could have handled the whole thing, and taxpayers would have been money ahead.

 
At 5/22/2006 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My foot, Niki would have turned the place into a trailer court. She's a pest

 
At 5/22/2006 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously haven't been out to Niky's development lately, it looks like a ghost town with only one building completed and absoleutely no signs of any further construction going on. The weeds, and whatever else she has planted, are about three feet tall and it doesn't look like a very desireable place to live.

I wouldn't wish bad luck on anyone but it looks like she's going to lose her ass on that deal.

 
At 5/22/2006 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame. (sarcasm)

 
At 5/22/2006 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only one of the Niksters condos shows as being sold. I'm sure the bank will eventually sell them.

 

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