Friday, January 19, 2007

3 Old Buildings

The Freight House
It will be great to see a new attempt at making something of the Freight House, considering its location right in the heart of downtown and the riverfront. The venues that have failed in the past didn't make as much sense as the current plan, and Penguin's is already an established comedy club, so that should bring in an existing customer base. This highly visible location has got to be better than their previous location tucked away in the corner of IOC's former outlet mall.

I also look forward to eating at the planned mid-priced restaurant. Downtown could use something between places like Mac's and Boozies and places like Centro, Duck City and Savitri's. The failure of 225 at the Figge should show that we've got enough expensive food downtown for now. I think Davenport will be able to find funding to improve the west end of the building to compliment the outdoor farmer's market with restrooms, cold storage, etc. Maybe some volunteers can be found to help paint the boxcar to save the city some cash on that front.

The Rock Island Armory
Unfortunately, I agree with today's QCTimes editorial that the armory should be let go. Davenport already has the bandshell in LeClaire Park, and the RiverVision plan envisions an amphitheater facing the river west of Marquette sometime in the distant future. Is it just me or does sitting in between the walls of the armory with no roof not sound like the greatest venue? I hate to see any historic building be torn down, but unless they can find a feasible use that makes more sense than an amphitheater with the styling of a bombed out building, it has to go.

Former Roederer Warehouse, now 4th Street Lofts

320 East 4th Street
The second phase of Alexander Company's plans for the Crescent Warehouse District is having its official grand opening this coming Tuesday from 4-6:30PM. Frequent Lofts critics should come and check out what they've been bashing all this time. This building takes the total to over 120 apartments that Alexander Company has added to downtown Davenport. I hope to see many of you there.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous that Rock Island is not allowed to remove the Armory. That building is an eyesore, it's not nearly as "historic" as the surrounding buildings, and it has no functionality. No wonder the NG abandoned it. I just wish they would have taken their heinous building with them, so the rest of us can begin to enjoy the riverfront in Rock Island.

Anonymous said...

The lesson being that every development must be closely scrutinized and decided upon. We don't do that here in the QCA. We see dollars and jump without thinking of the long term. We fail to consider the entire community and connect anything.

Anonymous said...

How about a multi use vistor's center for eagle watchers and hikers for the abundant trail system the area has to offer?

hoganj300 said...

An amphitheater for the Armory is definitely the wrong way to go. I still think the Armory is worth saving for mixed use development if the Illinois Historic Agency would allow major interior and exterior changes to the building. The agency must be unconnected with our area and has not been told the full situation. Some members need to take a visit to Rock Island to understand an amphitheater is just a dumb idea for the building.

Anonymous said...

The decision will not be made on need - it will depend upon where the money is coming from.

Anonymous said...

From all the comments that people have put on your blog QCI over the past year, it seems that not one has been against Alexander Company developing apartments downtown. What people are against, is the lack of contribution to our tax base to pay for all the amenities that you are using. If the downtown is such an attractive place to live, then no tax incentives are necessary.

QuadCityImages said...

Without incentives, what do we do with the buildings downtown that have deteriorated to the point where its not financially feasible to renovate them? Let them continue to fall apart and be eyesores? Or put some taxpayer money into turning blight into renovation?

Anonymous said...

There are amenities in downtown davenport? I'm kind of shocked that people actually want to live outside the 'green zone' of D1's streets of hanging flower baskets. A few tax incentives to get people that make over the poverty line move into that neighborhood is a great investment.

Anonymous said...

There is no need for taxpayer subsidized incentives QCI. The owners of these old delapidated buildings are millionares. The city must hold them accountable, and take them to court if necessary to keep the buildings in good repair, or force them to sell. If they can't even sell it for a buck, then the crap building owner should pay a stippen amount to the new developer to make the deal work. The Roeder building is a prime example. They are multi-millionares that own huge amounts of property on both sides of the river. They milked the buildings for all they are worth, without spending a dime on them, then moved the operation out to 76th street. Then they fell into a cash cow situation with the taxpayers bending over taking the brunt of it. It also happened with the Hotel that the city bought during the Adler renovation. That hotel was owned by a group of millionares, one being Steve Shalk, who is an Attorney and Huge developer in Davenport. This was a windfall deal for these guys, and the taxpayers made them even richer. Finially, if in the rare case the owner can't be found to make the deal happen, then tear the building down. Make more greenspace downtown. That's the way the riverfront was intended.

Anonymous said...

People who can't see all the amenities that taxpayers have paid for downtown must be blind in one eye, and can't see out of the other. You have the Credit Island park and Golf course, the Marquette Street park, Riverfront park, the bike path, the ice skating park, the roller skating park, the baseball park, the farmers market, the skybridge, the alder theatre, the river center, the art museum, the main library, the Music Experience, the ag Tech center, you have small pocket parks all over the place, and two tennis courts, and a nice basketball court at 4th and gaines. You have all kinds of places to eat, from expensive to the newest Subway in town. There are bars everyplace. You can gamble legally, or in the back of some businesses illegally. You can even find prostitutes, and recreational drugs. All this...and you think the taxpayers should pay for more things for you? You even had Cork Hill swimming pool at one time, but the kids didn't care to use it, and the few that did tore it up. Thankfully, we didn't build you another one. Be thankful downtowners for what the 6th ward residence have purchaced and paid for you to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the sixth ward residents should purchase some spelling lessons for themselves.

Anonymous said...

What we also need is real incentives for people to move into the SOLO area and take great advantage of the reasonably prices and nice homes we have. I am very serious. SOme of these homes are beautiful, but need some care and work. There is one incentive that does not involve development, that is called public safety. Make this area safe and they will come.

Anonymous said...

That will entail thinking outside the box. Public safety should be viewed as more then just a police beat and an officer. We can place all the band aids in the world on these criminals and nothing long term will occur. We must start to make it very difficult for landlords to rent to criminals. The criminals have a hard time getting decent housing because decent landlords screen them out. SO, they get housing from slumlords in slumrentals. If our city just enforced our housing standards and codes, we woudl be making it harder and harder for these thugs to find housing in Davenport. Less slum neighborhoods, less thugs, equals less crime.

Anonymous said...

Tenants could be screned by the police department. The tenants could be required to have a ' certificate of compliance' issued by the police department, after a background check for criminal history, credit history, and work history. If they can't pass the muster, they can't rent in Davenport. Any landlord caught renting to a tenant without a 'certificate of compliance' would be given a large fine. ( suggest $1000 for first offense ) The tenant would pay for this certificate to the police dept the amount it cost to do this search, possibly $100 to $200, and would have to get the certificate renewed yearly. This might solve the problems with aweful tenants destroying our quiet neighborhoods. Let them live someplace else if they don't like it

QuadCityImages said...

So what issues in their background would disqualify them from renting in Davenport?

Anonymous said...

That is simple. Anyone with a criminal conviction, anyone with anything but stellar credit, or anyone unemployeed can look someplace else. We don't want or need them in Davenport.

QuadCityImages said...

Anyone with a criminal conviction? Including misdemeanors or what? Any time period on that, or anyone who got a DUI 20 years ago is kicked out of the city?

Anonymous said...

Make landlords more responsible by not allowing any out of town investors own rentals in Davenport. Make it a requirement that they live within 3 blocks of their tenants. Require that landlords with over 5 units hire one full time manager (who is available 24 hours a day) for each 5 units. Owners addresses and phone numbers should be public info, so they can be called to handle problems as they occur. If the landlord works, make it manditory that their work number be public information. Instead of calling the police or the NEO, you could call either the manager or the owner. If they didn't answer the phone 24 hrs per day, then the city could give them a fine for each time they did not answer.

QuadCityImages said...

A full time manager for every 5 units? That doesn't even make sense. Some of you folks need to be realistic here.

Anonymous said...

Tenants are like 3 year old kids - they all need babysitters to sit on them, or they get into mischief.

QuadCityImages said...

You sure do love your generalizations and stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

I am the original poseter with the suggestion and wonder about some of the suggestions myself. But, convictions would be for drug dealing and anything with violence.

QuadCityImages said...

That's far more reasonable, although I'd like to see some kind of a time limit on it. Convictions in the last 5-10 years or something along those lines.

People who have served their time and gotten their life on track don't need to be punished forever.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
QuadCityImages said...

Jeez, my first 2 deleted comments in the same night. I guess snow brings out the worst in people. I allow some swearing around here, because I doubt anyone under 18 reads this blog, but I have to draw the line on any of George Carlin's 7 words you can't say on TV. There was no redeeming quality to the post I deleted, it was just "X person and X person are #@!&%!"

There's no need for that, or for purely personal attacks on here like I deleted earlier.

Anonymous said...

Lubell must have evicted one of his 'best of the worst' yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I just loved his best of the worst comment. I can't believe he was dumb enough to actually say that outloud. I think the best of the worst should live next door to him instead of me. He probaly wouldn't mind the drug deals and garbage.

Anonymous said...

I plan to needle point "best of the worst' on a pillow and give it to the QCRPA to use for an annual award for a landlord in town.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you would consider 2 more pillows with "worst of the worst," one for Oak Home Partners, and the other for LaHood properties.

Anonymous said...

It's Oak Helm and they are bad again. They treat tenants very poorly. Mark Reddiger is to blame. There used to be a lady named Jenny that was there and she is gone now. She cleaned them up for a while, but not any more.

Oak Helm and TeaM real estate are the organized slumlords.

Anonymous said...

I want to know the characteristics of the "best of the worst" tenants. What are they like?

Anonymous said...

"Best of the Worst" is tenants who have an accumulated prison record of 3 to 10 years. You don't want to know what the 'worst of the worst' is. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

So then my next question is why if you are a good landlord and keep up your place, do you need to rent to the best of the worst or the worst of the worst as Dan proposed?

In The Know said...

To Anon. 3:36

The police department does offer screening of tenants through the Crime Free Multi Housing Program. Problem is that, even though the city council made the program manditory, a majority of the landlords have not taken the class or do not use the resorces. Cpl Mark Berger is the contact and all they need to do is call but they must take and complete the course first. All the tools to help them are their but these landlords don't either care or want the police department in their business.

Anonymous said...

Hey 12:18, It was mentioned at the DAI meeting that 360 of approx 1400 landlords in Davenport have taken the class. I don't think thay are taking this class too seriously.