Sunday, May 27, 2007

Freight House update

It seems that in addition to missing a few things on the Boozies alley fight (see Cruiser's post), Barb Ickes also forgot to check out a few things in her Freight House column.

Here's a little piece that will probably be making its appearance in the next Council Update, with thanks to my source. I believe this was emailed to Keith as well, but I guess he only posts bad news.

Freight House Progress -- Contrary to what you may have recently read, the Freight House redevelopment project is proceeding, although the original schedule has been adjusted as the details of financing have been worked through. Developers Jeff Johnson and Bob Echols are moving full steam ahead with plans to invest in Davenport by opening Penguin's Comedy Club, a mid-priced independent restaurant (with a local flavor), and a piano bar. They have been working with their team of local designers and plan to open Penguin's in October, with the remaining development to follow by year's end. At the Levee Improvement Commission's May 9 meeting, an addendum to the lease was approved allowing three additional months to the original target open date of August 1. The reason for this extension relates to the developer's decision to seek SBA financing, and the process taking longer than originally contemplated. Another part of the financing is expected to be a City loan through the CDBG-funded CIRCL program. The use of the federal funds required there to be an environmental assessment, which recently was completed. To sum up, you will soon be able to grab a bite and laugh yourself silly at the Freight House.

In related news, the newspaper was accurate in its coverage of the lead gift of $35,000 by the Davenport Jaycees for a children's play area is planned to be constructed in late June. The Levee Improvement Commission approved a $5,000 contribution at its meeting on May 23. Jaycees volunteers will spend the last weekend in June preparing the site and setting the play structure, with oversight by the Parks and Recreation staff, as a gift to our community.

In other riverfront news, tonight' 6:00PM Swing game should include fireworks, and the forecast for game time is 75 and sunny.


Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Times had two conflicting storys on the same day. Barb talked about nothing happening at the Freight House and then there was another story about the new playground at the "soon to be open" comedy club. I almost made a comment to Barb, but don't what to "register" on the QCTimes site.

QuadCityImages said...

Keith sent me the following:


I forwarded this update of accurate information on the Freight House to Barb Ickes and Tory Brecht on Friday hoping they would make a correction, since they have the technology to do so, (it's not to much to hope, even though it rarely happens) and since so many people in the community are dependent on the Times for information ( including yourself). Maybe you could post this, as it will save responding to your slam. Thanks and have a great time at the ball game. Keith

Anonymous said...

What a gross misuse of CDBG funds.

QuadCityImages said...

"CDBG funds may be used for community development activities such as real estate acquisition, relocation, demolition, rehabilitation of housing and commercial buildings, construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings, public services, and economic development and job creation/retention activities."

Anonymous said...

ONLY TO BENEFIT LOW TO MODERATE INCOME CENSUS TRACTS. This is a big stretch. This pool of $$ has been awarded to the city and then they keep it a secret to the CAC as to how the money will be spent. This is the pool that is mismanaged. Evey other applicant has to tell the CAC in great detail as to how they will spend the $$ requested. But, the money in this program, they do not require them to tell the panel. They claim that it is not possible for some reason. Not possible, because they are afraid the CAC won't fund them.

QCI - the CDBG $ HAS TO BE used for the low income blighted part of town. This is why the city deems the riverfront to be in that census tract. They want a bigger pool of money to choose from.

It is kind of funny in a way because they downtown qualifies - but some of the worse neighorhoods do not. Gee - I wonder who drew the lines? Let me think? Clayton Lloyd./

Anonymous said...

Federal guidelines do not require that CDBG money be spent in low income census tracts, but more than 50% of the people hired have to qualify as "low to moderate" income or as displaced workers (people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own). Unless the money has "revolved" from previous CDBG loans, then that requirement goes away. There is also a limit to how much $ can be loaned based on the number of jobs created or retained, unless the money is from previous loan paybacks. The original post said the Freight House owner was "applying" for an SBA loan. It did not say he had received an SBA loan, so I assume the funding for this project is not secured.