Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday Assortment

Here's yesterday's QCTimes article about the RiverCenter-casino thing. The comments are strange, but they always are. I wonder where all the people who have been saying we need to dump the RiverCenter for years are now that the city actually mentions doing it.

Here's an RCReader editorial about the casino thing, which takes an unsurprising jab at city officials for the last IOC deal. The editorial assumes a lot, considering that none of us have seen the deal yet. I think people should hold their criticism until we see the agreement. Hopefully we get a chance to before its approved.

Farther down the page on that Reader link there is some mention of the Oneida Landing project, specifically directed at its effects on the flood plain. The last I knew the plan was for the bottom floor to be parking garage that could be opened up to allow flood waters to pass underneath the building, minimizing any hydro effects. Maybe that's changed, or maybe the Reader hadn't heard about it.

And then, of course, we have a slight rehash of my Tuesday morning rant. My Alderman has taken the time to prove he doesn't support downtown Davenport.

Here's today's QCTimes article about the continuing struggle to pass a common sense ordinance which would initiate downtown design guidelines, similar to what the East Village already has. The article quotes Alderman Meyer as saying, "Downtown Davenport is a failure."



Anonymous said...

QCI - maybe your alderman would be more supportive of downtown and other issues if the city administrator would work with all of the council member and not just a few. As a taxpayer I can not tell you how distrubing it was to find out at last nights council meeting the Malin gave out bonuses to several department heads - two of them were for $5,000.00 each. The city is going to raise parking rates but can give bonuses. Where is the commen sense. There talk about raising taxes due to the red light camera's and medicome fee. Again, where is the commen sense. These are my tax dollars. Why should I have to pay more due to excessive or poor management of my money?

QuadCityImages said...

Why does that justify giving up on our downtown?

Do YOU think its a failure?

What about my fellow bloggers? Snarky, Cruiser, Ambrose?

You're not downtown cheerleaders like myself, but do you think its a failure?

Are the hundreds of new residents all mistaken?

Anonymous said...

The owner of structures built in the 100-year flood plain are required to get special permits to do so, prove that their building will be built a foot or more above flood elevation or be built with automatic flow-throughs that don't require human intervention in case of flood, are not allowed to house any mechanicals, etc. in the floors below flood elevation, and must purchase flood insurance which is not cheap. At least these are the FEMA rules which for some reason, aren't very well enforced in the Quad Cities. When we were looking at houses to buy, we toured a house on the Rock River in Moline that had been built with screened flow-throughs on the ground floor. The screens had been boarded up by the current owner.

Anonymous said...

Don't get bent out of shape, QCI. I am a big supporter of Downtown Davenport, just not of Davenpport One, which calls the shots here, in case you haven't noticed, because the City props up their agenda with tax money. Without which Tara Barney and Co. would have long ago been replace by a creative, truly visionary group. Keith

cruiser said...

Parts of downtown are a failure. The Figge is far from being what it could be, a world class museum. The RME, which I personally like, is gasping for air. The skybridge is more unused tha used. The parking ramps aren't being used, now they want to up the meter fee. The skatepark is full of contorversy, and I wouldn't want to drive down there when the bars let out. And yes, QCI, I have been down there when the bars close. If things were booming there would be no need for subsidizing these places. I happen to like the job Alderman Meyer is doing. The town is cleaner, the grafitti gets removed quickly, and he takes care of problems when they are pointed out.

Anonymous said...

I don't beleive Keith would know a "truly visionary group" if it slapped him in the face. Where is YOUR vision, Keith? You do a LOT of compaining, but I NEVER hear of ONE single idea from you (good or bad).

pioneer98 said...

The real problem with Meyer's comment is that he is implying that "they" (D1, Alexander, whoever) should give up on revitalizing downtown. No, he didn't directly state that, but it was implied.

pioneer98 said...

Cruiser said: The Figge is far from being what it could be, a world class museum.

I agree the Figge could be doing better. It really needs to get a restaurant back. But in terms of what it delivers on art I think it is doing extremely well for a museum in an area like this, in the space that is has. In fact, I don't know if it could do much better. I guess it's how you define "world class". If you thought we were going to get the next MOMA, then your expectations were probably a bit too high. Look at the list of cities sometime that the "Coexist" exhibit has visited (coming here this fall), and compare them to Davenport.

QuadCityImages said...

I agree with most of your list Cruiser. I would even go as far as to say that RME already failed, and has been replaced by something entirely different. The skybridge I don't consider a failure, because I've never been down there or driven past and not seen someone else in it. Its the first place visitors bring out of town guests, whereas before I don't know that they'd have even brought them downtown.

The biggest difference is the feel of downtown. There are more people down here, more people walking around, and more things to do. Young people are more excited about Davenport, both because of downtown living options, and even things like the skatepark. When the Freight House and Salvation Army building are both finished that whole area will feel entirely different as well. I think the progress that has been made in the last 6 years since the River Renaissance vote is amazing.

I think sometimes we forget how bad downtown was in the 80's and early 90's. For Alderman Meyer to put the message out there (developers do read newspapers) that at least one of our Alderman feels downtown is a failure is not helping anything. As Pioneer and others have said, what's your plan Keith? Get rid of D1 and hope things all work themselves out? Can you name a city where the downtown has revitalized itself without any public/private partnerships? The real question I suppose is do you care if we have a downtown district?

So yes, I am bent out of shape about this.

Anonymous said...

no - kIEth just has a problem with the major use of tax dollars to promote private benefits for companies like Alexander. They are making tons of money off of our tax dollars. They get HOME funds and other funds that should be used to actually help people and not line thier pockets.

Also, I have been at the levy several times lately and there a son many homeless men drinking and winking at the women down there. Where ar these people coming from and why do they stay down there?

QuadCityImages said...

How is having new apartments made out of former crime hotspots and eyesores not benefiting Davenport?

Anonymous said...

I think the downtown has failed quote is up there with the Black Xmas poem in my favorite Meyerisms.

pioneer98 said...

I'd like to point out that Keith said "Downtown Davenport is a failure." He didn't say "River Renaissance is a failure." It's interesting how we all automatically assumed he was referring to the skybridge, RME, Figge, etc, and not "Downtown" as a whole. He could just as easily been referring to Bucktown, LP Coffee and the other small businesses that have opened there.

QuadCityImages said...

The reason I was "bent out of shape" is because at least out of town people will see it as downtown as a whole has failed.

I think we're all assuming that he meant RR stuff because D1 was so involved, and an argument can be made that some of it is failing. However, I doubt the stuff that is definitely not failing, like (Bucktown, LP, Mississippi Plaza offices, residential) would have happened without RR.

Either way, Meyer's vote against the design guidelines is a vote against a quality downtown.

Anonymous said...

Keith is consistently and persistently negative. If he feels there are legitimate issues, which needs to be addressed, he has the obligation to offer realistic and constructive alternatives.

Public money is to be spent on public projects, Downtown projects and Neighborhood projects. If funds are available through grants and special funding options for Neighborhoods, Neighborhoods benefit. The same is true for Downtown. The public good spreads throughout the city.

Keith does not support Downtown, and I am not sure he supports Neighborhoods all that much either. A local funding initiative supported by local financial institutions and the city to help homeowners obtain financing for residential home improvements was voted against by Keith.

Keith, get off your soapbox and take the time to study the materials provided to you to help you become informed about the issues before the council. There is no reason to constantly ask questions that are answered in your packet. Formulate thoughtful, constructive responses in support of, or in opposition to an issue, but, please, be constructive.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Not all grants and so forth are good for the neighborhoods. All too often the strings attached are concerning. Meaning, the strings include that the developments need to be for the resolve of poverty. This is a way to concentrate poverty (somewhat inadvertantly). We all wonder why these areas cannot pull themselves out of the blight. It is because the government offers solutions that are not private investment - only investment to serve the poor. We way too often don't consider the long term impact of some of the projects, ut only that it is development. Development for the sake of development is not necessarily good.

If you have a pvoerty stricken area and think that by developing say housing for the poor in that area - what you have it poor people in new buildings. That's all. You haven't created jobs and you haven't created new businesses. Even if you do create new businesses, then the poor people in the new houses don't have the money to spent at those businesses anyway.

We are nto creative and we do not listen to the people in this town. We do not tap into the people resources in these neighorhoods. We burn people out instead.

Keith recognizes this and supports that. He actually listens to those who live in the blighted areas who are vocal about this concept. It seems sometimes that he is the only one listening.

The staff of this city does not really understand revitalization of the downtown and surrounding areas - nor does d1. Instead they grasp onto every pool of passing money and attempt to make it fit. Instead of looking at what would work and seeking it out.

Octave Thanet said...

If it makes you all feel any better we went to an RME-type museum in downtown Milwaukee a few weeks ago. The Eisner advertising museum. We had high hopes for what it could be, but it was absolutely a joke. On us for paying admission. We were the only ones the whole time we were there. You could tell someone spent big bucks rehabbing the space, but the content was very lacking. Reminded me of some of the critiques of the museum part of our RME. The Eisner museum makes our RME look fabulous though. Take heart, QCI, downtown Davenport may be struggling but it seems to be winning : )


QuadCityImages said...

I actually never made it to the RME before it changed to its current setup. I just figured I had plenty of time to check it out...